Five talking points for the Canadian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg

Formula One is back in action this weekend when Circuit Gilles Villeneuve stages the Canadian Grand Prix.

And, as ever, there's plenty to keep fans talking ahead of round seven of the 2014 campaign.

Lewis primed for revenge

In the wake of Nico Rosberg’s Monaco Grand Prix win over Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button had some words of warning for the German.

"You will see a more determined Lewis at the next race. It is a circuit he loves,” said Button, who partnered Hamilton at McLaren between 2010 and 2012.

"I remember with Lewis when we had a tussle in a race, or there was an issue between us or with the team and Lewis, he would have a really bad race and be quite outspoken and emotional about it.

"But then the next race he would destroy me. He would come back stronger than ever.”

And Hamilton’s record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve suggests he’s well placed to return to winning ways this weekend. The track was the scene of his first grand prix win in 2007, and he has since added two more victories in 2010 and ’12. Nico meanwhile has never finished higher than fifth at the circuit.

If the German can topple his Mercedes team-mate here, the momentum will definitely have swung in his direction.

The battle for 'best of the rest'

It’s clear that no one can touch the Mercedes cars at the moment. And so long as their drivers continue to fight tooth and nail, that’s fine.

But there’s an equally fierce fight behind them in the running order. Red Bull have been winning it on pace, but their Renault engine’s unreliability - particularly on Sebastian Vettel’s car - has kept Ferrari in the mix.

So too have the efforts of Fernando Alonso, who's scored consistent points to currently sit third in the drivers’ standings.

But the Italian squad are just 11 points ahead of Force India. The combined talents of Sergio Perez and in particular Nico Hulkenberg have seen the Silverstone-based outfit enjoy their best ever start to a season, and they’ll be there to capitalise if Ferrari struggle in Canada.

Add in the fast-but-inconsistent Williams squad, a McLaren team who have shown flashes of pace and the impressive rookie Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso and you have an engaging battle for supremacy. It just happens to be a minute behind the two Mercedes cars.

McLaren confident of return to form

After a superb start to the 2014 season McLaren have slipped back down the order. Their double podium in Australia now seems a long time ago, with neither Jenson Button nor team-mate Kevin Magnussen breaking into the top-five since.

Nevertheless, racing director Eric Boullier is confident of an upswing in form heading to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"In Monaco we had a lot of mechanical upgrades on the car, and the track layout of Canada is high-speed with a lot of straight lines, but with no real high-speed corners, a lot of chicanes and low-speed corners, so it should suit our car and we should be in better shape than we were in Monaco," said Boullier.

Add in the fact that Button took a brilliant win at the track in 2011, as well as podiums in 2004 and 2010, and the Woking squad's chances look a little brighter this weekend.

Sauber’s points hunt

Following Jules Bianchi’s brilliant run to ninth in Monaco, only two teams have yet to score points in 2014. Caterham had been expected to struggle, but the fact Sauber have completed six races without a top-10 is worrying.

The Swiss team were in reasonable form in Monaco, but a mistake from Esteban Gutierrez ended his hopes of a points finish - and at the same time aided Bianchi’s cause.

It seems impossible that the veteran squad could finish behind Marussia this season, but if they don’t get off the mark very soon questions will be asked and nerves will begin to jangle on the Sauber pitwall. You can’t help but feel they’re badly missing the talents of Nico Hulkenberg, who registered 51 of their 57 championship points last season.

Schumacher's continuing battle

The Canadian Grand Prix is another reminder that, while the F1 circus rolls on, Michael Schumacher continues to be cared for in hospital. No one has won at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve more times than the great German, who took seven victories between 1994 and 2004. Ferrari fever is big in Canada thanks to Gilles Villeneuve’s heroics in the early eighties, and a good result for the red cars would go down well among the native tifosi. They may be disappointed however, with another slow-but-solid run from Alonso probably the best they’ll see.