Canada: lies, damn lies and statistics...

History, so they say, has a habit of repeating itself.

Canada: lies, damn lies and statistics...

A sweeping generalisation? Well, maybe... But if history does repeat itself at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher should extend his Formula 1 World Championship points lead and McLaren's David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen will fly back to Europe with their tails between their legs.

Bar a victory for Mika Hakkinen in last year's Montreal 'shuntathon', the Finn and his Scottish team mate have endured, rather than enjoyed, their Canadian trips. In eight starts on the Ile de Notre Dame, Hakkinen has taken just 12 points - 10 of those coming from his 1999 victory - and Coulthard has fared even worse, with five points from six starts. In contrast, Ferrari ace Schumacher has 40 points from his eight starts - a hit-rate which equates to a third-place average finish - and he has won the race three times. Advantage Schumacher.

But to quote another well-used idiom: 'there are lies, damn lies and statistics'. So here goes... Coulthard's hit-rate in the last four Grands Prix is 7.5 points per start, Hakkinen's is 5.75 and Schumacher's, following his Monaco retirement, is a paltry four. Take that form through to Canada and Coulthard would move to within one Grand Prix win of catching and overhauling the German. Advantage Coulthard.

However, if last year's result is taken as a precedent, then the ball is firmly in Hakkinen's court. His '99 win was the one bright spot in an appalling Canadian record, and as he kept his head, Schumacher hit the wall and non-finished and Coulthard tangled with Eddie Irvine's Ferrari, finishing a lowly seventh. Advantage Hakkinen?

On the other hand... Actually, just sit back and enjoy what is set to be one of the closest races of the season. Times and results from all sessions, starting with Friday's untimed sessions, plus a full news service, will be available on Autosport.com.

Bridgestone hots up for Canada, click 'here'.

A lap of the Gilles Villeneuve circuit with Johnny Herbert, click 'here'.


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