You could not get a more dramatic setting for a Grand Prix than on this small island in the middle of the St Lawrence Seaway in Montreal.
Behind the Olympic rowing lake huge ships loom large behind the pits as they make their way to the ocean. Bizarre at times, but this island street track is unique - where else would you find the Rangers trapping the local groundhogs a week before the race, then safely transporting them to the next island so they don't get run over in Grand Prix week?
Where else could a rain storm, so severe, cause a two hour stoppage of the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, contributing to an event that took four hours and four minutes to run - creating a F1 world endurance record? The race itself was just as quirky.
Jenson Button had been dead last at one point, having had to visit the pits on six separate occasions, including taking a drive-through penalty. He even survived a battering by his team mate Lewis Hamilton and, after the restart, assaulted Fernando Alonso, putting him off the road. As he changed to slicks, sensing that there was some grip amongst the damp patches of a drying line, he attacked even harder.
Ultimately, he reeled in leader Vettel who got the jitters as the Englishman's McLaren grew large in his mirrors, sliding sideways with just three corners left on the last lap to let Button take the most dramatic victory of his career...and the most exciting F1 race I have witnessed for 10 seasons. It was an epic race! Given the surprises this venue can conjure up, we could see a seventh different winner of the 2012 season on Sunday, but I am not so sure.
The 2011 event is the sort of race the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve can produce. It is aptly named after one of the most exciting dare devil drivers in the history of the sport. After a difficult Turn One and Two, the track is tight and twisty, lined by huge concrete slabs - there is no margin for error. Ask Robert Kubica, whose BMW smashed itself to pieces in 2007 putting him in hospital as Lewis Hamilton took his first ever Grand Prix win in his rookie year. Kubica, determined as ever, came back in 2008 to win!
Out of the last ten Canadian races, seven have enjoyed Safety Car action. There were six in last year's race alone! However, once past Turn Ten, the very tight hairpin, the circuit unleashes into a Monza-style long straight, where the drivers will be able to engage their Drag Reduction System (DRS), opening up the rear wing if they are a second behind the driver in front.
Cars will be in low drag set up with powerful engines at a premium. Brakes and tyres will take a battering, as will the 2.4 litre V8 engines which work relentlessly around this demanding 4.3 kilometre street track, which is covered in ice and snow in the winter.
This is why I favour the Mercedes for this race. They have fantastic straight line speed from their engine; they go well in the tight twists and turns, such as the first half of this daunting track on the Il- Notre Dame island; and they have found good form. Michael Schumacher, seven-times winner of this race, was on Pole for Monte Carlo two weeks ago, before he had to take a five place grid penalty, but his young team mate, Nico Rosberg - already a winner in China - scored a super second place in Monaco and it is he I favour as outright winner. Yes, this is a brave prediction given the unpredictability of F1 this year and, more importantly, the dramas this track has witnessed. Michael Schumacher lead for a while in the wet here too last year.
I will go for the ever improving Ferrari of Alonso, and McLaren driver Hamilton, as the other podium sitters. They are the only two drivers to have scored points in all the Grands Prix so far this year, even though Lewis is yet to win a race - but it is the team that have made mistakes, not the driver. One more note of caution as you place your bets: Champions Wall.
The final chicane leading past the Pit Straight has taken big scalps over the years and continues to do so. Ever since French-Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve piled into the 'Welcome to Quebec' banner in 1997, trying too hard on the track named after his father, a succession of Champions have followed suit: Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and, last year in practice, Sebastian Vettel.
For all the traps, I see Vettel, Button and Webber finishing in the top six but, as always, I like to look at a good outside bet. How about Paul Di Resta for a top six finish in the Force India, after his impressive seventh in Monte Carlo? He was at 8 to 1. But for even better odds, just look at Pastor Maldonado for the outright winner at 40 to 1. He won in Spain but made too many errors in Monaco. The car, however, was good. With the dramas of this track and a Williams that can hold off the best at high speed, as it did in Spain, then the Venezuelan is worth a punt.
Enjoy Canada, I know I will.