Canadian Grand Prix: F1 preview, times, predictions, stats

Formula One has reached round nine of the season: the Canadian Grand Prix, and the home race of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and his father, Lawrence, who owns the team.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is popular with fans and drivers alike. The circuit is made up of roads on the man-made island of Notre Dame in the middle of the St Lawrence River. The island was created in 1967 for Expo 67, a world fair, and later used for the 1976 summer Olympics before it morphed into an F1 circuit.

The circuit is fast with two long straights, but unforgiving with walls close to the track, few run off areas and tight hairpins, which mean cars must ride the kerbs, particularly before the first and last chicanes.

The changeable Montreal weather and the circuit layout often produces a classic race, like Jenson Button's famous 2011 win in the rain.

Look out for the final corner -- the Wall of Champions -- known for the amount of big names who have crashed into it over the years.

Why have Red Bull decided to stick with Sergio Pérez? 

Laurence Edmondson reacts to Red Bull's decision to extend the contract of Sergio Pérez to drive alongside Max Verstappen.

Latest news

Mercedes' technical director James Allison has said Red Bull's upgrade looks like a downgrade.

Zak Brown continued his theme of driver win tattoos and honoured his agreement with Lando Norris.

Since last time out at Monaco, Sergio Pérez has signed a contract extension at Red Bull through to 2026, ending speculation over the Mexican's future and the available seat at the current top team.

Also, following his crash with his teammate Pierre Gasly at Monaco, Alpine confirmed Esteban Ocon will leave the French team at the end of the year, and he has been replaced for Canada's first practice session with reserve driver Jack Doohan.

Can Ferrari leave Canada top the constructors standings? Plus Canadian GP preview -- listen to the podcast.

Circuit stats

Canada has hosted grands prix since 1967, but the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal was first held in 1978 and has been on the calendar nearly every year since. National hero Gilles Villeneuve won the inaugural race, and four years after his death the circuit would take his name.

Laps: 70 laps of 4.361km

Lap record: 1:13.078, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes (2019)

Most wins: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton with seven wins each. Elsewhere from the current grid, Verstappen has two wins here in 2022, 2023, and Daniel Ricciardo in 2014.

Most poles: Schumacher and Hamilton are tied on six poles each. Elsewhere from the current grid, Verstappen has two in 2022, 2023, and Fernando Alonso has one in 2006.

What happened last year

In the 2023 edition, Max Verstappen claimed the fourth of what went on to be a record 10-straight wins. The Dutchman won from pole in utterly dominant fashion and he also secured Red Bull's 100th race win since their debut in 2005.

Fellow world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were engaged in a thrilling battle for second and rounded off the podium.

Who's going to win?

This is a huge opportunity for Ferrari. We saw how good the Italian team were in Monaco on a street circuit, so Charles Leclerc will likely feel good about going back to back.

Meanwhile, Monaco exposed Red Bull's weakness, as Verstappen put it, with their issues riding kerbs; that will be a factor again at this circuit.

The forecast in Montreal is set for peak temperatures between 19-22°C and showers throughout the weekend. So far in 2024, there hasn't been a wet race, so rain and tyre choice could throw the cat among the pigeons.

How to watch the GP

Watch on ESPNEWS and ESPN+ (U.S. only).

Live broadcast coverage in the U.K. is on Sky Sports F1, and BBC Radio 5 Live, with Sunday's highlights on Channel 4.

For news, analysis and updates, follow the coverage with ESPN's F1 team Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson in Montreal.

Friday, June 7
Free practice one - 18:30-19:30 BST / 13:30-14:30 EDT
Free practice two - 22:00-23:00 BST / 17:00-18:00 EDT.

Saturday, June 8
Free practice three - 17:30-18:30 BST / 12:30-13:30 EDT
Qualifying - 21:00-22:00 BST / 16:00-17:00 EDT.

Sunday, June 9
Race starts - 19:00 BST / 14:00 EDT.

How the championships look

Verstappen leads the drivers' championship with 169 points, 31 points clear of Leclerc. McLaren's Lando Norris is currently third, just 25 points, or one race win, from second.

Red Bull lead the constructors' championship, but Ferrari's recent race wins and podiums have cut the deficit to just 24 points.

Standings | Calendar | Teams