MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Canadian GP

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The Canadian Grand Prix usually throws up a surprise, with Jenson Button’s charge from last to first in 2011 remaining in the memory of many Formula One fans. Interestingly, wet weather is forecast for some of the sessions this weekend, making any predictions all the more difficult for the MotorSportsTalk team…

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. This is a hard race to pick as there hasn’t yet been a race on a primarily low-downforce setup track with this year’s Pirelli compounds. After a forgettable Monaco, this seems a good spot for the Iceman to bounce back.

Surprising finish: Paul di Resta. Force India’s been on a roll of late and maybe this is a weekend the team scores its first podium since 2009 at Spa. Di Resta’s driving well at the moment and seems primed to beat his teammate, Adrian Sutil, into the top three for the first time in his career.

Most to prove: Romain Grosjean. Erratic in Monaco, Grosjean needs a clean weekend to restore his confidence and keep Lotus in the game in the Constructor’s Championship. I doubt he’ll repeat his second place of a year ago, but a solid top-five would be a decent result.

 

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. Montreal’s rough surface and numerous hard-braking corners go through tires at a considerable rate. That may give the edge to Raikkonen, who needs a strong result to bounce back after Monaco and keep up in the title race.

Surprising finish: Jenson Button. Don’t expect a 14th McLaren triumph in Canada, but results have been better for the team as of late (three Top-6 results in the last four races). Throw in Montreal’s notorious unpredictability and we could see Button turn in another positive sign of progress for the group.

Most to prove: Romain Grosjean. Can it be anybody else after he crashed three times during the weekend in Monte Carlo? He won’t be done any favors either by his 10-spot grid penalty this weekend for colliding with Daniel Ricciardo two weeks ago.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. I’ll buck the trend. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is very hard on the tires, possibly ruling out Mercedes and giving Lotus the advantage. Last year though, tire management saw Perez and Grosjean make the podium, yet Hamilton won thanks to his raw pace. Same theory applies, only with Vettel driving.

Surprising finish: Sergio Perez. Checo’s performance in Monaco may have perturbed some, but he showed guts to make the moves he did. A repeat of his podium in 2012 may be a bit far off, yet somewhere in the top five or so would still be a good showing for McLaren.

Most to prove: Romain Grosjean. RoGro’s mistake in Monaco was silly, so he needs to prove to Lotus why they should keep a hold of him for the rest of the season. His performance in Canada last season was impressive, and, now more than ever, such a result is critical.

Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. The tyre-nursing Lotuses were in great shape here last year. I think Raikkonen will bounce back from his Monaco disappointment with a win.

Surprising finish: Valtteri Bottas. Williams are edging their way forwards and I suspect Bottas rather than his accident-magnet team mate will be the first of them to crack the top ten this year.

Most to prove: Romain Grosjean. I picked him for this in Monaco as well and he duly gave his critics an armful of ammunition with a crash-strewn performance. We know he can do quick, but we need to know he can cut out the incidents.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).