Montreal, QC – Lewis Hamilton has yet to win a grand prix since joining Mercedes at the start of this season, but this Sunday's race in Canada might very well be where he captures his maiden victory with the team.
Hamilton, who drove for McLaren from 2007-12, has won the Canadian Grand Prix three times in the past six years. Formula One did not compete in Canada during the 2009 season.
The 2.709-mile, 14-turn Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been a very special place for Hamilton. In June 2007, he scored his first career F1 victory here, coming in just his sixth start.
One year ago, Hamilton became the record-extending seventh different winner in as many races for the 2012 season. He benefited from a two pit-stop strategy, which allowed him to chase down Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for the lead with fresher tires. Alonso, who pitted only once in the early going, gave up the lead to Hamilton with four laps remaining.
"The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has been a strong circuit for me, and I've been lucky enough to win there three times in my career, including last season," Hamilton said. "It's always a great weekend in Montreal with a fun atmosphere in the city and at the track. The circuit itself is really special. It's very high-speed, great fun to drive and it's definitely a track where late braking helps."
Hamilton is hoping to give Mercedes its second straight victory after his teammate, Nico Rosberg, won the May 26 Monaco Grand Prix.
"There's a really good feeling in the team at the moment, following Nico's win in Monaco," Hamilton said. "We're continuing to work hard to make sure we have the potential for more victories this season."
Rosberg claimed his second career F1 win in Monaco. He has started on the pole for the last three grand prix.
"Monaco was a fantastic weekend for the team, and I'm so proud of the victory that we achieved there," Rosberg said. "We'll be hoping to maintain that momentum in Canada this weekend and will be going all out for another strong performance."
Rosberg's best finish in Canada is sixth, which came in 2010 and '12.
Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull enters the 70-lap Canadian GP with a 21-point lead over Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel, the three-time defending F1 world champion, has yet win in Canada.
In this race two years ago, which featured torrential rain conditions, Vettel appeared to be on his way to victory but locked up the rear and slid wide on the final lap. That allowed McLaren's Jenson Button to dart by and steal the win.
"One of the craziest moments (in the Canadian GP) was in 2011," Vettel said. "There was so much rain. I haven't seen that much rain carry on for so long since. During the race, we had a big break and were in the lead. The race was difficult, and with half a lap to go, I made my first mistake of the race, which cost us the win. But that's racing, and it's probably great for the fans to watch when they don't know who is going to win until the last moment."
Vettel has finished fourth or better, including two victories (Malaysia and Bahrain), in the first six grand prix this season.
Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, June 9. Race: Canadian Grand Prix. Site: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Track: 2.079-mile (4.361-kilometer), 14-turn road course. Start Time: 2 p.m. ET. Laps: 70. Miles: 189.694 (305.270 km). 2012 Winner: Lewis Hamilton. Television: NBC.