MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Canadian GP

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The Canadian Grand Prix remains a firm favorite among the drivers, teams and entire Formula 1 paddock thanks to the party atmosphere provided by Montreal over the race weekend.

However, the real focus remains on the racing at one of the toughest races on the calendar given the close walls and high-speed straights that make up the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Nico Rosberg arrives in Montreal as the in-form driver after winning the last two races, but with Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton going in search of a fourth victory in Canada, the pressure will be on once again at the front of the field.

Once again, the MST team has put together its predictions for the coming weekend. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Rosberg may have won the last two races, but it is Hamilton who should have the momentum even with his disappointment in Monaco. The British driver was on another planet that weekend, and could provide a similar display of dominance at one of his favorite circuits on Sunday.

Surprising FinishValtteri Bottas. Williams should be in far better shape this weekend, and even with Ferrari’s power upgrade, he could yet push the Italian team in the battle to complete the podium. Keep an eye out for him and teammate Felipe Massa in the race for the top five on Sunday.

Most to ProveFerrari. A harsh pick? Perhaps. But with all this talk of a power upgrade and a possible challenge to Mercedes, Ferrari needs to make good on the hype and push Hamilton and Rosberg hard for the race win.

Additional Storyline to WatchStrategy calls. After the debacle surrounding Hamilton and Mercedes in Monaco last time out, keep a close eye on the strategic calls that are made by both the driver and the team this weekend. With a 60% chance of a safety car, there will be extra pressure for both parties to get it right.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Despite the Monaco strategic error that cost Lewis the race there, I think he bounces back nicely this week at a track where he has had a wealth of success.

Surprising FinishRomain Grosjean. Of the other teams with a Mercedes engine I could see “RoGro” making the most of things on this power-heavy circuit and delivering a solid finish. Perhaps a top five but likely in the sixth to seventh range is possible.

Most to ProveNico Rosberg. He has the momentum of back-to-back wins… can he continue this surge at a track where Lewis will be hungrier than ever to reassert himself back on the top step of the podium?

Additional Storyline to WatchDaniel’s defense. In a tough season for Red Bull, Montreal marks the first race where Daniel Ricciardo enters as the defending race winner. How will he handle all the additional media and focus on him having been the race winner 12 months ago?

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.