Welcome to the Montreal free for all
It has been 30 years since Gilles Villeneuve – the man Montreal’s famous circuit is named after – tragically died whilst racing at Zolder.
He is the greatest ever driver not to win a world championship alongside Stirling Moss and one of Formula One’s most talented drivers.
His son, Jacques, won the 1997 championship, but even so, Gilles is still the name that springs to mind whenever the name Villeneuve is mentioned.
The Canadian’s death left a huge blot on the sport and his is a story of unreached potential.
McLaren will feel a similar sense of dissatisfaction as their season has not gone according to plan thus far.
They still have only one win to their name and it will feel a very distant memory right now.
But with Lewis Hamilton going fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions, they will have renewed hope that they can take plenty of points from the weekend to come.
Following this, Hamilton said: “Qualifying looks like it could be very close, and you have got the Ferrari’s and their tyre degradation seems to be better, at least at the last race, so I will be keeping an eye out for them.”
They have done very well in Canada at recent times, winning three of the last four races even through the era of Red Bull and Brawn dominance.
Both Hamilton and Button have won here, so they have fond memories to help them and Button’s victory last year was simply astonishing.
He clawed his way from the back of the field in a rain-soaked affair, to catch leader Sebastian Vettel who ran wide on the last lap to let Button through to take the chequered flag.
However, the famous silver cars are unlikely to have it all their own way again.
Red Bull seem to have regained their pace, with a pole to post win last time out in Monaco for Mark Webber, a welcome return to form for the Australian.
It made him the sixth winner in six races, something that Fernando Alonso commented on earlier this week.
The Spaniard said: “We can lose credibility. We cannot lose that the best teams, the best drivers, and the best strategies win the races, because at the moment from the outside it seems that in every race anyone can win.”
Adding: “It doesn’t matter the talent, it doesn’t matter the team, the performance – it’s like a lottery.”
It is strange that he has sought to make such comments, as the lottery-like nature of this season has enabled him and his ailing Ferrari model to top the drivers’ standings after six races, something they would not have dreamed of at the beginning of the season.
Mercedes are always dangerous and with Schumacher setting provisional pole at Monaco before his grid drop, the legendary German could well be back to his best.
But it is Sebastian Vettel that is coming to Canada with the most to prove.
The reigning double world champion will want to vanquish memories of last year and avenge his mistake.
He will also want to pull away from his team-mate in the drivers’ standings so that he can get the better treatment.
Race pace will be very important here, because there is plenty of overtaking possible at Montreal and the DRS zones will further enable drivers to force mistakes out of each other.
So, sit back and enjoy the Grand Prix as our six title-holders attempt to evade the fabled and notorious “Wall of Champions” to take the chequered flag.