In a move that has understandably angered other Formula One competitors, Mercedes have participated in a ‘secret’ 600 mile three-day tyre testing session with manufacturers Pirelli.
But it is unlikely that the German constructors will care too much about the widespread criticism they have drawn, should Lewis Hamilton go on to justify his 5/1 odds to win this year’s Canadian Grand Prix.
A previous three-time victor of the race, only Michael Schumacher has landed this contest on more occasions than Hamilton, who has a terrific chance to claim his maiden triumph of the current F1 campaign.
Taking place at the challenging Gilles Villeneuve circuit, the Canadian Grand Prix is traditionally one of the most unpredictable races of the season, not least for the heavy braking and traction demands the track poses.
With that in mind, the perceived underhand tactics utilised by Hamilton’s constructor team could feasibly prove crucial to his chances of more Montreal success.
Pirelli reportedly expect a two-stop race to occur, which will perfectly suit Hamilton on a track where overtaking has proved notoriously difficult in the past.
And Mercedes’ recent tests, along with lessons learnt during Hamilton’s 12th place finish in Spain two races ago, should bolster confidence in his chances to gain an early lead in Canada, and maintain it throughout.
Meanwhile, with the past three winners of this race being of British origin, and four of the past five, it could pay to invest an each-way stake in Jenson Button’s massive 50/1 odds.
Button claimed the 2011 renewal of this Grand Prix, and though his McLaren team haven’t enjoyed the best of starts in this year’s Formula One season, the 33-year-old remains bullish about their prospects in Montreal.
“While we won’t be heading to Montreal with a winning package, we’re making steady progress, and there’s always that added motivation that you can pull off a surprising result at this race,” he told reporters.
“I’m looking forward to a great weekend in Canada.”
With Button available at such a hefty price, punters too could enjoy a great weekend if the 2009 world champion goes on to achieve a podium finish.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.