Hamil­ton has a lot to prove in Mon­treal

CityPress - - Sport - DRIV­ERS MICHELLE FOSTER sports@city­press.co.za – TEAMtalk me­dia

Cir­cvit Length: 4.361km RAce Dis­tAnce: 305.27km 2014 Win­ner: Daniel Ric­cia­rdo (Reä Bvll)

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10

CON­STRUC­TORS

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2

Lewis Hamil­ton

Nico Roseerg

Seeas­t­ian Vet­tel

Kimi Rdikkö­nen

Valt­teri Bot­tas

Felipe Massa

Daniel Ric­cia­r5o

Daniil Kvyat

Felipe Nasr

Ro­main Gros­jean

Mercedes

GB

GER

GER

FIN

FIN

BRA

AUS

RUS

BRA

FRA

MC

MC

FR

FR

WL

WL

RB

RB

SB

LT

TR

PTS

126

PTS MC

FR

WL

RB

SB

FI

LT

TR

ML

MR

242

158

81

52

0 It is ev­ery­thing that Monaco is not as Lewis Hamil­ton lines up on the grid in Mon­treal with the best stats, but per­haps the low­est con­fi­dence he has felt in a while.

The Bri­tish racer is com­mand­ing at­ten­tion in the build-up to the Canadian Grand Prix not for his on-track prow­ess, but rather for Mercedes’ Monte Carlo pit-wall blun­der.

Robbed of what looked to be a sure victory last time out, when an er­ro­neous call to pit for fresh tyres af­ter the safety car dropped him from first to third, both Hamil­ton and Mercedes will be un­der the spot light to­day with much to prove.

The first test, and ar­guably the most try­ing, will be to show that he still trusts the team with whom he re­cently signed a new three-year con­tract.

Although Hamil­ton has said he will have “100% con­fi­dence in the team’s strat­egy de­ci­sions in the fu­ture”, only the pit-to-car ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion will il­lus­trate whether there is a flicker of doubt.

Added to that, Hamil­ton needs to rise above it all. In re­cent years, there have been oc­ca­sions when men­tal strength has been his Achilles heel, leav­ing some to ques­tion whether he can over­come ad­ver­sity.

A more ma­ture, level-headed driver demon­strated last year that he can as he pushed aside his clash with Nico Ros­berg in Bel­gium to go on a five-race win­ning streak, in ef­fect seal­ing the cham­pi­onship in re­venge.

But as he chases a fourth Canadian GP win, Hamil­ton’s prob­lems at the Cir­cuit Gilles Vil­leneuve may yet again not be of his own mak­ing, but rather Mercedes’.

Last year, at the high-speed, fast-flow­ing cir­cuit, both W05 Mercedes’ suf­fered ERS fail­ures, re­sult­ing in Hamil­ton not fin­ish­ing, while Ros­berg held on for sec­ond place. And although this year the Mercedes W06 ap­pears to have shrugged off its pre­de­ces­sor’s re­li­a­bil­ity is­sues, the team has ex­pe­ri­enced brake trou­bles. Opt­ing for aero­dy­nam­ics over cool­ing, Mercedes’ bid to stay ahead of Fer­rari could, ul­ti­mately, be their down­fall to­day.

The Scud­e­ria, who spent en­gine to­kens in the time be­tween Monaco and Mon­treal, will be determined to make use of the track’s flow­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics to power their way on to the podium. A victory for Se­bas­tian Vet­tel would shake up the ti­tle race, which af­ter six grands prix has al­ready de­te­ri­o­rated into a two-driver, one-team event.

With the safety car and a meet­ing or two with the Wall of Cham­pi­ons al­ways a pos­si­bil­ity in Canada, those be­hind will be hop­ing to pick up the spoils should it go wrong for the fron­trun­ners.

How­ever, the chances of Red Bull re­peat­ing last year’s suc­cess, Wil­liams get­ting a car on the podium or even McLaren, which ar­rived with more horse­power from Honda, se­cur­ing a dou­ble­points haul may all de­pend on the weather. Rain is on the hori­zon and a wet track never mixes well with high speed.

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