It’s all about the number 44 in Canada this weekend as Formula One makes its first stop in North America this season at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Lewis Hamilton, who drives car number 44, has claimed his 44th career pole position this weekend as he saw off the pack in an incident filled qualifying session just days after being presented with a Hank Aaron 44 Braves shirt from a fan at the Montreal track.
This pole position is the fourth of his career at the Canadian Grand Prix and comes eight years after his first career win, which also came at this track. He has taken 36 wins in his career so far, but will he make it 37 this weekend? Our thoughts and F1 picks.
Hamilton will be challenged by his team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen for the race win this weekend while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas will be poised to take advantage should any of the front three have any issues or accidents.
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who is the only driver to take a race win this season outside of the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg, starts 16th, one place ahead of Bottas’ team-mate Felipe Massa, after both experienced problems in the first part of qualifying.
If Raikkonen is on form this weekend then he could challenge the Silver Arrows cars, but with Hamilton aggrieved after his team cost him victory in Monaco two weeks ago you can be sure that he’ll be racing with all guns blazing for victory in Canada and even though Rosberg has taken back to back wins leading up to this weekend we cannot see anything stopping Hamilton from taking all 25 points for winning this race.
Unfortunately, the bookmakers agree with us and Hamilton is available at a best price of 1.33 with William Hill to win this race. We are taking this, but we’re also tempted by Hamilton to complete the trio of pole, race win and fastest lap at odds of 2.25 in the William Hill Sportsbook as Hamilton looks to prove a point by dominating this race.
As well as this race winner market there are plenty other opportunities for us to make some money in this race around this Montreal circuit. The first one that we have identified comes on both drivers from Red Bull to score points at the Canadian Grand Prix at odds of 3.00 at William Hill.
A fourth and fifth placed finish for the Milton Keynes based side two weeks ago in Monaco will have boosted the team and despite the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve being vastly different from the Monte Carlo track with longer and faster straights their underpowered Renault engine still saw the two drivers, who are very much coming to terms with this car still, qualify eighth and ninth for this race.
With the confidence available, especially for Daniel Ricciardo who triumphed around this circuit against all the odds last season, we can see both of the Red Bull cars finishing in the top ten, bringing home some points and seeing us with a winning bet.
We feel that we have found value on the To Score Points market too with rookie Toro Rosso driver Carlos Saniz Junior to managed to qualify his car 11th and just outside the positions needed for a points score.
He is available at odds of 2.37 to finish in the top ten in Canada this weekend and with the Spaniard showing some blistering pace and tactical driving ability that belies the fact this is first season at the top level of F1.
We feel that he can make his way into the top ten, especially considering the fact that four of his five finishes have seen him collect points from his six races this season and the woefully unlucky Pastor Maldonado starts fifth and it would not surprise us to see the Venezuelan not to finish this race!