It paid off opposing Lewis Hamilton in the Monaco Grand Prix but the British driver is the man to back in the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
The Mercedes cars that are in the hands of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg remain the ones to beat and so, once again, Formula One punters have a decision to make: which of the two Silver Arrows drivers should one back to win the Canadian Grand Prix? History suggests that the decision is an easy one.
For whereas Hamilton’s bad Monaco Grand Prix record demanded that one bet against him two weeks ago, the Mercedes driver has demonstrated time and time again that, with the right machinery, he is hard to beat in the Canadian Grand Prix on a track that suits his aggressive driving style perfectly.
Hamilton has competed in six Canadian Grand Prix races for three pole positions and three victories even though he has not had the fastest car for most of those events. Never has Hamilton completed a Canadian Grand Prix and failed to make the top three and only bad luck in a once-in-a-career crash during the 2008 race prevented him winning on each of his first three cracks at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which has staged the Canadian Grand Prix in every year that it has taken place since 1978, requires a high top speed and it is known as one of the most dangerous tracks on the Formula One calendar. To put it in simple terms, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of those tracks that reward drivers who are willing to drive on the edge. That description fits Hamilton like a glove and it is much less applicable to his Mercedes teammate, Rosberg.
Rosberg’s Canadian Grand Prix record does not hold a candle to that of Hamilton. Rosberg has taken part in seven Canadian Grand Prix races, earning a classification in six of them but never finishing higher than fifth. Rosberg has lost to Hamilton in the four Canadian Grand Prix races that both drivers have completed, including last year’s event when they were behind the wheel of the same make of car. Two positions separated Rosberg and Hamilton in the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix, both on the grid and in the race itself, with the German taking the chequered flag about two-thirds of a lap behind his British colleague.
Hamilton is trading at odds of 1.55 with 888sport and Unibet to win the Canadian Grand Prix for the fourth time in seven starts and, given how well the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve suits his driving style and how much of an advantage his Mercedes car has over the other Formula One vehicles, it seems entirely reasonable that he is an odds-on chance.
With regards to the Canadian Grand Prix exotics, one market that is worth a second glance is the one pertaining to the safety car. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has a reputation as a dangerous, demanding track and the safety car led the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix for 28 laps. However, it is worth noting that the safety car has stayed in pit lane for three of the last four editions of the Canadian Grand Prix and the 2011 race was conducted on a wet and slippery track. One is not saying that the safety car will stay off the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the duration of the Canadian Grand Prix but one should not get sucked into short prices. Ladbrokes is offering odds of 2.62 that the safety car does not see any action during the Canadian Grand Prix and that seems like a fair price. Either bet on the outsider option or leave this particular Canadian Grand Prix market alone.