The Inside Line #58: Playing the mind game

TILI Logo PrintCanada comes at a good time for Lewis Hamilton. After a Monaco weekend where he overslept, finished behind (or got shafted by, depending on your point of view) his teammate in qualifying and then had something in his eye that affected him late in the race, Hamilton will be mightily pleased that Montreal is the next stop on the F1 calendar. It’s a place he’s come to call his own in recent times, and with good reason.

Of all the drivers on the 2014 grid, Hamilton is the only one to win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve more than once. His first F1 victory came in his sixth start in 2007, and he’s won there twice since. By contrast, Nico Rosberg has never seen the view from the Montreal podium before. It’s a slim psychological advantage for Hamilton at the latest race for a championship that’ll undoubtedly come down to the smallest detail. Oh, and the 50 points on offer in Abu Dhabi. I may have mentioned my complete despair about this absurd rule before … [1]

A comprehensive Canadian GP preview is our focus on Episode 58 of ‘The Inside Line’, while we take a look at Williams as they edge their way back towards the front of the F1 grid this season. Mercedes’ dominance in 2014 evokes memories of the 1992 Williams FW14B in the hands of Nigel Mansell, and while the striking Martini-liveried Williams isn’t at that level yet, it’s nice to see the team away from fighting with the likes of Caterham [2] and Marussia as they have in recent years. From a personal point of view, it’s also great to see Claire Williams getting some plaudits as she takes a more active role in the squad. [3]

‘The Inside Line’ is on SPEED TV Australia (Foxtel/Austar channel 512) at 7pm on Wednesday June 4, and also on ESPN (Foxtel/Austar channel 508 in Australia) at 7pm on Thursday June 5.

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[1] Here. And here.

[2] What’s the percentage chance of Caterham remaining on the grid next year? 15 per cent or less? Even billionaire businessmen have their limits to accepting eternal futility.

[3] Claire makes the unofficial list of my five favourite people in F1, along with (in no order) the barista at Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo, Peter Windsor, and someone else I’ve no doubt forgotten.

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