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Canadian Grand Prix, who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2010   |  7:49 pm GMT  |  304 comments

The Canadian Grand Prix was easily the most entertaining dry race of the season so far with plenty of great overtaking and lots of drama.

At the heart of it were some hard fought duels – Alonso vs Hamilton, Alonso vs Button, Liuzzi vs Massa, Schumacher vs Buemi, the list is endless.

It was the kind of race you would show to someone who contends that F1 isn’t exciting any more or that the new rules have made it processional. It’s hard to believe that this is the same season which started with everyone slashing their wrists about the new rules in Bahrain.

There were many strong contenders for Driver of the Day, Here is a look at a few of them

Hamilton
Superb pole position, significantly faster than his team mate all weekend. Led away from the start, but lost a place due to a faster Ferrari stop. Great battle, losing a place to Alonso but repassing him into the chicane. Passed Webber for the lead on lap 50.

Alonso
A contender from the start in a car which was outclassed in Turkey. Typically determined pass on Hamilton, side by side on the exit of the pit lane, to press home the advantage handed to him by Ferrari mechanics at the pit stop. Always a threat, but did he misjudge the slower cars ahead when he lost the lead to Hamilton and P2 to Button.

Buemi
I watched on track on Saturday morning as the Toro Rosso drivers literally wrestled with their ill handling car. Buemi qualified 15th but took advantage of the chaos at the start and from there held a top ten place. He led for a lap and later his pass on Schumacher was sublime.

Liuzzi
The Italian has been under pressure for his drive lately and this was his most effective weekend. He qualified an eye catching sixth and fought like a dog to get back to 9th and some points after Massa hit him at the start.

Rosberg
Finished 6th in the Mercedes, five places ahead of his illustrious team mate Michael Schumacher. He started 10th on the grid, dropped to 13th on the first lap, made a very early stop for hard tyres then drove a very hard second stint to lap 27 in which he passed cars and picked up places as others stopped in front of him.

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304 Comments
  1. Andy says:

    How was it Massa who hit him, Liuzzi drove into the side of Massa.

    1. Dick Matthews says:

      You are joking? After the first collision Massa seemed enraged and would not yeild, clearly causing further collisions.

      1. Spenny says:

        Nobody seems to have mentioned that once Massa had committed himself, he was alongside Button and actually nearly took him out too.

        I would put the blame on Massa though, he hadn’t cleared Luizzi, and squeezed him to try and do something with Button whish simply was not there. He should have slotted in behind Button, kept the inside line for the next corner and all would have been well.

        I think the subsequent dodgems was brain fade panic of trying to maintain a line that wasn’t there – Luizzi having little momentum but re-establishing his place on the track.

        Of all the Schumacher incidents, the Massa one was the least clear-cut. Massa put in a half-hearted move around the outside where Schumacher was doing his traditional “I’ve moved once, but now I am establishing my line around the corner to line up my cutting of the chicane”. Massa was barely alongside (front wheel/rear wheel overlap) and I doubt that Schumacher expected the move.

      2. Andy says:

        Joking??? no

        Look at the reply

      3. Tim Lamkin says:

        They can’t…they don’t like red cars!

      4. Kibby says:

        James – sorry to step in with some off topic , I see Pirelli edging closer in replacing Bridgestone. Please update us on this – what happened with Michelin`s bid?

      5. James Allen says:

        Pirelli certainly the teams’ choice. Michelin the FIA’s choice. There are differences in cost and tyre numbers. Still some politics going on

    2. Ed says:

      yes, and as well as that, he then gave Massa very little room by turning right in front of him at Turn 2…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma1bViWN4t4&feature=player_embedded

      Anyway, my driver of the day was Kovalainen – he’s outperforming Trulli and doing a great job.

      1. Ian Haigh says:

        Have to agree with Kovalainen – lapping the Virgins and HRTs, plus keeping Petrov behind for 10 laps at the end was a fantastic job!
        Looking at the graphs on http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/06/14/kovalainen-resists-petrovs-attack-canadian-grand-prix-analysis/
        and you’ll see how consistent his lap times were – as good as the top boys, just a bit slower due to the car.

      2. Gareth says:

        Agreed – kovalainen is certainly reestablishing himself which is a pleasure to see

      3. Rich C says:

        LOL – Bernie’s Boys dont waste much time, do they?

        “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Formula One Management.”

    3. Jonathan says:

      It was a racing accident. Massa didn’t leave him enough room, but then the second and third contact were Massa’s fault.

      1. David Turnedge says:

        +1 Racing incident

  2. patrick says:

    Difficult one this but my money’s on Kubica, if only for not colliding when he cut across another car to enter the pitlane.

    1. Andy W says:

      That was down to Sutil not Kubica, his move was sheer lunacy and for no gain…. that could have been a horrific accident.

      1. Spenny says:

        ???
        That’s a first for that interpretation :)

  3. Bella says:

    Schumacher!!!

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Of course. In addition, not many people know in 2011 he’ll add another record by winning WDCs over three consecutive decades. Forza, Michael!

    2. AndrewJ says:

      You’re joking, I’m sure. That was more like Ralf than Michael today…

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        He was certainly the most entertaining. And all sanctioned by the stewards. You wonder sometimes what he has to do to attract their attention …

    3. rdw says:

      You cannot be serious.

    4. kenny says:

      Deffo Schumacher was the driver of the race.

      From 13th to 4th in 6 laps!! After difficult qualifying, Schumacher appeared to make best use of his tyres – and if wasnt for Kubica running him off the track – causing a puncture and forcing him to use the soft tyres for >30 lapps (tyres that others were loosing after 5 laps) – them Schumacher would have been challanging for the lead, if not on the podium.

      We then had to suffer the BBC (whos wearing the white trousers this weekend?) commentators abuse the skills of the legend.

      He will show them.. he will show them.

      1. AndrewJ says:

        Kubica running him off the track? Tit for tat, surely, after he had done the same to Kubica as he came out of the pits.

        13th to 4th is one thing, but 13th to 4th and back to 11th paints a more accurate picture.

        It seems that the blameless view Schuey has of himself has been adopted by his fans… :o)

      2. Jomy John says:

        Schumacher’s was definitely the drive of the day. It was just hard luck that he got a puncture, or he would have finished in 6th place. Too bad, but it was great to see Schumacheresque kinda action. Dont think Schumacher really cares about points this year. He wants to fight and fight hard even if the car isnt that good. There are signs that his race skill is improvin race by race

      3. wilson says:

        Totally agree Jomy John.

        I think he knows the points deficit is hopeless now (thus his and mercedes’ attitude about not fighting for the Monaco result) and he’s just using this year as a ‘Training Day’, so to speak. Getting his edge back.

        I think he’s been great, to be honest. All this outrage about a bit of hard-racing? When did F1 fans become such wusses? He did nothing dangerous. Definitely nothing more than Alonso-Hamilton duelling in the pits, or Kubica’s dodgy pit entry…

      4. Tim Lamkin says:

        You funny thinking he is going to do good in the next ten years….but keep your faith.

      5. Alysha says:

        In James’ book on Schumi, “The Edge of Greatness”, Ross Brawn said that one of Michael’s great strengths was his ability to adapt his driving to make good and deliver results on any strategy. I can’t remember a time when Michael was so behind the strategy. Shades of those lackluster drives in Japan from years ago.

      6. Alberto Dietz says:

        Reality check, Tim Lankin: Faglioli, Chiron etc

      7. Alberto Dietz says:

        Game, set, match Kenny. Lobatomized alonsoids are kindly referred to the ample online material covering over a century of Grand Prix Motor Racing.

      8. Tim Lamkin says:

        It is actually spelled Fagioli, Chiron….Game set over.

  4. Pawel says:

    To me the best driver was Hamilton for sure and probably Luzzi. However I think it is worth to consider the worst one – to me Schumacher – the piracy punished at the last lap by two drivers that passed him THG:)

    1. Banjo says:

      I agree, you can’t take anything away from Hamilton this weekend – fantastic performance. Luizzi was the unsung hero though in my opinion. He battled his way back from a first lap spin to finish 9th, beating his team mate in the process – brilliant stuff.

      What was Schumacher doing today ? His driving was incredibly dirty and just reminded everybody of why he got such a bad reputation for being unsportsman like and a cheat. Easily his worst performance of the season, do Mercedes really want a driver with his morals representing their brand? Cannot believe he got away with out a single penalty!! On another note, Kubica i feel was lucky also. But, with Hamilton haven seen the kinder side of the stewards with his move on Petrov earlier in the season at least people cannot now argue the FIA and race stewarts are bias!

    2. For Sure says:

      Did you watch the race?
      He started at 13 and had a great start and made up at least five or 6 places and he was running 3rd at one point. After he touched with Kubica he had to pit AGAIN. And he was on soft tyres for 30 laps. No one, not even Lewis can drive fast with those tyres which were like 3 seconds slower. He worked hard to defend his position even there is very little hope.
      I mean do you expect him to make other people’s lives easier. I don’t think a champion would do that.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Correct

      2. Spenny says:

        3 seconds slower – 15 second loss on pitlane including tyre change – why on earth didn’t they pit him?

        Perhaps it wasn’t three seconds, or perhaps they assumed that nobody would dare pass the rolling roadblock.

      3. Henry says:

        If he was really as great as he was he would have pitted again – the soft was only faster for a handful of laps, and it was bloody basic maths to work out that three seconds slower for the last 15 laps or even more costs far more than a 20 sec pit stop, especially if released into clean air and can then fight back for position with fresh tyres. Sorry, he showed today that he is dangerously aggressive, he should have been punished by the marshals, and really did not drive well. Kovalinen or hamilton deserve that title. And Alonso, how has anyone voted for him?!

      4. For Sure says:

        Well there are judges, team principals and drivers who know the rules had more information.
        And there is Ross Brawn who had more information.
        If you think you are smarter then them, you are a fool mate.

  5. russ parkin says:

    lewis or liuzzi, or schumi for rule stretching to the max

  6. tom says:

    I think Alonso was really unlucky today, the BBC commentary team (and pundits for that matter) annoyed me all race for overlooking Alonso’s difficulties failing to watch his race pace. Having jumped Hammy in the 1st round of stops and then loosing out behind Buemi, he got blocked by a Lotus through turn 6 that cost him retaking the lead after the 2nd bout of stops. Turn 6 traffic really hurt his race today, shame.
    Thought Massa drove well given his tendency to disappear once out of position, a realistic 8th before Schuey decided he’d leave him no room.
    @James people seem to be accusing Schuey of brake testing, surely they should be asking why he went from the extreme right of the straight to the extreme left leaving Massa no room?

    1. Andy W says:

      Sorry but Alonso gifted 2nd place to Jenson. Why he felt the need to move right to block the HRT leaving a clear line to Button after he had lost momentum in the corner is beyond me….

      If he had held to the outside line Button would have faced both the HRT and Ferrari blocking the track, yes Jenson might have been tucked up behind him for the next series of corners and battle might have been joined then (assuming Jenson hadn’t been forced to lift as well) but that would have been down the road.

      At that point of the race Jenson was faster, had better tyres and was hungry… It would have been a good fight.

      1. tom says:

        I know what you’re saying but Jenson was far enough back to watch everything unfold and get a clean run through 6. Alonso was impatient and rather than waiting for the HRT to clear the racing line tried to go around the outside – that was the mistake. He had no momentum going onto the straight and tried to secure the inside line, sensible enough but Jenson had a clean exit and drove clean past him, Jenson could’ve done the same had Alonso stayed on the outside.
        I just thought he was unlucky having been held up through turns 3-6 by a Lotus putting Hamilton ahead on the road – overtaking was tough so he’d have stood a chance of keeping in front.

      2. Andy W says:

        I dunno, I don’t think the HRT would have moved across to follow Alonso… but we will never know all we can do is speculate.

    2. Steven says:

      I guess it balances out, he got lucky on the first race of the year when Vettel’s engine let go.

    3. LT says:

      Had Alonso stayed ahead, I doubt he would have been able to keep Hamilton behind by race end anyway.

      1. Tim Lamkin says:

        Why…..??

  7. Steve Arnott says:

    In my opinion, this was Hamilton’s most ‘mature’ race of his F1 career. He drove only as quickly as he needed to, always conscious of the delicate tyre situation, but able to pull out the lap time when needed.

    He was overtaken, then immediately grabbed the place back. Very similar to the last race where again I believe he was driving within himself most of the race.

    This isn’t to say there weren’t some excellent drives behind him. Alonso is looking threatening for the rest of the season, and some of the midfield drivers did themselves proud.

    And what about all that close running throughout the entire Grand Prix? Hats off to this year’s technical rules. They’re definitely working.

    Steve

    1. k9major says:

      I think that this a very astute post. This was a new type of race from Lewis, very measured, perfectly judged, with none of the hot headed flounces or the need to stamp his authority that we have often seen in the past. I’ve tried to come up with a better word than ‘mature’, but I think you’ve nailed it with that. ‘He drove only as quickly as he needed to, always conscious of the delicate tyre situation, but able to pull out the lap time when needed’ Sound like anyone else in the Mclaren team? No coincidence there, me thinks. This new found maturity is very bad news for many of the other drivers as it was the last piece of the jigsaw for Lewis and it’s going to make him very difficult to beat. Make no mistake, this is a Mclaren superteam in the making. Button was deeply impressive today, albeit in an understated way, but Lewis has to be driver of the day. In the years ahead, this race will be seen as a turning point in Hamiltons career.

    2. Carlos E. Del Valle says:

      Regarding the close running, I fully agree, and I´d to add that this is the second race in a row, in the dry, that is very exciting. Hats off to the refueling ban and the aero changes.

      Silverstone will be a test. If it´s good and dry, we´re set for a unforgettable season a la 1986.

    3. Dale says:

      I agree Hamilton showed us just what a complete driver he is as well as being the fastest.

  8. jenson marks says:

    Alonso was the best today, without any doubt. Shame about the traffic, he could have won if he wasn’t held up. He rode a stunning race with a car which was way slower than the MacLarrens.

    1. Lamer says:

      Are you kidding? Ferrari could be slightly slower than McLaren today, but not that slower to loose 2 positions for a silly reason. Fernando has been my favourite driver (and still is), but today Lewis was the best.

      1. Banjo says:

        As a McLaren fan it’s nice and refreshing to hear a Alonso / Ferrari fan give credit where credit is due to Hamilton and McLaren, so thanks Lamar.

      2. Lamer says:

        No problem. Clever fans should appreciate their rivals.

      3. Dale says:

        Well said mate, Alonso lost two positions to the McLaren’s he wouldn’t have done if he was so good.

      4. Lamer says:

        Well, he is still an awesome racer (not god-like, as some of his blind fans say), but something is wrong with him this year. Even in 2007, when he was under higher pressure, he made less mistakes/half-mistakes.

    2. Steven says:

      The fact that Alonso was able to battle with the Macas sugest that his car was just a tad slower or on par with the maca.

      Or does he add aerodynamic efficiency to the car and power to the engine?

    3. Peter says:

      You don’t win Grand Prix’s by making such a difficulty of lapping backmarkers and Alonso showed just that. Hamilton a deserved winner and no doubt, driver of the day.

    4. Marko says:

      Why was he not able to keep up with Button then when there was nobody between them? Right….

      1. mtb says:

        Simple reason – the McLaren was quicker in a straight line than the Ferrari. Alonso was not quicker in any of the areas where overtaking was possible.

        So he settled for 3rd.

      2. Lamer says:

        That’s right. The 3rd place is a solid result, which one could expect from any good driver, was he in the place of Nando yesterday. But his performance in Canada wasn’t his trademark champion style. The same is true for almost all the previous races this season.

      3. Ki says:

        Weak excuse.

        Especially considering people claiming ALonso could have won without backmarkers, lol.

  9. Adam Taylor says:

    It would be interesting to see how interesting the Valencian GP will be as it is known as farely processional

    1. Banjo says:

      Processional being code for boring. I was so disappointed with Valencia when it came onto the calendar, i had such high hopes.

    2. kenny5 says:

      There has been fantastic GP2 races around Valencia — but not shown on TV anymore!!

      -Maybe it was just too exciting for us to watch?

      1. Anthony says:

        GP2 is shown on Eurosport, and well worth watching

  10. We'reRacingFernando says:

    Very nice spectacle all grand prix long. Great Lewis,Jason and Fernando. I only wish Lewis stop racing in the pit before someone’s gets hurt.

    1. krad says:

      It takes two to race

    2. alex says:

      Neither was penalised for speeding in the lane so i assume they kept to the correct speed and if so, then let them race!

  11. kowalsky says:

    but did he misjudge the slower cars ahead when he lost the lead to Hamilton and P2 to Button.
    is this a question james, because if it is i can answer you, Yes he did.
    Another poor week end for alonso in a very competitive car. I don’t know what he needs, to perform at a decent level. A red bull at silverstone maybe?

  12. Dave Roberts says:

    A fabulous race that was fascinating to watch. I think Lewis is really stamping his authority on the track at the moment and wonder whether he has now stolen the march on Jenson.

    Whilst this post is about who was the best driver of the day I think the worst was Schumacher. Pulling stunts on other drivers when he was at the top of his game was at times distasteful. I think today’s performance was just plain embarrassing. I hope he discovers his neck is not strong enough so that he can retire and try and salvage some dignity.

    1. Andy W says:

      I don’t think he has stolen a march on Jenson yet, but he has redressed Jenson’s wins earlier in the season. Jenson drove a brilliant race in a car that clearly didn’t suit his style at this track.

      That ain’t a conspiracy theory rant just an observation that Lewis made his car sing with his driving style in qualifying whilst Jenson’s usual cool calm collected driving style paid dividends in the race, even thou he seemed uncomfortable attacking the kerbs which is essential.

      Both McLaren drivers are on top form and will no doubt tussle with each for wins and podiums for the rest of the season.

      I am wondering if Vettel’s hopes of contending for the championship(s) are fading, once again he has failed to prove any skill as an attack driver (well unless you count failing to crash into rivals), he closed on a struggling Jenson in the early part of the race at great speed and then failed to capitalise and overtake. Somehow I couldn’t see Lewis, Alonso, Webber, Kubica or Jenson himself failing to take advantage of such an opportunity (actually at least 4 of those drivers did capitalise today when presented with such chances).

      1. kbdavies says:

        @Andy W –

        “I don’t think he has stolen a march on Jenson yet”

        Well, he has beaten him on every parameter you care to measure by F1 standards – Pole Positions, Points, Finishing positions, Fastest laps, Average lap speed, Race pace, Overtaking manoeuvres. Lewis has even overtaken Jenson twice on the track! The only thing they are tied on at the moment is race wins. Expect that to change soon!

    2. Banjo says:

      I agree, it felt like watching a has been trying to keep up with the new generation, he was scrappy as a result. In Boxing, when a fighter is past it it’s difficult to watch, and today, i felt the same way watching Schumacher race.

    3. For Sure says:

      Well, as I said before, he made up a lot of places at the start and he was 3rd.
      When you are a racer, you race hard. That’s what he did and he touched with Kubica which ruined his race and strategy.
      He was on soft tyres for half of the race, helllo. It was a complete joke. Despite there was a very slim hope, he worked hard to defend his position even at the last lap. Do you expect him to give up easily and make other peoples’ live easy? I think not.

    4. kenny5 says:

      Please, please, please dont mention Lewis and Button in the same sentence – unless you are talking about Lewis doing up his shirt!!

      Button lucked a few results early in the year but overall has underperformed.

      Lewis has alway wrung he most out of the car and has always looked capable of overtaking the car in front – Be that jarno trulli, a fake champion, or a champion that lucked it.

      1. DC says:

        I know this debate has run and run, and i’m a Mclaren and Lewis fan…but Jenson is on top form and I think he has underlined why he is a worthy champion. This is a great time to be a Mclaren fan..all those years watching Ferrari dominance have been an investment to now, i’m enjoy my racing a great deal and Lewis and Jenson just need to keep doing what they are doing. I think Lewis may have the edge overall, but Canada suits him a lot and that’s not always going to be the case. Jenson is maybe 2 tenths behind on average? That’s not much and that’s certainly not being blown away…

        It’s close and that’s exactly what we want to see.

      2. Doug says:

        I agree.
        I think Button’s showing well against an improved Hamilton who has gained from a bleak year last season. Everyone knows that Alonso is a great driver…LH matched him in his rookie year….which makes Button’s performance so far this season even more impressive!
        Keep it up you McLaren boys…I’ll be smiling whichever one of you lifts the trophy at the end of the year! :-)

      3. 77 says:

        underperformed?? considering that the majority of the f1 media was expecting hamilton to “destroy” button before the season started, 3 points difference after 8 races doesnt seem to be an ‘underperformance’ from button. Hamilton drove great yesterday, and probably had a bit in reserve, but still button only finished a couple of seconds down the road…

    5. Midnight Toper says:

      It seems to me that Schumacher is dammned if he does, dammned if he doesn’t. He made a blinding start scything through both Williams, was upto 3rd and bravely held his line with Kubica which resulted in a puncture (not the move of a tourist). This incident cost him his race as he was forced to pit prematurely and race for a long stint on the option tyre.

      Schumacher’s return has proved a lot more entertaining than the 3 new teams put together. It also surprises me that so many are calling for him to retire, yet nobody seems to be discussing culling deadwood along the likes of Kovailainen (pitiful at McLaren last year, bores me to tears with his Tweets about golf), Liuzzi (good yesterday but that’s been about it), Barichello (biggest whiner in F1′s history), Trulli (paycheque collector) and Pedro de la Rosa (plain lame) to name a few. These guys continue to blight the sport by occupying seats whilst yielding very little in return for their handsome salaries.

      This season is already turning into a classic and Schumacher’s presence (like it or not) is playing a part. I personally think it will be more dull without him, especially given the alternatives.

      1. wilson says:

        Well said. Completely agree.

      2. tamzed ashraf says:

        Snap out of it kenny5 … so if webber or vettel win this year then will they be a fake champion because they had a superior car.

        No , they deserve it just like any other champion.

      3. kenny5 says:

        Hi tamzed ashraf,

        The fake champion was the fellow that was happy to take the advantage he gained when his teammate deliberately crashed into the wall!!

        http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/05/reaction-to-alonsos-howler-in-monaco/

        The Italian public cannot stand this chancer.

      4. Alberto Dietz says:

        Absolutely, and good luck to Michael on his way towards his second billion quid!

      5. Andy W says:

        I agree with your comments about Schumi. However I disagree with your views on some of the other drivers, Kovi is doing a great job at Lotus and is really pushing, Rubens maybe long in the tooth but is still a great driver and the problems at Williams run a fair bit deeper than the drivers I suspect. I would also say its to early to criticise Pedro and Luizzi, lets give them a chance to prove themselves before writing them off.

        However I do think F1 needs to change some regs to give rookies a better chance coming into the sport and thus make them a more attractive proposition to teams. F1 is a ruthless enough sport without handicapping new drivers by not giving them any practise time to familiarize themselves with the cars.

      6. Thebe says:

        I agree with that entirely.I actually think there is a lot to be admired about Schumacher always critised for winning when he is winning races anyway and when he is not competitive he gets the same amount of critisism.With all of this he comes back fighting, I mean the guy has returned to F1,and yes he has not set the world on fire like he used, but you can see he is doing his outmost best to get into the swing of things.I am one of the people that believe that it would be very stupid and careless for anyone to write off schumacher.

  13. Marybeth says:

    Changing Mark’s gear box must be what SV was referring to as “internal discussions” vs. the media, yesterday. RB must be asking themselves if they could have won the race if they had left Mark in 2nd place.
    Mateschitz said a few months back that he wanted a championship for RB, he just didn’t say he only wanted it from SV, & he did not say that he does not want it from Mark or any other driver. Well, I am now a fan of McLaren & that is a surprise to me. Dropped Ferrari when they dropped Kimi, now RB with what they are doing to Mark.

    1. Marko says:

      Vettel had gearbox problems almost the entire race which made him slow down….so it was the right decision to change that of Mark before the start. Vettel wished his was too after the race.

      RBR is probably the only top team who gives both drivers exact same everything, together with Mclaren.

      And Mark let Hamilton pass very easily, compared to his selfish way of doing things 2 weeks ago with Vettel…nobody is talking about this for some reason…

      1. Marybeth says:

        RB first said that Mark’s gear box was changed for “undisclosed” reasons. Prior to Turkey I would have taken that at face value, not anymore. They late said that it had “bits” in it. Did they not check SV’s for “bits” also…?

  14. Mole says:

    I think you’re unfair on your Hamilton paragraph. In the closing stages he wasn’t “significantly quicker” than Button!

    1. Andy W says:

      errr…. Lewis was when it counted, Jenson started to close the gap and Lewis responded with setting 2 or 3 fastest laps of the race in a row.

      The mark of a great driver is knowing when to push and when to play it safe, given the tyre degradation and possible fuel issues (nevermind Lewis’ hard driving style that we know can be troublesome to tyres) Lewis judged the race brilliantly.

    2. Andy Fov says:

      He was. He let Button get close then let him see how much he was keeping in reserve.

      As has been said it was a mature performance by LH. I think having JB as a team mate is bringing out the best in him.

    3. Marko says:

      He did 1 fast lap to show he was faster but slowed down to take care of the tyres, 8 tenths faster to be exact.

      That also made Button back off.

      1. k9major says:

        You’re right , of course, and this backs up my earlier comment. Until this season, Lewis would probably kept pushing like crazy in that situation, determined to demonstrate his superiority. To see him simply show that he had the pace if needed, and then back off, illustrates something new from him. He led by only two seconds at the flag, and that was all that was required.

  15. CMR says:

    Hamilton was superb today and is building up pressure on the other drivers around him. How many overtakes for position has he made this year? How many to lead a Grand Prix? Also we can lay to rest the myth he kills tires, Buttons looked worse by the end of the race

    Alonso basically got mugged by the McLaren drivers, not sure they were whole mistakes, or just bad luck – but then would Hamilton or Button have put the car where Alonso did when he was passed? Great to see Ferrari back fighting for race wins!!

    Kubica throws the car around and it’s great to watch, had some bad luck and squabbled with MSC

    Buttons move to McLaren is looking better and better with each race, and I’ll bet he’s enjoying every minute of it as will McLaren!

    Great race!

    1. Paul Douglas says:

      Button’s tyres didn’t look significantly worse at the end to me but, putting that aside, bear in mind Button was still on it in the final stages, Hamilton had backed off. That’s because Hamilton’s tyres had more graining earlier.

    2. Kyle H says:

      What planet are you on? Buttons tyres were clearly the best looking of the three front runners in the final stages of the GP.

      They had slow motion footage of all three cars and it was nothing other than blatantly obvious that Buttons were in the best shape.

    3. Banjo says:

      Button has really impressed me at McLaren. Whatever the out come at the end of the season i think he’s done his reputation a world of good. More importantly, McLaren have a solid driver line up that are able to maximise it’s points at every race – a line up on par with their ’07.

      1. rdw says:

        I completely agree about Button.

        His stock has risen much this year even coming off the WDC. He has shown to be a competitive match for Hamilton in equal equipment. I also think that the fight between Button and Hamilton is an engaging one due to their inherent driving differences. Hamilton’s “throw it at the corner and sort it out at the other end” style V’s Buttons smooth, controlled, tyre-conserving style.

        It’s a fascinating comparison on getting the same equipment around the same tracks in very different ways and so far there is no clear winner IMHO. Both have had great races and both have managed to pick up some needed points for the team when they have had their race compromised or the other has been dominant.

        As a McLaren fan for almost 30 years it’s the driver pairing that I’ve always hoped for. Competitive but constructive. Unlike Alonso-Hamilton or Senna-Prost which may well have been competitive but they were hardly constructive. And unlike Hakkinen-Coulthard or Senna-Berger which were constructive but too heavily reliant on the “lead” driver to be competitive on a given day.

        It’s been a cracking season so far, let’s hope it continues.

  16. rfs says:

    Driver of the day? Why Lewis of course, he won the race after all. The other drivers you mentioned did well though.

    On the other hand, Massa had a mare of a race. And it’s so hard to believe that this is the same Michael Schumacher who won at this track seven times.

    1. Alen says:

      yeah right, it surely is but only for those who are complete amateurs. There is a story behind it and I cant wait to see Mercedes grow stronger… only when he is equal with the leader will be able to judge him…

  17. True Blue says:

    Schumacher should be investigated by stewards for his totally unaceptable dangerous driving.

    1. Alen says:

      you mean pit lane incident? wait, that was hamilton, right?

      1. krad says:

        And alonso, also noted for pit lane shenanigans

      2. Robbo says:

        Alen, hahahahaha Schumacher fans should probably retire along with old boy with comments like that!

      3. Alen says:

        If I gave you a pair of shoes weighing 10 kilos would you win a race against those with the best sneakers around? Schumi is struggling at the moment, but he will make you eat that puke of words…cheers

      4. Phil says:

        You do realize that the release is controlled by the pit crew – NOT the driver.

        If not, it shows you don’t know squat about F1.

        Secondly, when two drivers pit at the same time the team in the earlier pit position will (all things being equal) release at virtually the same time or slightly before making it impossible for the other crew to avoid.

        At least not without a ridiculous ‘no be my guest’ advantage.

        Finally, it’s an evidently ridiculous rule for the above reasons.

        But sure continue to paint yourself as an idiot in your enthusiasm to slag off Lewis.

      5. Alen says:

        Excuse me Phil – you say that the crew should be punished since it wasn’t Lewis’s fault? Has it been the ruling this year? They should strip and grill for a twenty seconds on the hot track or should the driver receive a drive through penalty?
        Justice for all fellas! Those who have been punished with drive through because their crew let them in such fashion should raise their voices!!! There should be no double standards…

        AND YEAH – WHAT ABOUT TAKING A STOP AFTER THE QUALIFYING???

        Speak up Phil, you are just a biased Brit who likes to play F1 pundit… but you are a bad actor

      6. Michael says:

        Kubica made an much more dangerous move when entering the pits, that could have easliy been a huge shunt involving multipile cars.
        I like Kubica, but he got off very light.

      7. Phil says:

        First of all your reply is incoherent.

        Secondly, it does not address one bit, what I said. But, then you knew that didn’t you?

        Let me explain…

        My point was that you were focusing on “Hamilton” in an obvious vain attempt to attack him as being a “bad guy”, but you chose a poor example since pit release is controlled by the *team*, not the driver.

        You then whine on about penalties, when I made no such mention of penalties, or for that matter whether the team should receive one or the driver.

        As far as it’s relation to dangerous driving. I’m not sure the connection, but then you’re trying to provoke not discuss. If you were to say something was “dangerous”, it was a “dangerous release” *by the team*.

        And frankly, no, I don’t think it was dangerous. These types of incidents have happened loads of times before without ever resulting in an accident. I believe people such as yourself who go on about them are “concern trolling”.

  18. CPR says:

    Bit hard to tell how much is due to luck and how much to skill on a day like this. I think Alonso showed up Massa and outperformed the car to an extent but that he can’t complain about traffic losing him places – it’s his job to handle that. So for the top 3, I’d put them in the order they finished in. Considering how he qualified, I think Jenson will be pretty happy with how he finished.

  19. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

    This grand prix was one more argument for my “crusade against refueling”. That’s the real F1 just like in the good eighties. Where is the Bahrein crowd now?

    Driver of the day: it’s got to be Hamilton.

    And the most enerving, disapointing, of course. Schu.

    1. Marko says:

      Only reason we got this race is because of the race track conditions being poor (very slippery) and ate up the tires. Not because of the rules.

      If not, this would have been Bahrein 2.

      1. Freespeech says:

        So which side of the bed did you get out of ?
        I say let’s rejoice at seeing such a great race.

      2. PaulL says:

        Agree fully

  20. El shish says:

    My god, how do you have a whole paragraph for alonso and not one for button? He did everything alonso did, gained two places more, plus overtook him. How on earth do you figure he had a better race? Seriously, as a regular contributor, I’d like to know your opinion

    1. Nick H says:

      Its not the first time James has dissmissed Jensons achievments in a race.

      1. James Allen says:

        And yet look at the heat I got for praising him in Australia..funny old world

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

      3. Liam says:

        +1 seriously, James you have some fickle fans!

        Just keep giving us YOUR opinions, that’s what we’re here for!

        Nobody could give Jenson the driver of the day because in the same car Hamilton did the better job!

      4. Banjo says:

        I think Button drove well, but i wouldn’t rate him as driver of the day. As for you leaving him off, what do people expect you to do, write something for every single driver?! I think your choices were well picked. I’d have complained if Luizzi were left off though, as he deserved a mention for his race.

      5. F1Droid says:

        Nobody could give Jenson the driver of the day because in the same car Hamilton did the better job!

        Really? I don’t deny Hamilton drove a storming race and deserved “Driver of the day”, I voted as such, but lets not belittle what Button achieved.

        Hamilton started from Pole, and finished first. Button started from 4th, and finished 2nd 2secs behind Hamilton. That’s a performance that deserves merit alongside Hamiltons. Okay, so Button is not as exciting to watch as Hamilton, but he still gets the results.

      6. Liam says:

        No, don’t get me wrong, I seriously rate Button higher than most but I think Lewis had the answer to anything Jenson would have thrown at him on this occasion.

    2. Marko says:

      If you are a regular reader or used to watch his commentary at iTV you would know James is one of the biggest fans of Alonso.

      1. neil m says:

        I think James tries to be fair to all drivers and he doesn’t play favourites. It’s sometimes hard to see that if you look through a ‘fan’ perspective at your own favourite driver.

        It’s fine to be a fan but ascribing bias when there isn’t any is just mud slinging.

        Alonso is a two times champion, faster than his team mate, winner this year, 4th in the standings. I think he’s good and the evidence supports it.

      2. Ki says:

        James is a huge fan of Alonso, fact. He even cried when Alonso won his first championship. It is not mud slinging, it is fact.

    3. tamzed ashraf says:

      Doesn’t matter , James Allen in a Hamilton fan and even if Button wins the the championship this year which he just might but being consistent , credit will not be given and everyone will go on saying how he fluked it again

      1. Banjo says:

        I disagree. The media, James and the BBC have all given Button huge credit this year for impressing, and even surprising them by the quality of his performances. If Button wins another title with Mclaren, i think people will rate him as he deserves – as a quality and controlled driver.

    4. Gil Dogon says:

      I have to concur. As the season progress I am more and more impressed with Button. Even though he himself played his own chances down against Hamilton here, and indeed was slower in qualifying, still he managed to finish right with his team mate after displaying his overtaking credentials. So right now Mclaren definitely seems to have the strongest driver pairing imaginable on the grid, (I am not a brit by the way) like the points table shows. They seem also to handle the rivalry in a getter way, and it somehow seems that Lewis and Jenson indeed have mutual respect and no bad feelings yet beween them. Wonder how the situation will develop though …

      1. James H says:

        I think if they keep trading points at the front then it could be likely that Lewis will feel the heat more. I still have the niggle that when chasing LH will bin the car by trying to hard whereas JB would drive sensibly take the points. I also think that JB is very relaxed and really enjoying having a great car and a great team around him. Less likely to get upset.

        Could be wrong of course :)

      2. Banjo says:

        Hamilton has had the pressure before – in his Rookie season. He’s matured a lot since then, it’s so apparent from seeing him being interviewed that he’s so much more comfortable with the media attention now and his personality has really started shining through since last season. I think, if the Button Hamilton duel goes down to the wire Hamilton will handle the pressure a lot better than he did in 07.

        I too have that niggle when Lewis is chasing though. His fighting spirit and determination are at times his downfall. He’ll always try and over take the car in front – but that’s why we love him, right ?

  21. neil m says:

    I think you have to give it to LH, McL lucked in to the best strategy for the wrong reason, he got the job done.
    JB was also very good, no mistakes, took his chances
    FA is massively impressive, he got caught out slightly by slow cars, but the way he understands all the race strategies around him and his unshakeable self-confidence are the best on the grid
    PM, lost his cool at the start, good drive up the grid, should have punted MSC off the track, he owes him that much
    NR, best invisible driver of the day, never saw him, made the best of his package and his chances
    MSC, what a shocker, he needs to understand that his uncompromising racing stance might have been OK when he was #1 in the best car, but now its dangerous and poor race craft
    MW + SV, did a solid job when it wasn’t supposed to be their day, they will need more of these workman-like performances if RB are to realise their potential this year

    1. Bevan says:

      I concur with your over all assessment,one of the more balanced views,especially the MSC point,the mans should give it up,he’s already killed the legend IMO,to go on only makes it worse.How he got away with such poor sportsmanship for all these years is beyond me.

  22. Thomas, Canada says:

    Poorest driver of the day = Michael Schumacher, a sad pale shadow of his former self.

    It’s about time the neck injury reared its head again to give him a way out.

    He was forgiven some of his “excesses” when he was winning, but now his driving tactics used on Massa, Kubica, et al look kinda desperate.

    1. Nick H says:

      Schumacher was a disgrace today, the incident with Massa was poor beyond belief.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        I agree, massa should have gotten a penalty. He was driving into everuone all race.

  23. Andy W says:

    It has to be Lewis, he looked comfortable and dominant in a race that was hugely unpredictable. McLaren took a gamble on the tyres and were lucky, but Lewis made the difference.

    Buemi also really impressed, cool under pressure and was unlucky not to score more points.

    I have no idea why Kubica is on this list, his ‘overtake’ of Sutil heading into the pit lane was unbelievably dangerous, that could so easily have been a horrific and totally unnecessary accident.

  24. **Paul** says:

    I’d go with Button I think. Can’t give it to hammy, he should have taken two pens this weekend. The first for running the fuel too low on saturday (discounting that lap would have proven a fair pen). Then today’s antics in the pits, if that’s not an unsafe release (again!) then the rule needs scrapping. Button by contrast had no dramas, no questionable decisions and came home within a couple of seconds of Lewis on a track hamilton owns.

    Hamilton fans won’t like that assessment, but how many times has he broken or flexed the rules with no real punishment(10k is nothing to them!)? By my count that’s: zig zaging in Malaysia, unsafe release in spain into vettel, not running enough fuel in q3 canada and then another unsafe release in canada into alonso.

    Lewis’s win today was tainted by McLaren unsportingness I’m afraid. He knew it too, you could tell from the defensive nature of his answer regarding his pit release. I would also note that neither of these two things were Hamilton’s doing but the teams.

    Cracking race though!

    1. Andy W says:

      Actually Lewis and Alonso got released within a fraction of a second of each other if you watch the respective lollipops, Alonso just got a better sprint out of his box (as well as a quicker stop), this is the same as what happened in Spain with Vettel. I agree that this is highly dangerous and that I hope the FIA can figure out some way to minimize the risks before their is an accident, but penalizing a driver who was released lawfully is not the way to go.

      As for the running low of fuel… why should he be penalised for NOT breaking any regulations? There is no regulation that requires cars to have enough fuel to return to the pits… maybe there should be (actually I would say there definitely should be) but the idea that rules should be implemented and then back dated to punish drivers for obeying the existing rules is just ludicrous!

    2. The Ram says:

      You need to learn what an unsafe release is first of all! What you saw in Canada is perfectly legal and has many times in the past. Watch a few videos on Youtube and you will see.

      1. **Paul** says:

        ?? If releasing one car into the side of another isn’t then what it?? Kovalinen was done for something very similar at Spa.

        Feel free to post some YouTube Videos of what is. They either ditch the rule or enforce it, at present they’re doing neither.

      2. Andy W says:

        They didn’t release him into the side of Alonso you muppet, they actually released him a fraction of a second earlier than Alonso. What happened was simply that Alonso got a better exit as Lewis spun his tyres a touch.

        Given the safety concerns do you not think the marshals would have investigated the incident if they had seen anything that looked dodgy…. or do you think there is some conspiracy going on?

      3. David says:

        Or alternatively try following Formula 1 this season and you’ll note the race director has already ruled racing in the pit lane okay. If you think about it, that means these kind of releases, very close to one another, are also deemed okay – as that’s the only way two drivers are going to get to race in the pits! We’re talking split seconds and the unsafe releases I remember being punished (fined) were when the released driver was near enough side-by-side with the driver coming past, not slightly ahead. Anyhow Alonso and Ham sorted it out fine with cool-headed driving on both sides, where’s the beef?

      4. neil m says:

        But they should tell the drivers if they end up side-by-side, the one behind, or if level, nearest the pits MUST drop behind immediately.

        It was OK in Canada because they were clear of the pit boxes, but parallel running shouldn’t persist.
        I also notice Alonso very fairly did NOT try and squeeze Hamilton, Vettel take note

      5. Andy W says:

        That would require a reg change, and it would also unfairly disadvantage teams based on their pit slot (based on beating the ‘slower’ team the season before).

        Not saying its a bad idea, just stating what I see would be an obvious objection to such a regulation. Its also better than any idea I have had on how to tackle this thorny issue… my best idea is to ban tyre stops for anything other than punctures, which is far worse ;-)

    3. Jean-Christophe says:

      Again, there is no rules that say you must come back to the garage after the last run.
      If he hadn’t provided 1 litre of fuel after qualifying he would have breached the rules.
      Charlie Whiting set a time limit for a driver to get back to the garage but because he did an extra lap he found himself short of fuel.

      1. **Paul** says:

        Ergo Hamilton missed the time limit right? So there is a rule that says (indirectly) that you must return to the pits after your final run.

        I just see it as very unsporting thats all.

      2. madjon88 says:

        Well its not really a rule is it? It was a memo sent out by Charlie several years ago, and has never been added to the regulations. Surely you are not advocating a penalty that would affect the race for something that is not in the rules? This is however somrthing that should be in the rules.

      3. mvi says:

        It was a memo sent June 11/2010, the day before qualifying. according to itv-f1.com.

    4. Banjo says:

      Before anybody argues that the FIA give Hamilton unfair treatment, please remember Schumacher and Kubica got away with several dangerous moves between them this weekend too! The incident in the pits was just a racing incident in my opinion, drivers have been doing that sort of thing for years – so nothing new there. Makes good tele though, right ?

      1. **Paul** says:

        Fantastic viewing yes.

        I think people have missed that Kubica’s move on Schumacher was really what put them both on the grass. He gave Micheal a choice, move or we crash (much as Micheal had given him seconds earlier). That was certainly a 50/50 situation.

        The Massa one was interesting, Schumacher pulled back onto the racing line (as the likes of Hamilton and Hulkenburg had done in the same way earlier on) yet he got slated by Martin Brundle. Part of me questions if Brundle can remove his bias from commentating on a guy who had the beating of him, I think there is some degree of jealousy out there. That said, Schumachers moves with the Force India were totally OTT and those are the ones I’d punish him for.

    5. Mr Squiggle says:

      I agree with Paul here. Normally a pole position converted to race win should get the “driver of the day” trophy, but for my money it was Jenson. Starting P4 and finishing P2 makes him the biggest mover of the main contenders and, unlike others in the top ten(eg Rosberg, Webber) his gains weren’t the result of Massa/Luizzi falling backwards. Jenson/Mclaren had to earn those gains.

      While I’m at it, there should be no competition over ‘donkey of the race’, either. It was Schumi, hands down. Its amazing how his race craft starts to look ugly when it doesn’t have the context of winning all the time.

    6. david z says:

      The question is, who was the driver of the day? not, which driver don’t you like the most!

      1. **Paul** says:

        Indeed it is, hence I was justifying my reasoning for not picking Lewis. Without the pit and qualifying incident he would have taken DOTD without question.

    7. anthony says:

      Alonso and Hamilton were released at almost exactly the same time, Alonso got better traction and was able to get ahead.

      Watch the replay!

      Where in the rule book does it say a penalty for running low on fuel in qualy.

      You are obviously very biased against Hamilton.

      1. **Paul** says:

        I’m not biased against Lewis at all. In fact you’ll note that I blame the team for both of the incidents involing him, it’s in my original post.

        I would say that Alonso was a clear cars length out of his pitbox before the lollipop for Hamilton even went up. If that’s not an unsafe release what is? Yet again McLaren have put Lewis into the side of another car. I feel that the FIA Stewards need to look at this as sooner of later we’ll have an accident. Perhaps insisting that cars can only run single file in the pitlane would help.

      2. Freespeech says:

        It’s clear you hate Hamilton, strange as he’s by far the best racer in today’s F1.

      3. Midnight Toper says:

        Paul,

        I’m with you here. Your posts are clearly logical and seem very fair and I agree that whilst Hamilton drove superbly his result was somewhat tainted by qualifying.

        It’s quite tiresome to read some of the posts on this blog site. It seems that if you object to any of Hamilton’s controversial, often impetous or poorly judged actions then talk of bias, hate and prejudice arise.

        I’m a fan of Hamilton the racer, not the personality or his fan base, is this deemed acceptable?

      4. James Allen says:

        I agree. I’m getting a bit tired of this. Please can we stick to talking about the racing and not criticising him just because you don’t like him. Same with Alonso. We will tighten up the moderation on this

    8. Tom (London) says:

      Statically Hamilton is the most penalised driver in Formula One history. He has more penalties over the course of a season then any other driver.

      I am grateful that this year we have been able to watch great racing without stewards getting in the way.

      1. Midnight Toper says:

        It’s funny hearing Hamilton described as static by one of his own fans.

        If he really is the most penalised driver in F1 (which I doubt), then perhaps its because of his actions on the track rather than the power brokers of F1 conspiring against him. Hamilton clearly is good for motorsport in the same way that Tiger Woods was good for golf (before his indiscretions surfaced). You don’t need an HND in marketing to work out his global appeal.

        Bernie isn’t stupid and given the geographical demographic of the sport I find the conspiracy theories against Hamilton baseless and boring.

      2. Tom (London) says:

        Check out Wikipedia’s list of Formula One driver records if you disbelieve me about Hamilton being the most penalised driver of the course of a season.

        I didn’t mention a conspiracy.

        I could have equally said that this season I am pleased that Alonso hasn’t been penalised blocking Massa from the other end of the pit lane straight or that Vettal hasn’t been penalised for speeding in the pit lane.

        Like I said I am glad the stewards are not getting in the way of the racing this year.

      3. Zeus says:

        Just to point out. It has to be either MSC or some driver in 80s or 90s. Race bans and balck flags were quite frequent those days. While do appreciate Lewis Hamilton racing pedigree. I feel a lot of people on this forum got hooked up to F1 in 2005 onwards and are either british or spanish.

    9. kbdavies says:

      [quote]I’d go with Button I think. Can’t give it to hammy, he should have taken two pens this weekend. The first for running the fuel too low on saturday (discounting that lap would have proven a fair pen)[/quote]

      Do you watch the race for itself? Or do you watch for the penalties?
      Why would he have a penalty for not having enough fuel to get back to the PITS when there is NO existing rule against it?

  25. Wu says:

    Schumi the man of the race, who brought 80s/early 90s kind of driving to this decade!

    He didn’t even get penalised for any of it too. Go Schumi!!!

  26. Fausto Cunha says:

    Lewis without question. Brilliant drive passed Alonso for the lead and also Webber.

    Alonso drove a great race also but like James said:”but did he misjudge the slower cars ahead when he lost the lead to Hamilton and P2 to Button”, i think he did misjudge those moments and he paid for them by losing positions.

  27. krad says:

    James, with all the tyre degradation issues today, do you think it adds credibility to your article a few months ago arguing we should reduce mechanical grip rather than aero.

    Maybe we should have a generic FIA branded tyre manufactured by unknown parties so we could bypass the issue of bad PR for the supplier. It could then be made much more marginal/variable.

      1. Robert says:

        Although – this was surely proof that very soft tyres that fall off in performance are the way to go rather than rock hard tyres. It’s the way the drivers manage the performance drop off that makes the race interesting not just the lack of grip.

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      What is the surface made of in Canada? Cheese graters. All tracks should be made of it, 3 stops made for exciting racing.

  28. Paul Douglas says:

    Well, you say Hamilton outpaced Button all weekend James, but then that’s a lie because Button was faster in P1 and much of the race so…

    Lewis did a cracking job, don’t get me wrong. Taking nothing from him. But you’re being monumentally unfair to Button. And his move against Alonso, by drafting Karun, was the stuff legends are made from.

    1. mtb says:

      hmmm…faster in P1…when drivers are learning the circuit and experimenting.

      Jenson faster in much of the race – Hamilton demonstrated that he could complete the circuit in less time when he wanted to.

      Another blinkered Button fan struggling to come to terms with his hero being a clear no. 2!

      1. Paul Douglas says:

        Clear number 2s don’t win championships.

  29. Another James says:

    Alonso probably has reason to feel upset with back markers – Buemi wasn’t a back marker but was out of position, before Hamilton got by, a Lotus on an in-lap and a Virgin (I think) before Button passed him.

    Both Mclaren driver put decent overtaking maneuvers on Alonso, and Webber put one on button. Hamilton breezed past Webber -Alonso didn’t really get an attempt in before Webber pitted.

    So among the first 5 the overtaking scores (If I remember correctly) are
    Hamilton +2 (Alonso and Webber)
    Button 0 (+Alonso and -Webber)
    Alonso -2 (Button and Hamilton)
    Vettel 0
    Webber 0 (+Button and – Hamilton)

    Buemi made up loads of places. (And Hamilton fans might argue his refusal to yield his lead to Alonso was great driving) Kubica and Rosberg had pretty poor days. Massa was more to blame than Liuzzi for their tangle at the start.

    I don’t know whether to compliment Hamilton for not giving up in the put lane or condemn him for something which could have been dangerous. It wasn’t an unsafe release by Mclaren (in my opinion or the stewards – unlike Kubica’s lunge in front of the force India into the pit-lane.)

    Net: Hamilton, it was his race to lose, and he didn’t, he passed people on the track on relying on pit stops.

    1. Hans says:

      You forgot Hamilton was overtaken by Alonso just before he (H.) entered the pits for his 2nd stop.

      1. Chris says:

        Could that be because he was entering the pits and not defending his line?? Just a thought

      2. Hans says:

        Difficult to say so as the exit out of the last corner to the straight, Alonso was much and much quicker.
        If Hamilton wasn’t going for his pitsstop he might have gone for a more defending line.

    2. Adrian says:

      James, looking again at the pit lane near-miss between LH and FA…as I understand it, normally the team in the front (McLaren in this case) pit box’s lollipop man would look for the previous (Ferrari) team’s lollipop going up to ensure a safe release, but with Ferrari’s traffic light system he can’t do this so has to look for the car actually moving…

      …am I right? If this is the case, wouldn’t this be another argument for banning the traffic light system on safety grounds?

      1. Banjo says:

        That’s a very good point, and one which had not occurred to me. I agree, banning the traffic light system would be a good idea, but, i think it’s unlikely to happen – especially now the refueling ban has made it less dangerous.

      2. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

        Why not simply double up on the lights so that they can be seen by lollipop man in front? Make a regulation to ensure that the teams can clearly seen the release of other cars, then let the teams implement the reg how they see fit. Lollipops are obviously cheaper so if they are committed to cost reduction…………..

  30. Brainz says:

    Schumacher’s race was flawless until some stupid Pole in a Lada couldn’t hold his line and crashed into him, puncturing his tire which forced him to drive over half the race distance on soft tires. Judging from how short the other drivers made the soft tires last Schumacher’s defensive driving on shredded tires was impressive as well. Of course if you are a biased Brit might whine about it being a bit too hard but then I suggest that you grow a pair of balls.

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      Did they actually touch? I thought Schumacher avoided any contact.

    2. Adrian says:

      Doesn’t change the fact that he simply didn’t attempt the final chicane on more than one occasion in order to keep a place that he would otherwise have lost due to the increased breaking distance needed with his shot tyres…

    3. Alberto Dietz says:

      Exactly.

  31. Kyle H says:

    Honestly I find it a travesty that Alonso has 32% of the vote for driver of the day and Button shares not even 8% of the vote at this stage in the poll.

    As a Button fan myself I do however have to give my vote to Hamilton this race as he has been on the money since FP2 and was clearly a deserving winner this weekend.

    He did barely edge out Button in the race though whilst Alonso went backwards, admittedly due more to bad luck with backmarkers more than anything else, but the disparity in the vote clearly shows the blatant fanboyism factor, even amongst the avid followers who frequent this website. Disappointing.

    Hamilton is deservedly driver of the day but Alonso certainly shouldn’t be in second place in my opinion. What possible reasoning would justify such strong support in the poll besides fanboyism?

    1. mtb says:

      Could it be that he drove better than your hero?

      1. Horacio says:

        Well, Alonso was overtaken by both McLarens, while Button won two positions during the race.
        So, it seems dubious that Alonso’s 38% of votes means that he “drove better” than Button.
        Just my two cents.

      2. Paul says:

        Mtb – Could it be that your anti button?

        Whats with this ‘hero’ stuff

  32. Calixto says:

    Hamilton was a monster, didn’t put a foot wrong and made the most of a race that could have been anyone’s.

  33. Simon says:

    As a Kubica fan, I voted Hamilton. Fantastic drive.

  34. Jake Pattison says:

    Webber is my pick. The guy was dragged down to 7th before the race (I can smell a rat – RBR trying to hamstring him), and finished 2 places above that while his team mate on a better tyre strategy finished just head and 2 places lower than his starting position.

    This means that Webber would have won if not for the gearbox/grid penalty/manipulation by RBR. No doubt RBR thought Vettel was a good chance of winning.

  35. Shekhar says:

    there were many drivers of the day today.. starting with jenson button and robert kubica.. especially kubica who is giving performance after performance in a okay car this year.. both force india drivers drove really well.. buemi graduated today with that pass on schuey.. and schumacher, i feel terrible for him.. desperation and frustration to the brim.. the writing is becoming clearer on the wall with every race.. and the mighty mercedes is not helping him one bit.. imagine the press coverage if it had been alonso driving massa in the wall.. not good!

  36. Alias J says:

    I don’t get it. Legends are made of those great champions who fought absolutely, againsts all odds.

    All this Schumacher criticism is unfair. Didn’t you people see how bad those ‘hard’ tires were wearing on everyone’s car? This guy was on ‘softs’ for 35+ laps, for God’s sake.

    He fights to keep every single position on track. Imagine if it was Aryton Senna in this same situation today, he would have fought just as hard and mad, and irony, people would have applauded him for it.

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      If you had the timing screens, you would have seen, Michael’s tyre dropped off badly after about the time Rosberg made his final stop. Losing three seconds some laps.
      When Buemi drove past because the Merc had no traction, it was clear the problem had gotten way to far out of control.
      If Micheal had moved over gently, I would have been deeply saddened and would believe he should retire again. But he didn’t, he upset a lot of people and said if you want to pass me, no matter what the state of my car I will fight you to the bitter end. AWESOME!

      1. wilson says:

        I absolutely agree.

        I thought Schumacher actually did fantastically well given the circumstances. He was doing brilliantly in the first part of the race, right up with the leaders, until that little fight with Kubica gave him a puncture. That’s where it all fell apart. He had to do Half the race distance on 1 set of soft tyres for christs sakes!!

        I think what REALLY would have been sad was if he had let them pass him easily….that would have been a sign that maybe he was ‘past it’, and didn’t have the nerve for F1 anymore. But man oh man, talk about defense driving!! Fantastic!! His car was like 3 seconds off the pace with those shredded tyres, and he was DESPERATELY trying ANYTHING to keep his position. I don’t know about you, but that’s EXACTLY how I want my F1 drivers to be. Nothing he did was unsafe (like weaving on the top speed straight). He was just not going to ‘lie down easily’. I loved it. It was heart-breaking that he couldn’t get the 8th position he so deserved.

        By the way, I’m not German, I have no national bias and all that blah blah…….I just think it’s unfortunate that people are overlooking the obvious impediments he was given to deal with, none more so that 3 stops, and having to race the WHOLE second half of the race on 1 set of softs. Incredible.

        If it wasn’t for that puncture, I think he would’ve been on the podium, and it would be a much different story.

        By the way, completely agree with the Senna comparison above too. He totally would’ve been the same….and people would’ve loved him for it. I don’t know why people carry so much baggage about Schumacher, but it’s boring as hell.

      2. Alberto Dietz says:

        Dear Wilson, In a scale of 1 to 10, 3,000.

    2. Christian Hepworth says:

      I would be prepared to bet that if it was a rookie in that car, driving like Michael did, you’d be up in arms saying it was terrible driving.

      Lewis against Button last week in Turkey is the sort of ‘fighting hard to keep position on track’ that I like to see. Not Michaels over agressive, dangerous and downright rude display in Canada.

      1. wilson says:

        Oh Christian, come on…

        “over-aggressive”, “dangerous”, and “downright rude”???

        Asides from the last one sounding utterly ridiculous….I mean really…..’Rude’??? Is that the best you could come up with?

        This if Formula One.

        Formule. One.

        If someone is to be punished for ‘rude’ driving, well then, I guess we all better start finding better things to do with our time.

        ‘Over-agressive’? You betcha. This is Schumacher. When I by a ticket for the latest ‘Schumacher Blockbuster’ at the cinema, I expect nothing less.

        ‘Dangerous’? Compared to what exactly? Moreso than Hamilton/Alonso duelling in the pits? I mean really, what did he do? He took the nose off Massa’s Ferrari at a breaking point at a chicane. Even Smedley ‘Massa’s engineer’ says that Massa just ran into the back of him. Neither Liuzi, Sutil nor Kubica had a bad word to say about him either. Liuzi actually sounded pretty impressed!

        So really, let’s just get things in persepctive, shall we?

      2. Dario says:

        Well said.

      3. Christian Hepworth says:

        Wilson,

        Schumachers driving was atrocious. As I said earlier, if it was a rookie driver people would be shouting from the rooftops that they weren’t fit for Formula One.

        I watch Formula One to see the best drivers in the world race each other. Not to see an ex world champ embarrass himself with amateurish, desperate driving.

        For me Formula One is about anything but the style of driving Schumacher displayed, so I stand by my earlier comments.

  37. abatele says:

    Hamilton pole, Hamilton passing Alonso and Webber, Hamilton making fastest lap with 5-6 laps remaining, Hamilton was the man all weekend. Worst Masa as he bite the grass behind Schumi insted of breaking. Great job Buemi. Button a real gentleman. As for the fuel trick last people complaining should be Ferrari crew and mister Ross Brawn as they cheated together in the past years ( with Jean Todt and Schumcher) and Ferrari that cheats alone nowadays as usual. Cheers

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      What did Ross and Ferrari say?

    2. mtb says:

      What evidence do you have of your claims?

      Weren’t McLaren and a few other teams (but not Ferrari) asked to modify the slots for their starter motors after the opening round this year?

  38. Yours Truly says:

    Just a thought: Vettel finished the race with a problem with his gearbox. Has it done 4 races yet? If it hasn’t does it mean he’ll take a grid penalty in Valencia if it has to be changed?

    1. Banjo says:

      Yes – if he changes he will get a penalty.

  39. darren says:

    James

    what are you talking about “Hamilton
    significantly faster than his team mate all weekend”. Button was only 2.2 secs behind

    1. James Allen says:

      There’s a bit more to it than finishing position

      1. Marcello says:

        Please explain James.

      2. mtb says:

        Hamilton clearly could have gone faster had he needed to. Button never looked like challenging for the lead.

  40. Robert Powers says:

    Hamilton.Back to back wins and forthright textbook passing as well.

    This season is not over.We will be seeing more of the blue,and hopefully the red cars will get some wins.And those “other” silver cars will get on par before the end of the year.

    But the final races of the season may look like the last two-Lewis all smiles.

  41. Thalasa says:

    My vote went to Hammilton but it could have gone for others. We had lots of talent on display this weekend.
    The worst driving has to be for Schumi. What a tremendous cheater he is. There are no corners and no rules for him it seems.

  42. Nathan says:

    OT. James, I’m enjoying your contribution to the Chanel ONE pre race show in OZ. But just a small piece of feedback if you don’t mind. The phrase “fair suck of the sauce bottle” is not a common one down here. Actually the first time I have ever heard it said in my 36 years is when our PM used it earlier this year when he was pretending to be one of us common folk, and he was ridiculed at the time for using it. Suggest you don’t use it again as it was just a bit cringe worthy. Besides that, thanks again for you terrific interviews and background reports.

  43. R. Bandicote says:

    Seems like it’s time for Schumacher to hang ‘em up. Seems clear he does not have the speed of the young turks and has become, by now, an embarrassment. Mercedes has a third driver of quality on retainer, so Schumi should step aside. It was a wonderful idea, coming back, but it has become painful to watch.

    Also, would you do a piece on Jacques Villeneuve? I clearly sense that no one takes him seriously as a driver but I don’t know the back story and would like to.

    Thanks.

  44. Zoku says:

    Schumacher …wow that was awesome!

    1. wilson says:

      Damn right!

      I loved it!! If it wasn’t for that puncture, he would’ve been right up front. Fantastic stuff!

      1. Tim Lamkin says:

        Where in the world you get/think he would have been up front, he would not have been up front with anther 20HP…..

      2. wilson says:

        I didn’t mean literally up in 1st place. But his race pace before up until the 1st stop was competitive. He was within 5 seconds of the lead. It sounds like Brawn had worked out a good tyre strategy for him, until he got the puncture that is, which messed it up. So yes, of course, its circumstantial, and yes, Mercs had a HP deficit, but it was looking good for top 5 easily I would say.

  45. Kakashi says:

    I think most people are going for Hamilton and Alonso but for me the best drive of the day was from Button… the guy made up many places to finish 2nd!!!

    1. mtb says:

      How many cars did he overtake? And how many of those manoeuvres were not aided by backmarkers?

  46. James H says:

    I agree with the comments about Hamilton – he drove an extremely mature race- managed the car and tyres well and showed that he had plenty in the bank when Button started to close towards the end and he banged out a series of fast laps to say, ‘not this time mate’.

    MSC was a disgrace – as an elder statesman of the sport he should be ashamed of himself.

    1. Freespeech says:

      Well said, could not agree with you more.

    2. wilson says:

      Couldn’t disagree more.

      I simply don’t understand all this ‘tut-tutting’ been laid on Schumacher. I thought Schumacher actually did great, given the circumstances. He was doing brilliantly in the first part of the race, right up with the leaders. Because of that puncture he got, he was forced to do HALF the race distance on 1 set of soft tyres!!

      His car was like 3 seconds off the pace with those shredded tyres, and he was DESPERATELY trying ANYTHING to keep his position. I don’t know about you, but that’s EXACTLY how I want my F1 drivers to be. Nothing he did was unsafe (like weaving on the top speed straight). He was just not going to ‘lie down easily’. I loved it. It was heart-breaking that he couldn’t get the 8th position he so deserved.

      He would’ve been on the podium I would say, were it not for that puncture. It would be sad if he had been any other way. Driving has become far too sterile….(I’m 29, by the way, not 69)…..I was just happy to see that he hadn’t lost any of the ‘never-say-die’ attitude he had all along.

      Neither Massa, Kubica, Sutil or Liuzi had a single bad word to say about him. Even Rob Smedley said that Massa just drove into the back of him.

      People need to chill out and remember why they watch Formula 1.

  47. Dale says:

    What a great race, this is how F1 should be both the racing and the electric atmosphere at the track with NO empty seats.
    Why F1 is taken to dull places with dull tracks with poor support shows us what’s still wrong with F1.
    The above aside I do believe that both the McLaren drivers are just getting better and better with Hamilton becoming a complete driver, fastest, best racer by far and thinking as well as any other whilst Button is becoming more aggressive and a better risk taker, the way he took Alonso was almost Hamilton like, I bet Alonso was shocked to say the least.
    McLaren just seem to have it right with everything about the team except maybe some of their pit stops are just a fraction behind others but that’s not problem as the McLaren boys can make it up on the track.
    I think also the experience of McLaren’s management is really showing with the complete opposite being true at Redbull :!:

    Driver of the day; Hamilton by far.

  48. Kedar says:

    Lewis and Jenson were the best. Alonso could have done better but was a good result for him.
    I wonder if Ferrari are treating Massa with Kid gloves with Rob Smedley appreciating Massa’s move as though he had won the race and Ferrari tweeting time and again that Massa’s pace was good while the other Ferrari was almost fighting for the win!

    1. smellystudent says:

      I like the idea of Massa having a Twitter client on his steering wheel display, getting motivation from his team’s positive tweets :)

    2. Horacio says:

      I was following the Live Timing from F1.com during the race, and Massa’s pace after the first pit (and until the mess with Schumacher) was consistently fast, going from last to 10º, and even put in a fastest lap, later improved by Lewis and Kubica in the end.

  49. Matt says:

    Would have to say Hamilton. Fernando and Button are well known for their great tire preservation. I don’t think anyone was expecting Hamilton to make his tires last like he did. All the more impressive when he set those fastest laps. Maybe he has learned something from Button.

  50. MacG says:

    Alonso should not have been anywhere near the Maccas in that Ferrari. But the top 3 all did very well.

    1. Freespeech says:

      One has to consider that both McLaren’s were driving well within their true pace with tyre conservation being of prime importance.
      When Jenson started to creep up on Lewis with ease he pulled out a larger gap.
      The fact is Alonso was twice overtaken with ease.

      1. mtb says:

        I am not so sure about the second McLaren driving well within its true pace.

        Alonson was overtaken because of backmarkers, and a backmarker cost Alonso the lead in the lap before his second stop.

        It is a shame so many people here can not look at F1 rationally – this is not the Daily Mail’s forum!

      2. Paul says:

        Alonso messed up (yet again this season), deal with it

      3. Freespeech says:

        Alonso isn’t as good as some say and he’s not as good as Hamilton and Button’s getting better all the time now he has Hamilton as a reference so just deal with it :)

  51. Spenny says:

    How did Hulkenberg get away with his shoddy defending, weaving several times, with Luizzi deliberately ducking from side to side behind him to make the point; and cutting the chicane to keep position. Luizzi backed off to allow Webber through, so although ultimately Luizzi, unseen got past, the Hulk, using Schumacheresque techniques, gained a major advantage.

    While I prefer the low penalty approach this year to the dubious penalties of the last couple of years, if there is one move that needs stamping on to allow more real overtaking it is my pet hate manoeuvre of forcing a driver off the track to keep position (and Schui did that twice to Kubica, the initial push and then forcing Kubica over the kerb so he couldn’t brake properly while deliberately not slowing for the chicane – deliberately leaving the track) which is written in the rules but never enforced.

    If Schumacher had properly braked for the chicane, while properly applying the rule that you cannot crowd a car off the track, he would have had to take an awkward line around the chicane – as would Kubica.

    Perhaps Kubica should have realised discretion was the better part of valour, but I have the feeling that Schumacher is going to get thoroughly mugged by the other drivers at the next briefing.

  52. drplix says:

    I voted for Liuzzi. I loved Lewis’s charging win and his overtakes etc. But you gotta give credit to Liuzzi. He was dead last after the first corner tangle with Massa. His career is/was hanging by a thread with rumours of being replaced. It wasn’t shown on TV but somehow he drove through the field to get good points *and* beat his team mate. Praise where its due.

  53. Andy S says:

    It’s got to be Liuzzi, had a great drive from last to 9th

  54. Freespeech says:

    James,
    To any seasoned F1 watcher they would have known that last year we saw Hamilton’s best driving to date in F1 with considering his car some of his performances were simple great.
    This year as a result of simply just getting better with age and experience I think Button being in the team with his renowned smooth driving as spurred Hamilton on even faster, let’s not forget if it hadn’t been for the tyre blow-out a lap or so before the end of Spain he’d have a fair lead in the standings now.
    If, and this is the big one, if McLaren can develop at least at an equal pace to Ferrari and Redbull I think he’ll be this years champion and if MCla5ren do what they did last year and simply thrash the others in the development war then he’ll be champion for certain.
    I’d like to say what others have eluded in that Button seems to have raised his game as well and working with Hamilton is doing him the world of good, couldn’t believe it was him sliding and chucking his car around and the way he took Alonso was just, well so unlike Button, is he turning into a racer? One things for sure if he is the fans will take to him a lot more.
    Great race, shame you were not commentating on the BBC with your mate Martin.Lastly I just say I think the BBC forum is a great addition to the show for real F1 fans

  55. Dave says:

    I voted Hamilton – but Liuzzi had a great drive and probably deserved more.

  56. Danny says:

    James, I would hardly call Buemi’s pass on Schumacher sublime that was a massive overstatement, looked pretty ordinary to me, Schumacher’s tyres had gone.

  57. I voted Lewis becasue he drove very well.

    Alonso also drove very well but lost out to Lewis and Jenson

  58. Ali says:

    I would love to have voted for Nico, as I’m a fan of his. However, the TV director must have been very anti-Rosberg because I don’t think I saw Nico at all during the race coverage. If it wasn’t for his name appearing on the bottom of the screen in his various increasingly upward positions, I wouldn’t have believed he was even on track.

    1. Banjo says:

      I can’t remember seeing Rosberg at all either – but from looking at the start / finish positions he looks to have had a strong race.

  59. Patrick McLaughlin says:

    James how much of Alonso’s strong showing was down to the track characteristics suiting the Ferrari ? Or is it a sign of things to come ?

    I reckon the McLarens are the team to beat. Their development pace is relentless !

    1. James Allen says:

      I think a fair bit was track. Judging by Turkey they are still a long way back on downforce. We will see how big a step they get in Valencia, but Silverstone will be the next acid test. McLaren have a huge step for that weekend, so depending on Red Bull’s package there, it could define the next couple of months of the championship. My humch is McLaren move ahead.

      1. Luke A says:

        Please tell us what exactly this huge step that McLaren will make is. I’m a avid McLaren fan and am dying to know :(

      2. neil m says:

        It sounds like its an exhaust fed diffuser, with maybe some additional stuff as well. RB seem to have already lost most of their bolt on quali downforce advantage.

      3. Tim Lamkin says:

        …..and if RB does not get the problem with ANY reliability issues resolved it will not work out for them at all.

  60. AdrianP says:

    Drive of the day is surely between Hamilton and Button. One can make a case for Button’s being the better, as he had to make up places and still finished a couple of seconds behind Hamilton. But at the end of the day, what more can you expect from Hamilton than to qualify P1 by a good margin and to finish P1?

    Following Button on the live timing this season, part of his race strategy seems clear – to hang back from the car in front by 2-3 secs in an effort to conserve his tyres by avoiding the wash and then pounce in the latter stages of the race. Both here and in Turkey one could clearly see that Button was maintaining that 2-3 sec gap (to Alonso here; to Vettel in Turkey) but was capable of closing it, but was making no effort to do so. It’s eminently logical and effective, to use the tyre performance when the car is lightest and when others will be struggling. Trouble is if he is too far of the lead by the time the charge starts, he’ll run out of laps. I am not sure that Hamilton had all that much pace in his pocket after he’d done a single quick lap to try to discourage Button – another 5 laps or so, could have been a different story. The other thing that helps Button on the tyre wear is his super-progressive throttle application.

  61. Horacio says:

    IMO, a fantastic race. Besides the petrol control, there was the tyre issue. Very good race.
    Hamilton was flawless, Button was efficient as ever. It was fantastic to see the new kids: Buemi leading and overtaking Schumacher, Liuzzi was very good.
    I was watching the race on TV and with the live timing on the laptop, and noticed that between his first pit and his accident with Schumacher Massa was literally flying on the track, going from last to 10th.
    Webber put also a very solid race but clearly the tyre gamble didn’t work as expected.

    On the other hand, Alonso lost two places to Hamilton and Button. Vettel was the same little bratty child as always, and Schumacher was allowed to do things on the track that NO other driver could do. For their capacity, Alonso, Vettel and Schumacher were the worst of the race.

    And my driver of the day? Considering the poor car and the lack of experience, I would say Buemi. Hamilton put a fantastic race, but we know already what he is capable to do, and the McLaren was perfect.

  62. Paul Mc says:

    Driver of the weekend was Hamilton hands down, amazing quali lap and great race.

    Im going to stick up for Schumi against the traditional anti-Schumacher sentiment on here. As ive said before its up to the car behind to make the move and make it stick. Schumi has every right to fight for position and he did a brilliant job. Kubica made a half assed attempt that took both of them off and what was Massa doing? He drove straight into the back of him. I was digusted at Martin Brundles anti-Schumacher commentary really. Massa was on the outside in no mans land and Michael moved to take the corner. Even with worn out tyres Michael has every right to fight for position, it seems people believe he should have just moved out of the way. Ridiculous.

  63. Jingjing says:

    James,here is what fernando said in the post-race conference about his lost second place to Jenson:
    ~We thought the Hispania was letting us go in turn six but he didn’t, he was just on a different racing line, so when he went back to the normal one we just had to brake and then he saw us a little bit late and we exited turn six very slowly; I exited turn six very slowly because of that and Jenson took the opportunity.~
    Do you think this is Fernando’s misjudge (otherwise he won’t let Jenson pass ) or this is one of those situations that you can do nothing?

    1. James Allen says:

      He was in front before they hit traffic and behind afterwards. You draw your own conclusion.

  64. tristan says:

    easy to do a superb quali lap to pole when you don’t have enough fuel to get you back to the pits…

  65. For Sure says:

    The driver of the day is obviously Lewis and I am not a fan of his.
    The only reason why Jenson can get close is because tyre sensitivity plays a ver large role. If we have refuling the gap would have been a lot larger.

    As for Schumacher bashing, i don’t blame them because commentators did a very poor job in educating the fans. It reminded me of the pass that Sato did on Alonso in Maclaren. It’s like “wow look Sato overtook the best driver/car with a back marker. Alonso did a poor job”. In fact, Alonso had no rubber to drive properly.

    And when people passed Schumacher they thought the guy was driving a few seconds slower, it’s humiliating blur blur.
    I am not trying to defend him but the point is James, do you think that commentators should be a bit more informative? Because if I am not a hard core f1 fan who can’t be bother to “research” about f1, I wouldn’t know what on
    earth is going on.

  66. malcolm.strachan says:

    Is it just me, or are most people in this poll merely voting for their favourite driver rather than the actual driver of the day?

    I voted for Liuzzi, since he out-qualified and out-raced his teammate, and managed to score points despite a first lap spin… without the aid of a safety car period!

    But of course, there are more Alonso fans than Liuzzi fans, as evidenced by the poll results thus far.

    1. Horacio says:

      Exactly what I thought. I voted Buemi, it was good to see the young dude fighting in the front with a dog of a car, and his overtake on Schumacher was classy. Hamilton and Button were flawless, Webber put a great drive and Massa was superb overtaking almost half of the cars on the track, but to me Buemi and Liuzzi were the biggest surprises.

  67. Gabriel says:

    Vettel on radio last evening: “Do I have to pass Button to win?”
    Team: “Yes. The three cars in front are for position.”

    Bart Simpson to Homer: “Do i have to study to pass the exam?”

  68. What no Schumacher?

    I thought he did a super job. I’m going to contact Speedworth and see if I can get him a slot at Wimbledon Stadium on a Saturday night.

  69. Rang says:

    How come you have missed Massa…he overtook lot of cars and ofcourse the brilliant one where he overtook two cars in one go.

  70. mtb says:

    It is a shame that so many jingoists hijack F1 debates with their chauvinistic twaddle. Let’s keep F1 one of the few sports where contestants are lauded/derided according to their abilities rather than their nationalities.

    1. Paul says:

      Perhaps you should try lauding or deriding according to the actual race results rather than your opinion of there abilities.

      Pigeon holing peoples posts to there nationalities is wrong and until this site is called mtb on f1, maybe you should stop been unofficial moderator.

  71. Spyros says:

    Liuzzi. I like how he (and his team in general) helps keep the front runners honest.

  72. Charles says:

    How could anyone vote for Alonso as driver of the day? He got owned by both McLaren drivers in traffic and finished 3rd when a win was possible. The only positive is that he continues to kill his teammate.

    1. Paul says:

      Yes Im shocked that Alonso has so many votes. He was mugged by both Mclarens.

      The fact is He was in front when hitting traffic and was behind after passing it.

  73. Malcom says:

    Great pass by Alonso on Hamilton in the pit lane, but I rather enjoyed more, the great pass by Hamilton on Alonso on the….track…***

  74. Robert says:

    It is strange but I think even if Button loses to Hamilton over the course of his time at Mclaren his reputation will be enhanced if he can keep as close as he is. He really is top quality right now.In time it might just be a combo like Jim Clark / Graham Hill all over again

  75. RON says:

    Hamilton drags Button like a chain and ball with him.

    Button is a below average driver, who has lucked out on a couple of wins due to random weather conditions…

    There is no comparison between Hamilton and Button at all. They are miles apart.

    Button’s luck has run out, and he will fall further and further behind.

    1. paul says:

      Miles apart? About 2.5 seconds I think you will find after 70 Laps.

      I love the way so many people have put Hamilton on a unrealistic pedestal. Hamilton will thrash Button, what a stupid move to go to Mclaren etc. Hamilton is a true great etc etc.
      All the evidence says Hamilton is very slightly quicker than Button but it is not night and day or head and shoulders. Either Hamilton is not as good as people have said or Button is a lot better than people think. You decide…..

    2. Richard says:

      Below average drivers don’t achieve what Button has! He has different qualities to Hamilton and there is little between them overall. What you dismiss as “lucked out” was shrewd tactics and wet weather skill. When you take into consideration the potential points that Button missed out on at Monaco due to the team gaff, he would be leading the championship at the moment. That said, I fully accept that Hamilton has the ability to sqeeze that little bit more out of the car for crucial laps.

      1. Michael says:

        Always funny to see how Button is viewed as below average because of his “luck”, yet Alonso is considered to be one of the best because of is “luck”.

      2. kbdavies says:

        Also amazing how people argue that Lewis did NOT beat Alonso in 2007 because they ended up on the same number of points, but the same people argue that there is “little” between Jenson and Lewis even though Lewis has comprehensively beaten Jenson this season on ALL parameters in F1 you care to measure apart from race wins – which they are currently tied on. Which is going to change soon.

        I mean, who would call a constant 4/10th’s – 2/10th’s difference in race pace “little”, when sometimes this year, the front row has been separated by less than that?

      3. James Allen says:

        Let’s not go over that again…

  76. For Sure says:

    Those who criticized Schumacher, had no idea what they are talking about.
    36 laps with soft tyres mean 6 solid laps then waiting for a disaster. You could argue that that was worst strategic decision that Ross and Michael have ever made.

    As a die-hard Schumacher fan, I personally couldn’t sleep after his poor qualifying, but after the race, I saw a small hope in Schumi. Why?
    It was arguably the best start he made this season, at least he capitalized the situation and he overtook Sutil and he was well-positioned(his teammate was at 13th) at the beginning stages and lapping similar times to front runners. It was all good until he fought with Kubica.

    Sometimes, it’s better to fight like mad and go down in flames than settle where the car belongs to.
    Look at Nico, a great talent, a huge potential, yet to win the race. Because he had this mindset where he sort of play safe bring points home and settle for a position where the car belongs to.

    Guys like Lewis or Schumacher would foolishly risk losing a podium for a win even if their car only belongs to a podium only. That’s why they win so often. That’s why they sometimes go from hero to zero.

    Imagine if England was 5 goals down with 11 injured players. Do you want them to play a friendly match or do you want them to do whatever they can even if they look silly as long as they don’t get penalized?

    The answer is obvious and that’s exactly what Schumacher did. He raced too hard even when there is very little hope and very little reward. That’s what made him what he is. It takes a huge heart to have that motivation when there is very little hope.

    At the end of the day, there are judges with all sorts of information, team owners and drivers. If he was doing something unacceptable he would be penalized but he wasn’t.

    I expect Lewis to do the same thing and I would respect that even though if I am not a fan.

    Personally, I am not that worried because I saw his underlying pace.

  77. Richard says:

    James,

    You didn’t include Button in your contenders for “Driver of the Day”. However, he finished less than three seconds behind Hamilton after starting 4 places behind him, and at the end was pulling him in significantly. He pulled out a couple of good overtakes including the crucial one to take 2nd from Alonso. We were deprived of a team-mate battle for the lead as there the drivers had probably been briefed to hold station if they found themselves in a one-two situation again.

    That said, I think Hamilton was driver of the weekend having done a stonking qualification and converted it to a win in a race where tear wear was a key factor and he is renowned for being hard on tyres.

  78. DaveR says:

    Webber.
    Should have been on pole, got dropped to 7th for the start, leading the race for 22 laps, finished 5th.

    By the way why is racing allowed in the pit lane now? appalling safety lapse by the FIA!

    1. Penfold says:

      Racing has always gone on in the pit lane, get over it. This motor racing for crying out loud.

  79. Spanish guy says:

    Posted in wrong topic, so again:

    Internal info: the link to this poll was posted on many Spanish forums (even non F1 forums), to get them to vote for Alonso, because they hate Hamilton so much.

    So the poll is rigged.

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Spot on, Spanish Guy.

  80. Relativity says:

    Excellent race. For me, Alonso out drove his car. In the natural order of things right now, Ferrari have the third fastest car so the maximum for Alonso should have been a 5th place showing. I understand that strategy, track characterists, tire degradation also account for something.

    Tire degradation makes for exciting racing. With that thought in mind, I suggest that the FIA should give the tire contract to me, instead of Pirelli or Michelin!!! Although I do not have any tire knowhow, my tires will be made of bubble-gum and recycled garbage and turn to dust on the first lap, hence will make for great racing :-) In fact, I have been chewing gum all day so I have enough raw materials for my first prototype :-)

    James, please put in a good word with the FIA for me……..

  81. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, we’re coming up to race no. 9 of the season.

    Will you be publishing your driver rankings and any half-term report around/after the British GP?

    Would love to know how you think everyone lines up this season.

  82. BMG says:

    James, I thought there was a bunch of great drives over the weekend. You should maybe have a team of the week. Mclaren would win this weekend hands down. Sad to say Redbull would have been the worsed team of the week, they seem to lack good judgement when under pressure. Christain Horner seems to be a smart man but is he a real leader or strong enough to control some of the big ego’s in the back ground. love to know what your thought’s are on Team of the week.

    1. James Allen says:

      Agree on McLaren. Felt bad for Force India as they did really well, but their race was ruined

  83. Jon says:

    I wont lie to start with, I am a hamilton fan. However, button and Alonso deserve praise. Hamilton seems to have raced a lot better than button this year eg Aus where he was supreme but ended far behind, and with those 18 points would be far in the lead yet button is still close. Button pleasantly surprised me in canda – i thought he would drop back in the midfield but instead battled his way towards the front – a great race eclipsed by few. Hats off to him he has done better than expected and I am very pleased. Alonso has made several well publicised mistakes and yet is also still in the championship, as well as not having a great car despite his pre season comments. I respect him for this and along with what seems to have happened in 07 find myself wishing everything had been a bit better in 07. I find myself liking alonso more because he wrestles what he can from the car – and find myself wishing that the 07 mcLaren relationship hadnt gone so wrong! Basically though this years championship is becoming a truly great battle and each weekend I cannot wait for the next race or update. James, where is the next article!?!?! :p

    I also want Webber to do well – a truly down to earth driver against Vettel who seems to act like he has won championships already, cant say i am fond of him at all :s I liked Webber from a couple of seasons ago, and am glad to see him in a decent car as he has always done well – he deserves it as button did last year! If only there were more competitive cars on the grid! (we now have more at least!!)

    1. BMG says:

      I to think Webber did a great job with the hand he was dealt over the weekend. He showed good judgement when under presure from the fast finishing Mclaren’s. I wounder why they didn’t try to bring him in for his last tyre change at lap 45 if he had such a lead over 6 place, unless they were hoping that he would hold up the Mclarens and Alonso for Vettel.I find it mind blowing that Vettel was thinking about chasing the fastest lap time when there were concern’s about him finishing the race.

    2. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

      Agree totally, Vettel very Schumi esque is his selfish agressive approach. Webber just a nice bloke who can drive damm fast. The interview with Massa at Fiorano was very good and I thought he came out of that very well indeed.

      As for your comment about more competitive cars I think we are doing pretty well compared to recent years ! Based on Montreal we have McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull in Division 1 with Mercedes, Renault and increasingly Force India.

      James, do you the plight of Williams has anything to do with a shortfall in the Cosworth motor package? Do any of your insiders care to shed any insight onto the relative power, weight, economy, driveability of the engines. Given all the fuss over 1 lap of fuel economy must now be an increasingly important attribute . One which Ferrari have never really excelled at…:(

      1. James Allen says:

        Lots of reasons, I think for their problems. I’ll do something on it soon

  84. Abdul Rehman Jajja says:

    For me it was Schumacher today.but the strategy let him down.

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Right you are, Abdul.

    2. BMG says:

      Yah I thought he did a great job running everyone off the road.

  85. Harvey Yates says:

    I don’t mean to be critical but ‘driver of the day’ is a bit of a woolly phrase, better than ‘best’ I suppose but not by much. It doesn’t actually mean anything in the context of F1 drivers.

    My rugby club has two ‘men of the match’ prizes. The first is nominated by the match sponsor and the other by the physios. The latter would change if they picked the same as the former. But in eight matches, this started midway through the season, they haven’t coincided. And it is the same for the Canadian GP.

    With one or two notable exceptions, any driver could put forward a case for his own nomination. I thought Hamilton drove a much more mature race than I expected, thoroughly deserving his win, especially considering the flawed tactics of starting on softs. But he was lapping around three seconds off the pace for much of the race. Do we really want to give DotD to someone whose main skill was in husbanding his tyres?

    Button drove a car that was capable of winning but didn’t. Do I need to say more?

    Webber overcame adversity: the drop of five places must have been demoralising but even so he led the race. However if you analyse his race, he was always going to be fifth after the first pit stops. So why didn’t he go for a four-stopper? So failing to take a risk and taking a safe 5th stops well short of beatification in my book.

    Vettel drove a sick car yet still was the first non-podium finisher. Yeah, well, er, well done.

    Alonso? He took the Ferrari to a spot that it probably did not deserve, so well done as well lad. But he was overtaken on the circuit. And in one instance it made him look a little amateur. Not what any driver should feel pleased about.

    I’ve always felt that a driver who makes you gasp is worth an award or two. But that would include Barichello into the first corner. That would include Schumacher a number of times. But the winner would have to be Kubica. But none of them deserve rewards for their performances.

    Buemi out-performed his car but was hardly thrilling to watch. Rosberg drove a faultless race – that’s supposing that he was actually on the circuit and not a glitch in the recording software as I don’t actually remember seeing him on TV. But would you want to award either driver a big kiss for merely being good?

    I know I’m going against the flow here, this thread has 240+ replies, but perhaps the title should be something along the lines of: Show us your prejudice.

    The performance of the day for me was that of the stewards. Had this been this time last year there would have been corpses littering the podium as every driver was beaten to a pulp for racing. Even the one inexcusable move was dealt with in a reasonable fashion, with an admonishment. Any repetition and you will be dealt with. A much more sensible penalty than we’ve been used to.

    At last we have stewards who seem to realise that they, just like the drivers, the teams and the organisers, have an obligation to the fans. But even so, all they’ve done it what the stewards should do. Still, a remarkable change from how it was.

    Perhaps specific awards is the answer. The Stealth award goes to Rosberg, if anyone can find him that is. The Flying Shuttle award to Schumacher for his weaving. The Little Boy at Christmas with the Socks award for Alonso’s face on the podium. The Chelsea Cruise award, shared in this instance by the first five drivers for their second half performance, or lack of it. The Henry Cooper award to Luzzi. There’s few who could take that combination of punches yet still get up for more. And the Little Boy in the Girl’s Showers award (ah! memories of youth) for Buemi for appearing where no one expected him to be.

    But an award to the Canadian GP. A brilliant race.

    1. James Allen says:

      I agree with you, it was a cracker

    2. mtb says:

      What is even more ridiculous is the score (out of 10) that a certain publication gives to each driver.

      It appears that any driver who is British in origin receives a bonus two points, and any driver whose name is Jenson Button receives a further point.

      1. Harvey Yates says:

        I see your point and it is quite valid. But in defence of the unnamed publication they are following a world-wide policy.

        I’ve a friend who worked in Milan, He used to send me quotes from the national Italian press after each race. It seemed that they were reporting each time on the last GP at Indianopolis as the only cars they saw were Ferraris. There was one, and probably more, where the winner wasn’t even mentioned in the text.

        And the Spanish press and Alonso: well! It was laughable during the Stepneygate saga.

        In general I think we are lucky in this country as the chap next to you on the Clapham omnibus is as likely to be a supporter of some foreign driver as an English one. At one time the Schumacher fan club had more British members than any other single nationality.

        I’m told that there’s one famous British chap, used to be on TV a lot reporting on GPs, who is a massive fan of Alonso. Anyone any idea who that might be? I’m told he now runs a blog.

        In defence of Italians, at least I think it is a defence, I remember the fans at Monza once cheering Patrese, in his Williams days, retiring from the lead of the GP with suddenly passive suspension. It allowed a Ferrri through to the lead.

        Can’t have done a lot for the chap’s self confidence.

        One of my endearing and enduring memories was standing at Club when Mansell was qualifying the Williams Judd. Towards the end of the session he came past us completely on the limit. He took a line that no-one else got near and he put the underpowered car second on the grid at that stage.

        The whole crowd (less a lot of the Ferrari mob I have to say), regardless of affiliation, and including me, a McLaren nerd, applauded from when he exited Club to his time flashing up on the screen when we cheered. People, even McLaren nerds, were jumping up and down in excitement.

        A great day and one without any jingoism.

        And to give the Ferrari mob their due, they applauded towards the end. Perhpas a little grudgingly?

      2. mtb says:

        I did try to respond to you earlier, but my message was not posted. Presumably, if I try to address your comments then my message will not be posted again.

        One thing that I wanted to say was that I agreed completely with your initial post, and also found it hilarious!

        Keep it up!

      3. James Allen says:

        No, we were doing work and some of the comments didn’t come through. Sorry about that

  86. Baz says:

    It’s interesting to see that the winner of the race, where preserving your tyres could mean the difference between winning and losing, was the driver with the “aggressive” driving style, who can’t look after his tyres.

  87. Richard G says:

    I went with Button. Hamilton drove well enough, but this is his specialist track.

    JB, on the other hand, did not have a good setup, the one thing that has been his achilles heel in the past. To make matters worse, he lost his chief engineer, so his side of the team would not have been optimal.

    Despite these difficulties, JB is able to keep LH, the specialist honest, he takes more places, and finishes only a few seconds adrift, with tyres in much better shape.

    When LH tried to put in a few fast laps to reopen the closing gap from JB, it was impressive sure, but LH had to be politely told off by the team – in efect, “wise up, slow down, you’ll destroy your tyres at that pace”.

  88. Spenny says:

    At the risk of it becoming too tedious, I will once more point out the real issue with Schumacher’s Kubica block.

    The principle of F1 is that racing is decided on the track, not off it. If pushing people off the track were allowed, then the obvious tactic would be to allow someone to start a move and simply move across them.

    What do the sporting regulations say? Annex L was redrafted in 2009 to clarify the issue: “However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as… deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track… are prohibited.” It is not hard driving: it is against the rules to push someone off the track.

    Schumacher did not close the door in time, Kubica had made a clear move and Schumacher made an unfair blook, which of course slowed Kubica down, yet he still had enough performance to challenge again.

    The second time, by again crowding Kubica off the track, Kubica lost his braking zone and taking off over the kerbs, braking on the off track area, it was not surprising he had no control of his car.

    So, squeeze someone to the edge – fine. Squeeze someone offline onto the dirty side of the track, fine, but as soon as a driver forces another car to put a wheel off the track, then that is a move too far, and is, by the FIA’s own definition, unsporting.

    As for the race as a whole, Mercedes tyre tactics were woeful, and it seems to me that they gambled away points by not finding some other tyres, even part worn qualifying tyres, to allow Schumacher to finish the race.

  89. gond says:

    For me, a die-hard, really hard, Alonso fan, it was Hamilton. Perfect race, waiting for his chances (Alonso pass), not getting hot headed (pits racing with Alo), managing his car and sending the right messages (a couple of fastest laps) to his team mate so he didnt try too hard at the end.
    I think Alonso drove well, but still I found him a little bit too eager in the Buemi and Hispania issues he had. Nevertheless I keep wondering what would have happened if the Lotus would not had held him back while Hamilton was in the pits and he setting a fastest lap.
    Im very happy with this race as it showed how both of them are now very mature, have learnt a lot from past hard times, and they are still my bet for the WDC. I think they are still ahead of the other drivers, even if they are also fantastic.
    Ham & Alo will give us one of the most beautiful sport rivalries in years to come (as they weren’t giving it already…!), and they will miss each other when they retire.
    Button keeps growing his reputation by the race, what a bet moving to McLaren, and how well he is playing his strenghts!
    Schumacher… Who?
    Also Canada was the confirmation of what the fans have been crying out loud for some years now. Classic circuits please, in places where there is real fan base support!

    1. Lamer says:

      “both of them are now very mature”
      I’m afraid it was only Lewis who showed his maturity. As for Fernando, his odd attempts to pass Buemi and Chandhok straight away have probably cost him the WDC leadership.

      PS
      I’m Alonso fan as well.

  90. JohnBt says:

    All I want to say is I enjoyed the race very much. The best so far.

  91. Nilesh says:

    James,

    I know I’m late to comment and might not get a reply but here goes. We were at turn 6 on the circuit this weekend and noticed that the Red Bulls made the loudest noise going out of the turn. Since they have the same Renault engines and the other cars didn’t have the same decibel level, I’m guessing it was due to traction control. Is that correct or is it something else?

    Also, different drivers have a different way of entering a corner. I’d seen a video with telemetry of Schumacher braking slightly early and hitting the throttle a little before hitting the apex to ensure top speed out of the corner. And then there is Hamilton who likes to brake as late as possible. Which is a better style of driving? Or do drivers change the way they enter the corner depending on the circuit and whether the car under or oversteers?

    1. Kenny says:

      I can only really answer the first one with the engine noise.
      If it was traction control I think it would be pretty noticable in terms of the noise of the engine being somewhat “erratic”. Just try and find some old onboard videos on Youtube and you’ll see what I mean.
      In addition, with the standard ECU unit the FIA regulate, this has put a control on teams secretly using traction control.
      I suspect the engine note being “louder” may be to do with the actual length of the exhaust seeing as the Red Bulls do have it at a lower position pointing at the suspension and entry to the diffuser area.
      So the fact that it’s longer means there is more surface area for the molecules to collide with and vibrate to create the sound.
      That would be my thinking anyways.

    2. Robert Powers says:

      As for driving styles there are usually different ways about doing things.Some drivers want to downshift through gears in sequence,some like to go straight to the gear they want.In sedan racing some like to heel and toe,some drive traditional.

      Nigel Mansell had a great strength in diving into corners at full speed,sorting out the exit.While Alain Prost would brake first,then accelerate out of the corner.It is a matter of comfort-at well over two hundred KPH!

      All drivers must adapt to conditions,but they have distinct traits to work with.

  92. Alex J says:

    I have to say Button would my driver of the day. He really is showing that he has his brain switched on and can read a race well while at the same time driving at 180 mph. He pulled off a great move on Alonso, nursed his tyes well, and would have had Hamilton if there had been a couple more laps or hadn’t had to hold station by the team!!

    I also think Kovy deserves a special mention. He is doing a great job at Lotus and seems very happy there.

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