2016 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix preview

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Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix

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Formula One has arrived in North America for the first time this year in preparation for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The race, round seven of the 2016 World Championship, is once again being held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

The 2.7-mile track runs around the perimeter roads of the man-made island of Notre Dame, linking sections built purely for racing with parts used as normal roads.

This is a much faster race than the previous one in Monaco. In fact, it’s the first real high-speed challenge of the 2016 season as the cars exceed 186 mph four times on a single lap.

Wet weather forecast for Sunday's race

There are also some very slow corners, which makes the race a real challenge on brakes and tires. Also making this race a real challenge are the low grip levels and proximity of the walls.

Tire supplier Pirelli has nominated its soft, supersoft and ultrasoft compounds. The Italian firm says this is the best combination given the characteristics of the track as well as the changeable weather this time of year. The current forecast is for rain during Sunday’s race, with temperatures only expected to hit 55 degrees F (13 degrees C).

Going into qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s race, Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg leads the 2016 Drivers’ Championship with 106 points though his teammate Lewis Hamilton isn’t too far behind with 82 points. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo is third with 66 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 188 points followed by Ferrari [NYSE:RACE] with 121 points and Red Bull with 112 points. Last year’s winner at the Canadian Grand Prix was Hamilton.

In related news, Dutch beer company Heineken has signed on as an official partner of F1. It will have a significant presence at many F1 races and F1-related events, though its logo won’t feature on any of the cars. Instead, Heineken will be using F1 to promote responsible drinking with its If You Drive, Never Drink campaign.

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