For three of the 22-strong field that started the Canadian Grand Prix at 1 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, this year's 2006 race wasn't just another step towards the culmination of the 2006 calendar. It was also a chance to redeem themselves and make up for previous disappointments at the Montreal circuit.
The first of the three, McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, has had an unfortunate history in Canada. A spin ended his debut Canadian performance in 2001, and the Colombian had to watch helplessly as teammate Ralf Schumacher grabbed the win and the glory for Williams. Montoya snatched pole position a year later, before a blown engine ended his race.
He did at least score points in 2003, albeit again behind teammate Schumacher in third. A pair of disqualifications ruined his efforts in 2004 and 2005, the latter when Montoya was in a strong position to win until he ignored a red light at the end of the pitlane.
2006 has been a sub-par year for Montoya and, after qualifying in seventh a full two rows behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, it looked likely that Canada would merely continue the trend. Montoya had other ideas and came out of the blocks strongly, squeezing his way past Ferrari's Michael Schumacher at the turn 3 chicane on the first lap. With the McLarens looking more competitive than they have all season, could Montoya finally assist Raikkonen in his lonely battle against the Renaults up front?