Sunday morning unfortunately shows up one or two organizational problems. Although the Mosport organizers are willing and obliging, the circuit’s crowd control is very poor and the schedule of supporting events isn’t run off very promptly although it must be admit that a multiple accident in the saloon car race hardly helps matters. However, the Grand Prix didn’t get under way until well over an hour after its appointed starting time, leaving most people wondering whether the bitterly cold wind will be bringing along snow rather than the rain predicts by local weather forecasters. When the Canadian flag drops, both Ferraris make their customary fast starts, Fittipaldi managing to slip in between them both as they stream round the first right-hand corner with Scheckter harrying Regazzoni hard in fourth place. By the end of the first lap Lauda, Fittipaldi, Regazzoni and Scheckter have already open up a slight gap back to Hunt’s Hesketh who in turn is at the front of a tight bunch containing Jarier, Reutemann, Pace, Depailler and Peterson. Then follow the triers in the form of Stommelen, Andretti, Mass, Pryce, Watson, Hulme, Beltoise, Laffite, Merzario, Ickx and Koinigg while Donohue finds himself box in by the tail-enders and Amon is running a solid last, driving the B.R.M. in a spectacular fashion which seem to have no effect whatsoever on his position in the race. By lap three Scheckter can see that the two leaders are beginning to get away from Regazzoni, so he charges past the third placed Ferrari and starts to try and haul in the leaders. Hunt is sliding the Hesketh all over the circuit as he strives to stay in front of Jarier, while further back, Andretti forces his path ahead of Stommelen and leaves Mass to lead the queue round behind the German’s Lola.
By lap nine Stuck has make his first pit stop, retiring three laps later with fluctuating fuel pressure on his works in March. Right at the back Amon’s B.R.M. is beginning to have trouble with sticking throttle slides while Peterson is biding his time at the back of the second bunch. The first real incident of the race came when Mass tried to push inside Andretti at one tight right-hand corner only to have the American move over on him in determined style, causing the Yardley McLaren to slide broadside. This contretemps forced Watson to spin his Brabham into the guard rail, the Ulsterman resuming the race only to stop immediately at his pit to check the front of the car for any trouble. He continued the race but later made a second stop during which it was found that a rear wheel lint had been distorted in the collision with the guard rail, so his mechanics changed it and sent him on his way. Mass stopped a few laps later to complain about acute oversteer on right-hand corners, returning many laps later to have the McLaren’s rear damper’s tightened up and a fresh left rear tyre fitted. Meanwhile Niki Lauda just drives round and round at the front of the field, while Fittipaldi drives as hard as he can to keep the Ferrari in sight and Scheckter did his best to keep pace with the pair of them. Pryce pushes his way past Stommelen by the simple expedient of bashing the nose of his Shadow against the tail of the Lola, both cars staying on the road, and the Welshman quickly pulls away from this bunch. Pace works his way into the leading group only to stop his Brabham BT44 at the pits with a rear tyre having gone off while Reutemann ison lap 25 to change both front wheels for a similar reason. Holding down third place, Scheckter looks certain to collect enough points to keep it clearly in contention for the World Championship. But by the time the race has run to 45 laps, the South African is beginning to feel something wrong with the feel of his brakes.
Shortly before Lauda arrives at the right-hand turn three, John Watson loses control of his Brabham as he swings into the corner. A lower ball joint on the front suspension fracture, that in turn sever a brake pipe and all that is left for its luckless driver is to scrabble his way onto the apex of the corner in an effort to scrub off enough speed to negotiate the corner. Watson successfully manages this and coast to a halt a little further round the track, unfortunately having shower the circuit with dust, mud and grit as he completes his spectacular manoeuvre. The next car to appear at the corner, where no warning flags were waving, was Lauda’s Ferrari. He hit the mess on the track and skidded straight ahead into the protective barrier on the outside of the corner, smashing in the front of his car, handing the lead to Fittipaldi on a plate. A few seconds after Lauda’s unfortunate incident, Fittipaldi successfully negotiates the same corner and took over a comfortable lead which he successfully maintained until the finish, the Brazilian being too far ahead of Regazzoni for the Swiss to mount any realistic challenge and, in any case, he has his hands more than full in the closing stages of the race as Peterson come at him with a rush. Despite almost losing control on the corner before the pits, Regazzoni manages to get Donohue in the laps of Penske between hint and the tenacious Peterson on the last lap which allow him to scrape home in second place by just over one second. As the Ferrari mechanics are busy commiserating with Lauda, the entire McLaren team is grinning a communal grin of self-satisfaction as Fittipaldi finishes a very worthy first after avoiding the snares and pitfalls which catch out his young Austrian rival. Fourth is Hunt ahead of Depailler, while Hulme refuses to be ruffled by Andretti’s presence right on his tail and beats Parnelli by a matter of feet to round off the top half-dozen.