In the latest edition of Paddock Press, we recap the Monaco Grand Prix and look ahead to the first transatlantic race of the season in Canada.
Monaco GP Review
You could be forgiven for falling asleep in the first 57 laps of a rather dull Monaco Grand Prix, but the race intensified towards the death end.
Firstly, a safety car as Jenson Button launched an over opportunistic move down the inside of Pascal Wehrlein inside at Portier, causing the Sauber driver to end up on his side in the barrier. This made the lapped cars catch up to the lead lap - well all bar the fellow Sauber of Marcus Ericsson who had arguably the most embarrassing crash of this century when he skidded into the outside of Sainte Devote under safety car conditions.
Following the safety car, Stoffel Vandoorne made it a double retirement for McLaren as he too got caught on the marbles and went off in a replica of Ericsson's accident.
In the end it was a fairly dull race, with just a few on-track passes. Despite this it had its moments and wasn't the worst race in history.
What was interesting is in a race where Force India scored no points, Renault were unable to capitalise with Nico Hulkenberg suffering a mechanical problem whilst running in the points and Jolyon Palmer failing to score once again. All this while Felipe Massa scored a rare Williams point in Monte Carlo and Toro Rosso scoring heavily with Carlos Sainz even overhauling Lewis Hamilton to finish P6.
Looking Forward - Canada:
One of my personal favourite races on the calendar, Canada has been a very successful track for Brit Lewis Hamilton - well when he sees the chequered flag. Canada has thrown up some classics and first wins for both Lewis Hamilton in 2007 and Daniel Ricciardo in 2014. Hopefully we will see another classic this year and I think we will.
The nature of the power circuit leans itself to Mercedes. While it has been clear this season Ferrari has the best chassis, they are still behind Mercedes in terms of raw engine grunt - although far ahead of both Renault and Honda. The nature of Honda's lack of straight line speed means we are likely to see passes on Alonso similar to that of his now-Indy 500 rival Takuma Sato did in his Super Aguri in 2007 en route to the team's best result of P6.
Expect Force India to bounce back this weekend and a struggle for both the Renault and Toro Rosso teams. Red Bull will be back down to a clear third in the pecking order due to Renault's continued but reducing straightline deficit.
Finally, Sauber may not be too bad. Their speed trap classifications aren't as bad as they tend to hang around the middle, with some claiming the old Ferrari engine is still faster than the Honda and Renault down a long straight. While points may be a bridge too far a good result could be on the cards for Wehrlein and Ericsson.
Finally the predictions:
Pole Position - Lewis Hamilton
Race Win - Lewis Hamilton
Podium - Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen
Driver of the Day - Daniil Kvyat
First Retirement - Jolyon Palmer
This series relies on your contribution and input so please put your predictions and answers to our key questions below before race day.
by Matthew Gannon