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Lewis Hamilton wins scintillating Canadian Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton wins scintillating Canadian Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2010   |  7:28 pm GMT  |  208 comments

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix, the most exciting race of the season so far. He led home team mate Jenson Button in McLaren’s third 1-2 finish of the season. Hamilton now leads the drivers’ championship, the fifth different driver to do so this season and McLaren head the constructors’. Fernando Alonso finished third for Ferrari but felt he would have won but for problems with slower cars.


It was Hamilton’s second win in three visits to Montreal, ” I don’t know why I go well here, ” he said. “For me this is one of the best races of the season. Maybe I can dial the car in and get a better feel for it here.”

It was a sensational race with a spirited duel between Alonso and Hamilton at the heart of it. There was some very hard racing further down the field, with Schumacher and Kubica also engaged in a furious battle which saw both of them on the grass at the Turn 3 chicane at one point.

Tyre degradation played a huge part in the story, with drivers adopting different strategies to cope with the fading tyres, both soft and hard. It gave us an idea of what F1 might be like if tyres were deliberately chosen to degrade quickly, as some would like to see.

Red Bull thought they had the right strategy starting on the hard tyres, but it turned out that they didn’t last much better than the soft. This handed the initiative to McLaren and Ferrari, Vettel going from P2 on the grid (after Webber’s penalty) to P4. This was because the hard tyre didn’t perform any better at the start than the soft tyre, against expectations.

It was the warmest day of the race weekend with the track temperature up at 38 degrees when the race started.

Mark Webber started seventh on the grid after taking a five place drop due to a late gearbox change. The team found particles of the input shaft in the oil analysis and that meant it was going to fail.

The start was full of incident, with Liuzzi and Massa being very aggressive with each other, banging wheels like touring car drivers. Both had to pit for repairs.

Jenson Button was in trouble from early on with the soft tyre, and made an early stop on lap 7. Hamilton led from the start, but pitted himself early, as did Alonso. The pair exited the pits side by side and it was the start of a fantastic battle between the old adversaries. Alonso took the place on the way out of the pits.

We now had two races, the Red Bulls and Kubica in one race and Alonso and Hamilton in another. But the hard tyres were not lasting well either and the race started to swing back towards Hamilton and Alonso, who closed quickly on Vettel and Webber.

The Red Bull pair pitted – Vettel opting to take his soft tyres at this early stage – leaving Buemi in the Toro Rosso in the lead.

Alonso made a move to pass the Swiss at the hairpin, but lost momentum and this gave Hamilton the chance to get past him again on the long straight into the final chicane.

Alonso looked more comfortable on tyre wear than Hamilton and on lap 23 came on the radio to say, “It’s looking good” to his engineer.

Sutil battled with Kubica for sixth place, while Vettel on the option tyre was faster than the leaders, but the problem with the softs today was that once they started to go off, they fell off a cliff so it was important to pit as soon as possible when the driver felt them going.


Webber led on lap 30 having made only one stop to the two of his rivals by that stage. He was the only one of the leaders not to have used the option tyre at this stage. His lap times were stronger than his rivals at this stage and it was a question of how he could minimise the pain of the soft tyre when he took it.

By lap 40 his tyres started to go off and Hamilton was reeling him in quickly. It looked at this stage as though Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Vettel were all trying to get to the end of the race on their second set of hard tyres. As Webber’s tyres faded, Hamilton started catching him at a second a lap, he was on him by lap 48.

Hamilton passed Webber for the lead on lap 50 and the Australian pitted a lap later, rejoining fifth behind Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Vettel.

Alonso got boxed in behind a slower car for the second time in the race with 15 laps to go and Button took the opportunity to pass him for second place. Button’s tyres looked to be in better shape than Hamilton’s and he closed on him.

With nine laps to go, Sebastian Buemi pulled off a brilliant pass on Schumacher for 8th place, a remarkable performance in a Toro Rosso car which looked horribly off the pace in the practice sessions. Buemi started 15th on the grid. Schumacher lost a further two places at the end to the Force Indias, Liuzzi enjoying his strongest weekend of the season and he surely would have scored more points if it were not for the collision with Massa at the start.

After being outclassed on the downforce dependent Istanbul circuit, Ferrari were good here and Alonso felt that a win was possible. “Everyone saw that we had the pace to win. It was a race decided by small details, traffic in particular. Some times it helps you some times it’s against you,” said Alonso. “I think we did a perfect race, we did very quick pit stops, especially the one to pass the McLaren. We proved we are strong and there is a lot more to come.”

CANADIAN GRAND PRIX, Montreal, 70 laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h33:53.456
2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.254
3. Alonso Ferrari + 9.214
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 37.817
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 39.291
6. Rosberg Mercedes + 56.084
7. Kubica Renault + 57.300
8. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
9. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
15. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Petrov Renault + 2 laps
18. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 5 laps

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208 Comments
  1. knoxploration says:

    Best race of the season so far, only way it could’ve had me on the edge of my seat for longer would’ve been if a backmarker hadn’t tripped Alonso up when he was reeling in Hamilton for the lead. FA likely wouldn’t have gotten past, but it’d probably have played right down to the wire.

    Not a great race for my own team (Red Bull), but then it was never going to be. They did about as well as could be expected against the F-duct advantage.

    1. jbstans says:

      Wasn’t that ‘back marker’ Webber?

      1. Rafael L says:

        Wasn’t it a Lotus?

      2. Jorge says:

        ‘Back marker’? It was Sebastian Buemi, not a back-marker. He was actually 1st position at that time, he pitted very late. So when Alonso -Hamilton came out of the pits, Buemi was first. I think Alonso thought that Buemi was a back-marker, he was not.
        Now, when Button passed Alonso, that was a back-marker.
        I think that the team should have advised Alonso about who is at the front, or Alonso should have been more calm in how to face the race… I think the pressure on him is too high, specially the Italian press after his big mistake in Monaco.

      3. knoxploration says:

        No, it wasn’t Webber. It also wasn’t Buemi, Jorge, sorry. Buemi’s brief moment of glory was far earlier in the race.

        It was Karun Chandhok who got in the way, on lap 55, according to GrandPrix.com’s race notes:

        http://www.grandprix.com/race/r828racenotes.html

        Autosport.com and many others also cite that it was Chandhok responsible:

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/84466

        I don’t particularly blame Chandhok, because that Hispania is clearly a nightmare to drive. It’s just a shame it had to happen in that manner, is all. If anybody’s to blame, it’s Mosley for lowering the bar to let teams into F1 that simply weren’t ready to play with the big boys.

      4. Gil Dogon says:

        Reading the report and the original comment, I think James was right. On laps 44-48 Alonso was reeeling in Hamilton behind Webber which was struggling on his worn Tyres. On lap 14 it was indeed the LEADER Buemi which pitted and allowed Hamilton pass on Alonso. The only backmarker Alonso can complain about is indeed Chandhok, but that was the Button pass, not Hamiltons …

      5. knoxploration says:

        Gil: I never claimed James to be wrong. I was referring to the incident at the end of the race. I supposed I didn’t explicitly state this, but it should’ve been fairly obvious from statements like:

        “only way it could’ve had me on the edge of my seat for longer”

        “it’d probably have played right down to the wire”

        I’m not and have never been talking about the first Alonso / Buemi incident, but of the later Alonso / Chandhok incident which robbed us of a thrilling ending to the race.

  2. sibonelo says:

    Great race for Schumacher-haters who’ve been starving for ages for this kind of result for him. Predictably your’ll have resurrected the ‘comeback’ debate. Can I just remind your’ll that even with all his incidents in this race, Michael still didn’t do as poorly as Nico in Spain where he finished a lousy 13th in a relatively incident-free race.

    1. Dan says:

      I’m actually an MS supporter. But, good god, today not only did he make me laugh numerous times, but i think after the 3rd, maybe the 4th incident, they should’ve black-flagged him. He was just acting like he bought that seat.

      1. Legend2 says:

        “I’m actually an MS supporter, but” – where have I heard that before? “I’m not a nazi, but”
        Enough said.

      2. Dan says:

        Sorry James, but inhave to clarify for this man of limited cerebral capacity.

        I actually wanted to quit watching F1 altogether once Kimi left. The only reason that I continued watching this year was excitement about MS. Subsequently he has not offered much, but the others have.

        So before you lump everyone into the same category, this is not what you think. Take your stereotyping, and shove it.

      3. James Allen says:

        OK let’s calm down

      4. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Are suggesting support michael Schumacher is a synonym for being a Nazi?

      5. michael grievson says:

        Erm. I don’t think that’s the same thing. Whether people support MS or not there is no denying he had a poor race

      6. Legend2 says:

        Have I been misinterpreted?
        My previous comment was suggesting that when Dan said “I’m actually an MS supporter” he is actually in fact not.[mod]

        So please Prof Bolshavik understand my comment. That interpretation is incorrect, apologies for any confusion.

        Dan, I was just pointing out what most “clued-in” people would have identified from your post. Your response tells us all the sort of person you are. Degrading yourself to worthless personal attacks.

      7. Jorge says:

        People expect so much of Schumi. But let’s look a the facts:
        - Got a great start.
        - Great battle with Kubica.
        - He got a tire puncture out of that battle, he had to switch tires sooner than expected, meaning his last set of tires had to be used until race end.
        - Great battle with Massa, don’t get me wrong, it was Massa that was overly agressive on the brakes, and Massa hit Schumi in the back.
        - Great battle with Force India.

        Funny thing everytime we have a great on-track battle, race stewards are called in to penalize either of the drivers, Come-on! this is what we want, we want in-race battles!

      8. Dan says:

        Sorry, Massa did not commit to overly aggressive braking. Michael had chosen to ride the defensive line into the corner. When Massa went to the outside, Michael cut back. That is weaving, and not allowed.

    2. AlexD says:

      I do not get the point:-) I am a Ferrari fan and used to be a Schumi fan as you can imagine, but I truly believe people couldn’t care less about Schumi n the race today. I do not know who hates him and why would anyone be particularly happy or sad by his performance today.

    3. Klaas says:

      Indeed you’re right! and James his comment on a brilliant pass by Buemi, come on. He had the inside for the next corner and Michael had no tyres left. It was an easy pass even for Buemi, so be sensible. Michael had a fantastic start and then got unlucky with Kubica, then Brawn did something stupid and his race was ruined.

      Then I just want to say this. I always watch f1 on bbc (2 years ago ITV) and I love Martin Brundle but today I have some comments on his commentary. You can clearly hear that he is not fond of Schumacher and that he loves the fact that Michael is struggeling. For example Brundle has issues with Michaels defending capabilities today. I’m sure that if it had been Hamilton doing the same, he would have called it brilliant defending. I remember the weaving incident with Lewis in Malaysia with Petrov. Many drivers called that dangerous but Brundle called it ok.
      I think people forget that the man has been 3 years off f1 and they have too high expectations. Then those who are jealous of his achievements, are laughing with him now, but lets wait and see who laughs last!

      1. JimmiC says:

        I think Martin is quite impartial actually, and all the drivers have come in for criticism (as well as praise.) Michael didn’t exactly cover himself in glory today, and if Martin had a wry smile whilst pointing it out – so be it. He shouldn’t have been weaving about and knocking other people’s wings off in the first place.

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        You’re wrong. Martin clearly dislike Michael, he humbled him as a team mate, he refuses interviews with him on the grid and i don’t think Michael really values his opinion at all.

      3. HowardHughes says:

        To be honest I found the commentary today pretty woeful. Legard is just becoming grating and annoying, while the normally excellent Brundle was, at least today, sort of not really there at all. Seriously, they need to get James Allen back in to replace Legard; it’s not even funny any more. I was wincing at times.

      4. James M says:

        I actually thought this was one of Legard’s best commentaries; I think he has improved a lot since last year. The only mistake which both of them made was the pass JB made on FA was actually caught live from the heli-cam, but neither noticed it until the replay.

        In particular I thought the commentary was great on Saturday.

      5. TM says:

        I agree on Legard. He is terrible.
        Every time he’s talking and i see the team radio sign come up on TV I feel myself getting crosser and crosser as he yaps over half of it.

      6. JimmiC says:

        I think he needs to realise that less is more and that he isn’t on the radio anymore and we can see a lot of the action that is being described. Also – constantly cutting off Brundle to give us an update of the top ten (as it scrolls across the bottom of the screen) – not good. I just don’t get the feeling they have any chemistry.

      7. Bevan says:

        Bring back Murray I say.The man was a legend!!

      8. canuck says:

        I live in Canada and it is difficult to get past the bias that Martin Brundle/Legard show towards Button (lightly) and more specifically Hamilton.
        The highlight for me was when Hamilton run out of fuel on the qualis. No in depth coverage or opinions on wether he deserve a grid penalty (that he did is obvious; otherwise everybody would be running light enough not to return to the pits).
        I agree with you even though Hamilton run a great race today in very difficult conditions – as did the top 5.
        Go for it James! You have one supporter in Maple Leaf Country!

      9. "for sure" says:

        So why did I hear a detailed discussion about the guidance note on the topic that was issued by the FIA seven years ago! If you think that could form the basis for a grid penalty dream on!

        On a different topic, Schumachers performance was woeful, and as usual, his sportmanship a disgrace. Anyone else would have been black flagged, or at the least given a drive through during the race, not investigated after.

      10. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

        I thought that Buemi’s move was so nice. But even more remarkable was the fact that Schu didn’t anything crooked / crooky or qhatever

      11. John Zammit says:

        You should hear the commentary on the Italian RAI TV stations then…. You’ll learn what impartiality in commentating is (not)!

      12. Simon H says:

        Brundle is the jewel in the crown when it comes to the commentary. He gives a measured response to most of the incidents. A real professional.

        I was thinking exactly what Brundle said. “MS would be considered not ready to race if he was a newcomer to F1″.

        I love the fact that he has come back, but he was all over the place and was bordering on dangerous. His pithy comments when commenting on the race is getting on my tits as well to be honest.

        Hamilton and Button what a dream team!! Button has impressed me immensely. Lets be honest Hamilton is the best driver when it comes toe to toe. But Button is making Hamilton work for his crust well done to both of them. I fooking love it. :))

    4. Alberto Dietz says:

      Let’s be fair and recognise that Schumacher haters are well balanced for life, by means of an appropriately placed chip on each shoulder.

      1. "for sure" says:

        So let’s just recognise that his comeback was an ill judged, ego boosting mistake. I bet Ferrari are well pleased he jumped ship to Mercedes.

    5. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      Michael had a shocking race, he was third at one point but tyres got destroyed and Brawn hadn’t any more primes i assume, if they did they screwed up badly.
      Best bit of commentary was regarding Schumacher vs Kubica., “Michael didn’t give up there.”
      “He never did.”

      I can’t imagine how people can say michael was driving badly. The drivers he raced said he was fair, and i think they are usually the first to judge.
      If anyone wants to see some bias from the commentators, overlay Schumacher vs Massa and Hamilton vs Vettel.
      Martin said, “Hamilton has made his move, he should stay there now.”
      He then moved back across the track.
      “Oh, that’s ok.”

      Virtually the same thing with Schumacher and Massa and Martin was calling for the stewards.
      Yes Massa hit Michael, but if he had backed out of it like Vettel did no problem.
      Michael and Hamilton drive in the same way, hyper aggressive, regardless of the state of the car or position in the race.
      One is a 7 time WDC and the other a 1 time WDC.
      There should be no real preference, one parked in monaco, one tried to get Trulli disqualified and lied about it in Australia, both super aggressive off the start line.
      Why the disparity? One is british, the other not.
      When will the BBC become impartial and realise this is a country of many cultures and their voices are heard around the world?

      1. MartynB says:

        Does anyone else think Schumacher is turning into Dick Dastardly? I can just imagine him saying to Ross ‘forget the F-duct what I really need is a oil squirter at the back, spinning blades on the wheels and a rocket launcher on the top’.

        Just like the real Whacky Races he always seems to end up last.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this new version, much more exciting than the old procession of wins for Red. Adds so much spice to the race.

        As for the commentary bias, well yeah probably, so what? What do you expect? Two great British drivers doing well I think I’d be upset if they didn’t get a little excited. It is the BRITISH Broadcasting Company after all.

        As for Brundle’s comments on Dick- Sorry Schumacher- I thought there was a little respect for his ruthlessness in the comments, but then I guess that’s down to interpretation.

        Guess I just like my racing with a little colour and character, not a bunch of PR robots driving exactly to plan and within the rule book. Bit like the old days!

      2. Jorge says:

        I live in Montreal, Canada & I turn to RDS Reseaux des Sports, a french canadian sport channel covering F1.
        It is unbiased, probably will get bias towards Villeneuve, but he is not racing, so totally unbias. Good race!

      3. malcolm.strachan says:

        You must have missed the sarcasm when he said “Oh, that’s ok”. I heard the same line, and definitely picked up on the sarcasm. Brundle was not impressed with Hamilton’s double-move.

      4. David Hamilton says:

        I really don’t think it is fair to compare Schumacher’s act of stopping the car at Monaco with the Hamilton/Trulli incident.

        Hamilton was told by a senior member of his team to lie, and had little time to think about the consequences.

        That doesn’t make it right, but it is in a whole different league to making an individual choice to disrupt qualifying.

        And the difference between Schumacher/Massa and Hamilton/Vettel? One pair made contact, the other didn’t. Obvious, but true…

  3. Galapago555 says:

    A fantastic race, the best so far this year in my opinion. Is this the boring F1 season we were affraid of? James, do you think that the Ferraris are back into the fight, or it is just a question of this very special track?

  4. Galapago555 says:

    Schumacher should be penalised for various incidents during the race. IMHO, he should think seriously in retiring again… he is destroying his impressive image as the best ever F1 driver… now he looks his going to be remmembered just as the dirtiest driver in history!

    1. Erik C says:

      Absolutly, putting Massa into the wall wasn’t only dirty but unnecessary. Massa was seconds per lap faster, he then went on to nearly take out Liuzzi. The stewards were going to investigate the incident after the race, let’s see what happens…

      1. Michael says:

        2:22:50 on the BBC iPlayer coverage. Schumi moves to the right to cover the pass, Massa goes around the outside, Shumacher cuts back to the left. He moves across so far that even with Massa partly on the grass, Michael still manages to take out his front wing. That’s a fine way to treat your former protege.

        Between this and Hulkenburg, I’m beginning to think weaving’s been legalised.

      2. Jorge says:

        “Massa goes around the outside”,,, funny as seen on TV, Massa was never even close to make a pass on Schumacher at the end of the long straight, not even parallel to Schumi… I think Massa thought that Schumi was going to let him pass and it did not happen, and true is, he did not need to let that happen. What happens on the track stays on the track.

    2. Phil says:

      Think he already had that covered. Though, this was a particularly dirty drive even by his standards.

    3. TM says:

      The most surprising thing is that you don’t already remember him as the dirtiest driver in history… also that you see him as the best ever driver.

      :o)

  5. PaulL says:

    Why was McLaren not penalized for unsafe release?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      You must know that there are two different sets of rules: one, for ALL the teams but McLaren, and the other, just for Maclaren. The second one includes just one rule: everything can be done; the worst penalty should be a fine and a reprimand.

      1. David C says:

        You’re joking, right? Have you forgotten the $100 million fine in 2007, or Lewis being stripped of a win at Spa in 2008? The latter was so outrageous, that Niki Lauda declared it to be “the worst judgment in the history of F1,” and “the most perverted judgment I have ever seen.”

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Niki Lauda is a fool at the best of times.
        They stole the data to an opponents car.
        They should have been banned for life.
        The worst judgment was letting Renault off.

      3. anthony says:

        Prof

        And what about the lifting floor? Ferrari are no angels. Kimi should have forfieted the points for his win in the Aussie Grand Prix in 2007 but Frerrari international rescue let them off!!!!

      4. TM says:

        Yes, the stewards have been far more lenient this year… to everyone.

        I admit that I was also surprised that he didn’t get a penalty for unsafe release. But I was also surprised that Barrichello wasn’t penalised at Monaco for the steering wheel incident, that Vettel wasn’t penalised for driving into Webber, that Kubica didn’t get anything for dangerous driving into the pits yesterday, for Schumacher not to get anything for the way he drove yesterday. The list goes on this year where commentators, journalists, drivers and fans have all said “surely they’ll get penalised for that” and they haven’t.

        But you know what? I agree with all the above decisions. It’s meaning they’re racing properly now. We’ve become too accustomed to penalties being handed out for someone sneezing at the wrong part of the track. This is proper racing, and for years us fans have been moaning that too many penalties have been handed out.

        Saying they’re favouring Hamilton is just so childish, come on this whining is getting embarrassing to read.

      5. David C says:

        Hear hear!

    2. Amritraj says:

      I was thinking the same thing. It was a dangerous release and the onboard shots from Alonso’s car show him taking avoiding action for Lewis’ McLaren. Alonso was a bit rattled with Hamilton coming right into him in the pit-lane.

      The stewards have been too leniant in their decision-making this year, perhaps inconsistent as well. I mean Hamilton/McLaren have breached the regulations at least 4 times this year(China – Vettel/ Hamilton, Malaysia Petrov/ Hamilton, Canada (Qualifying and Pit-Lane release) , but they get away with just a reprimand or a fine.

      All the podium finishers drove a great race, but I was disappointed that the stewards didn’t ever bother to acknowledge,let alone take action , that a dangerous release took place.

    3. AlexD says:

      This is my point…..Why Hamilton is never penalized this year? it is not that I want him to be penalized – he had a superb drive, but he should been given a penalty for the pit lane accident.

      1. LT says:

        Blah, blah, blah, blah…..what a whingefest!! Why was Ferrari never penalized for the last decade!?!? This is payback for the Max years, pure and simple. About time too!!!

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        so you agree it is unfair?

      3. Simon Birtwistle says:

        The consensus on the BBC was that he was released at a safe time, but the amount of wheelspin he got trying to leave the box closed the cars right up.

    4. Dils says:

      Because it was deemed safe. I don’t think Ferrari have made a complaint to the race stewards. Also it’s motor racing. But… maybe.. to be safer why not have the drivers mirror, signal and then manouver? ;)

    5. Christian Hepworth says:

      I don’t think it was an unsafe release, but only just. Both cars were released at pretty much the same time, and Lewis had to really swerve to avoid the Red Bull mechanics, and suffered from some wheel-spin which let Alonso get up alongside him. After that I think both Lewis and Alonso were pretty sensible driving down the pit lane and then out onto the track.

      1. Rishi says:

        I agree with the comment further up that the main trick I felt the stewards missed was not giving a firmer punishment to Kubica for his last-minute pitlane entry decision when racing Sutil. That was pretty dangerous – imagine if they had collided! And he also gave Sutil a puncture in the process.

    6. Legend2 says:

      James or anyone else for that matter,
      Was there not a guideline saying that before releasing a car from the box, there should be a 30m gap? Even if that is simply a guideline and can be ignored, surely the LH release means that anyone can release a car at anytime as long as they don’t cause a collision and can expect no penalty. If there is no penalty for LH, then surely it is open slather, and as long as you don’t hit anyone it will be fine.
      Remember, last year in Spa, when Webber was released in front of another car – he copped a penalty there. So it seems bizarre that LH escaped without a penalty here.

      My driver of the day – JB. Smart enough to realise there was no point tangling with Webber early on when his supersofts were shot. Then pitted early and managed to catch up slightly to Alonso and Hamilton in front of him. Then great work to reel in FA when it mattered. A wonderful, controlled drive from a man who qualified in P5. Great work Jenson Button. For a man who is obviously poor at mathematics, Jenson seems to know what is going on during a race.

  6. Vivek says:

    Congrats to McLaren for their 3rd 1-2 of the season. Brilliant drive from Alonso who I thought could have won the race but for the traffic.

    FIA should seriously have a look at a way to avoid back-markers coming in the way of drivers racing in the lead lap.

    Massa too had a good race despite a woeful first lap and should have settled for a point or waited another lap to have a go at Schumacher.

    James, any information on Red-Bulls exhaust system? And how do they give an advantage in downforce?

    1. James Allen says:

      By blowing the diffuser. I’ll do something on it in the next LG Tech Report

      1. Dan says:

        James,

        On this point, could you include some information about what sort of pressures and exhaust-flow speeds must be coming out of those exhausts to contribute?

        Thanks

      2. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

        Thing is, Red Bull had their chance of building a Button-esque lead in the championship and wasted it. Reminds me of McLaren 2005.

        I think they’ll be blown away from now on, specially if other teams manage to copy their exaust-blown diffuser.

    2. Lord says:

      So why couldn’t he keep up with Button then with no one in between them?

      1. Vivek says:

        Alonso was right behind Button almost till the end of the race. It was only during the penultimate laps that he started to slow down his pace.

        He has already suffered retirement trying to overtake Button once, early in the season (coupled with gear gremlins) and 15 points is too big a haul to lose in a moment of madness.
        He is bidding his time and if Ferrari’s updates click, you can very well see him winning races and hopefully the championship too.

  7. JimmiC says:

    Yet again, one of the older, ‘classic’ tracks gives us a corking race in front of packed grandstands.. Come on Bernie – you’re rich enough. Stop building car parks in the middle of deserts just because a local billionaire wants a race in their backyard.

    1. Irish conor says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more mate mr e cares more about his pocket than the fans. Canada should never be off the calendar. I don’t care one bit how fancy places like abu dhabi and Singapore is give me Canada spa and brazil everytime

      1. neil m says:

        Yes agreed (JimmyC), BUT, if F1 wasn’t bringing in obscene amounts of money, there wouldn’t be an F1 for you to enjoy. See the problem? Whine about bernie and tilke all you like, but bernie IS F1, there would be no F1 (as you see it today) without him.

        I know we think could do it better than Bernie, Tilke, Max, Enzo, Ron etc. but these are the guys that shaped the sport you see today. Try to remember you’re an armchair pundit, have an opinion, but show some respect to the people that actually made things happen.

        grrrrr

      2. JimmiC says:

        Well, Bernie isn’t immortal even though it is likely only himself and the cockroaches would survive a nuclear holocaust. It seems to make more business sense to me to race at tracks with consistently packed grandstands providing Bernie and F1 with the funds to continue (and for those tracks to continue to exist) instead of tracks in the middle of nowhere being subsidized by a wealthy government (which can change) or a wealthy owner (who may get bored) to the utter indifference of the local population.

        For F1 to continue as a sport, it needs to entertain. If entertainment wasn’t a factor, they’d race behind closed doors and inform us of the result afterwards. These new tracks are dull, lifeless and poorly attended. Tracks like Canada, Silverstone and Spa (which have hovered on and off the calendar) sell out and produce magic races.

        Just to finish before I climb off my high horse – I am an armchair pundit. I wish I wasn’t. But whilst this blog allows comments, I will discuss things in a fair and reasoned manner. That’s rather more dignified than ‘whining’ as you put it.

      3. "for sure" says:

        …and soon you’ll be able to have a nice time in Austin!

  8. robefc says:

    Hi James, I was worried Button’s tyres were in better shape too but I think hamilton was just managing the gap, as soon as button got close hamilton put in a couple of ultra quick laps and his engineer came on the radio and said, ‘ok lewis, you clearly have the pace, please look after the tyres’. I thought hamilton was making a pretty emphatic point to button, at that point at the race, and also to those who are critical of his tyre management.

    1. Steve McGill says:

      Agree absolutley. He’s really proved he can manage his tyres after all and had plenty in the bag to fend off any challenges. Button must be getting very worried…!

    2. Clive says:

      Finally a post on the Original article a Mclaren Driver’s Victory.
      Pretty spot on i think the ‘Smooth driving’ thing is overcooked and Hamilton’s umbrage to the pundits criticism of tire care was emphatically answered, he did mention Bridgestone’s Feedback that he was one of the kindest to the Tires so there we have it.
      in addition he destroyed Button in race trim for 70 LAPS – NO LATE FADE IN PACE!

  9. Lamer says:

    Yet again, two mistakes were made by Alonso (Buemi + Chandhok). Making so many mistakes this season by no way helps him to get the title given that the Ferrari car is not the best in the pack. Well done for Hamilton and Button, looks like Lewis is set to get the championship this year. Being a fan of Alonso, I have to admit that with his driving style degradation he’s gonna make the second Montoya. The most well-rounded driver on the grid – it’s not about Fernando this year.

    1. Jorge says:

      I agree with you, it looks like Alonso is taking the race as a walk in the park… not taking chances or seems sleepy at times.

      On the Lewis-Alonso-Buemi pass: ok, at the end of the long straight, Mclaren f-duct works wonders, Alonso thinks Buemi is a backmarker so expect to have some space to pass, Lewis comes from behind so so fast!, that Alonso can’t think of something else that let him pass, otherwise he can crash. OK.

      But on the Button-Alonso-Chandhok pass: This one looks like Alonso did not know that Button was too close to him, don’t tell me is the F-duct cause they were just accelerating coming out of a turn, Alonso did not what to take the dirt part of the track, but Button did. From the aerial view, you can tell that Alonso was not prepared or at least expecting this to happen. Bad.

      We’ll see in Valencia. But so far, Lewis is by far, far, much more race-dialed-ready, his mind-set is amazing. I never was a fun of Lewis but the moves he did yesterday, AMAZING!

  10. Paul says:

    I don’t know if I dare read the comments to this post for fear of becoming envious at the delight of people who – unlike myself – acted on James’ advice prior to Turkey to put a few quid on Hamilton for this race.

    On the subject of the race itself: fantastic afternoon’s entertainment, a one-year break from Montreal was far too long.

  11. Paige says:

    James,

    I’m going to have to say that so far this year, Hamilton has been by far the driver of the year. Take away the rim failure in Spain and the team’s cockup on his pit strategy in Oz, and he’d be leading the championship right now by 30 points (at least). He’s continually been right on Red Bull’s tail despite the MP4-25 not being on the level of the RB6 this year.

    Also, I don’t think Button’s tires were in better shape toward the end. I think Hamilton was just in conservative mode. The laps he set with around 10 laps to go were a message to Button that he had plenty left and could use it if needed.

    1. Stuart Moore says:

      It’s all very well saying “Take away X Y Z…” – the same applies to the others in the lead (Button – Monaco. Alonso – Monaco, China. Webber – Vettel…)

      Hamilton’s done well – but I wouldn’t say he was by far the driver of the year. Everything’s so tight at the top that people are pressured into mistakes, and dealing with that pressure is part of it.

    2. TM says:

      Come on – Button pulled an amazing move on Hamilton in Turkey…. when Hamilton’s back was turned (i.e. he thought they weren’t racing)! LOL!!
      I jest – I totally agree with you!

  12. Stuart Fenton says:

    My Schumacher view is based on his dirty driving today. It is one thing to drive dirty for a champtionship (and it kind of makes bizarre sense. Something is at risk) but driving that way for 9th/10th is just silly. The history books always show the true greats. He will have to be careful before his half tarnished legacy disolves further.

    1. mo says:

      what dirty driving did schumacher do today? please point out the specific parts of the race where his driving was ‘dirty’?

      with kubica he left just about enough room for kubica to use some tarmac and kerb. They both outbraked themselves. kubica was never infront going into the corner.

      with massa…..he was caught out my michaels earlier than normal braking due to a lack of rear tyres and simply went into the back of him. i dont know why brundle said in commentary he had ‘moved over’ – everyone knows you can move once, then you can move back to take racing line, which every other driver does. michael moved back to the left to take the corner. massa wasn’t alongside him or anything.

      where was the dirty driving? think you’ll find liuzzi said he enjoyed it and was all very fair.

      im pretty sure michael doesn’t care much about his ‘legacy’ and is driving for the thrill of it, focusing on the title for next year.

      also driving hard for 9th or 10th can be crucial – all the points add up. and it provided some great entertainment today.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        I agree fully, just a couple of points to add. If Schumacher had managed to stay on the track Kubica would have smashed them both out. Michael had every right to hang on round the outside.
        Also I think he does care about his legacy, just not in Britain. Anyone who was at Silverstone 2006 knows he will never sway the masses to be fans. Personally I think the racism on display towards Schumacher on that day was as bad as anything that Lewis has had to endure.
        What racism did I witness? Salutes, marches, powerful symbols on flags, you know the ones.

      2. Howard Hughes says:

        Absolutely agree 100%

      3. Alberto Dietz says:

        Make that 200%. And Emmo the oldtimer as a steward wouldn’t buy any silly complaint.

      4. malcolm.strachan says:

        Specific points:

        1) Weaving on the straight, giving Massa the impression that he could commit to the outside, only to have Schumacher come back across after Massa committed, forcing Massa to hit him from behind. You can’t “move once to block and then move back to take the racing line”. That is moving twice. The rule is in place to prevent exactly that. Hamilton was equally as guilty of that, and should have been either penalized or at least warned when be blocked Vettel.

        2) Driving Kubica off the road on the straight leading up to the third corner. Kubica was already alongside Schumacher after exiting corner two, but Schumacher squeezed him off the road, forcing Kubica to put two tires on the grass.

        I seem to remember a third, but I can’t recall it.

        Either of those two should have drawn a penalty, as they were definitely dirty driving.

      5. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Point 1 was looked at by the stewards and was deemed fair after talking to both drivers. So maybe Massa thought it was ok too. Anychance of asking him James?
        Point 2 Kubica was on the inside and went off on the outside of the corner towards Schumacher, unless he had a tractor beam to pull the Renault towards him, he didn’t drive him off the track.

        James do you think the stewards deliberations should be made public?

      6. James Allen says:

        I do think they should, yes. I’m sure we are moving towards that

      7. mo says:

        He didn’t weave on the straight. he moved once to the right to block. and brought the car back to the left to take the racing line – not sure what races you’ve been watching but almost all the drivers do this – once they weave to block they don’t have to then sit there until the corner.

        hamilton Was weaving because he moved more than once on a straight well before the corner.

        in this case, massa wasn’t even alongside – and smedley said after the race that the accident happened purely because massa underestimated how much michael would brake – thats what caused the accident – no weaving was mentioned anywhere, and the stewards clearly didn’t see any either.

        if massa had any brains he could have stuck it down the inside on the dirty part of the track and still made it stick, as michael had to brake so much earlier.

        if you want an example of what is considered weaving in F1, look at Hills weaving in montreal 98 against schumi.

        as for 2) – schumacher did squeeze him, yes, but again kubica wasn’t alongside at any point. kubica had 2 choices, continue to floor it and take to the grass, or back off. he chose the former. if you can call this ‘bad’ ive seen much worse – hamiltons moves on glock and webber at a wet Monza in 2008, for eg.

        and kubica did not have the inside line at all, you can clearly see from his onboard that he knew michael was going to turn into the corner and he actually pointed the car right over the kerb long before the corner. there was no chance he was going to get past there.

        it was great racing by both kubica and schumacher that they didn’t simply drive into each other.

        watching schumacher at the end defending on 30laps worth of softs was great fun to watch.

  13. mugerwa francis says:

    We need ferrari redbull and mclaren to be competitive to get exiting races like this.

  14. steve says:

    Without doubt the best race so far,hardest on engines,tyres,and drivers,and i was astounded by Ferrari,s pace,though ultimately not as quick as McLaren,they have showed today how good they can be,and more to come,it also showed that Red Bull have been caught,Mercedes and Renault have dropped back,still a long way to go though.

  15. Ajit says:

    James

    Schumacher could not be 4 seconds of the place. Can you confirm that his car had a problem?

    I know there are going to a lot of haters who are going to debate but since you are an expert, It cant be the case that a guy who finished 4th in turkey struggled in Canada because he was just slow? And why did he do 3 stops?

    1. JimmiC says:

      It was tyres was it not? He did 25+ laps on one set and by the end he had the rear grip of a greyhound on an ice rink.

      Most people made multiple stops in this race – hard and soft tyres degraded much more quickly than anticipated.

    2. mo says:

      turns out he did 3 stops because he got a puncture with his clash with kubica.
      ross brawn said this after the race on the tv coverage…….

      what i dont understand is why they didnt put him on the softs then. and then bring him in again for hards.

      instead they went hard/hard (to replace puncture)/soft ???

      i dont understand what happened there at all.

      1. malcolm.strachan says:

        I think they were hoping that between the track rubbering in, and the fuel load decreasing, that the softs would last longer… valid theory, but didn’t quite work out when applied.

  16. Mike Murphy says:

    What a race,brilliant.Congrats to Lewis he had a fantastic race,so did Fernando who was very unlucky with traffic.
    Don’t understand why Michael is being given a hard time,clearly the car is not on the pace but he is pushing it as hard as he can.

  17. Lexus says:

    Very good race and for all those who said that Button can drive better than Hamilton, well there was no save fuel messages in this race and when Button tried towards the end of the race to reel Hamilton in, Hamilton responded and that was that.

    However, McLaren has the best driver pairing in F1. If LH cant win then JB might and JB is now overtaking cars more than he used to.

    However, I think JB conservative strategy of looking after the car and waiting for the moment probably let him down in the race. he should have been more agressive from the start. He did not appear too optimistic after qualifying.

    For all those who say LH cant look after the tyres well he did just as well as any other driver and made them last whilst still being entertaining.

    If McLaren continue their rate of development and I understand that have more updates for Europe and a big upgrade for silverstone then the Red Bull and whoever else fancy winning the championship best watch out.

    This is also providing very good promotion for the McLaren road car.

    I hope whatever decisions the stewards take after the race does not affect it too much as it was pure and simple racing. we need races where one tyre goes off quickly and the other might just make it to spice things up. That was what worked today without the safety cars.

  18. Lopek says:

    Another perfect example of the problems in F1 with dull races.

    It has nothing at all to do with the cars – where all the attention is constantly focused. It is the circuits.

    Today was a typically brilliant race at Montreal – it is a tough circuit that rewards bravery and punishes mistakes. The best drivers rise to the top and mistakes are punished mixing the field up.

    Year after year we get great races at Montreal, Spa, Silverstone, Interlagos, Monza,…

    Year after year we get dull processions at Bahrain, Barcelona, Valencia,… and can probably add Singapore and Abu Dhabi to that list after a couple more to confirm.

    How F1 management and Tilke can’t see this pattern is beyond me. I dread every headline of a new F1 venue for fear it will replace a classic with another sterile concrete jungle that produces a procession.

    Roll on Silverstone for another great race. Must check I have have plenty of coffee to get me through Valencia.

    1. JimmiC says:

      I don’t see why money can’t be pumped into existing classic circuits to bring them up to scratch in terms of facilities, rather than sending the teams out to some of the newer venues. Especially the hypocrisy of branding some circuits unsuitable (eg Silverstone) when we still have Monaco on the calendar – nostalgia and sentiment aside, it’s a woeful place to have a race.

  19. Marcello says:

    Flawless that’s how I will describe Lewis performance through out the weekend. What a drive. Very impressive from someone most thought couldn’t look after his tyres. By the way when will Button smoothness, and so-called ability to look after his tyres start having an effect? Because from where I stand if there was a race where he should have demonstrate that” superior” ability it was certainly today.

  20. David Hamilton says:

    It would be a travesty if Schumacher got away without any penalty for his driving today.

    After Monaco, where he was unfairly penalised after a great overtake for violation of rules that were at best unclear and at worst contradictory, not to penalise what was plainly unacceptable driving would send a very worrying message to the other drivers:

    “Drive as badly and aggressively as you like, just don’t fall foul of the legal small print.”

    Also, I strongly feel that Kubica’s swerve into the pitlane should be penalised. That isn’t acceptable behaviour in club karting, so how can it be regarded as OK in Formula 1?

    1. Banjo says:

      Looks like a travesty after all!

      1. David Hamilton says:

        It seems that F1 nowadays is run by lawyers, for lawyers (Max Mosley set this agenda, being one himself).

        Look, for example, at Lewis Hamilton’s weekend: Fined for trying to respect one rule (providing a fuel sample) over another (returning to pits in a certain time).
        Yet he goes unpunished for racing Alonso down the pitlane, which is universally agreed to be dangerous and unacceptable.

  21. Trix says:

    Hello James

    I was just wondering why you didn’t mention the fact that when Jenson was closing in on Lewis, Lewis immediately responded and pulled out almost a second in one lap, showing that he still had some meat in his own tyres, and discouraging any further attempt by Jenson to make a move similar to what we had in Turkey.

    1. ReviLO says:

      Shhhh, that’s not how the script was supposed to play out. It’s one of those inconvenient truths; just don’t mention it again and it might just go away :)

  22. Dan says:

    I hope today shows that Hamilton can manage his tyres just as well as anybody else and we can put the myth that he is a tyre killer to bed? Jenson is supposed to be much easier on the tyres than Lewis but he pitted before him today, as he has done in other races this season.

    What are your thoughts on this James?

  23. CMR says:

    Great race and good to see such a difference in racing with marginal tires!

    they should think about this seriously before settling on a supplier next year!

    Congratulations to Hamilton & Button, and great to see Alonso back where he belongs!

    MSC had an awful weekend and will want to forget about it as soon as possible, some questionable moves and it create a fair bit of chitter chatter up and down the pit lane

    McLaren are very powerful and Red Bull need to pick up their game a bit, both sets of drivers are very strong and it’s going to be difficult for Ferrari to get back into the WCC

  24. Lord says:

    Webber gave Vettel more of a hard time passing him 2 weeks ago, than he did Hamilton today.

    Pathetic.

    Nice race though, Hamilton will be champion this year if he keeps it up like this. Or rather, if RBR keeps doing what they are doing.

    RBR only can win the championship if they chose Vettel to be number 1 and work in that fashion. Or they will end up second in both championships.

    1. Jake Pattison says:

      Webber had no choice today, he was down over a second a lap to Hamilton and it was only a matter of time before he as passed.
      He did the right thing, something Schumi should review.

    2. Nathan says:

      Wrong. With his second stop imminent and Hamilton’s already done, Webber wasn’t racing for first, he was racing for 4th. Why would he waste lap time defending for a position he had lost a long time before Hammer arrived on his tail.

    3. Marybeth says:

      RBR can only win this year if they make Mark their #1 driver. If they had done that in Turkey they would be well ahead in catagories by now. Instead they have lost both leads.

  25. Steve Morton says:

    MS showed his true colours today, how he hasn’t lost that edge to cheat at every possible opportunity. Looking at the BBC ‘Classic’ viewings of previous Canadian GP’s he was just as bad in those as he was today… and then in the interview he just tried to laugh it off.

    I felt sorry for Massa today, he lost out big time due to moves on him by others, including the one at the end of the straight by the 7 time WDC…

    Well done Lewis and Jensen

    1. mo says:

      well the stewards disagree and concluded that schumacher didnt break any rules. so your statement about him cheating is 100% false, it seems.

      though if you think different, show us evidence where he was ‘cheating’?

    2. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

      There is a famous quastionable move by Schumacher over Frentzen which happened in this very track – Montreal.

      1. mo says:

        yeh which he got a penalty for in the race, so justice was served. get over it.

    3. For Sure says:

      You are one funny man mate, ever hard of defensive driving?
      Ever hard of racing hard but fair?
      This sport is made of certain rules, if you are within the rules you can do certain things, if you are not you get penalized, simple, unless of course if you are a Maclaren driver like Lewis.
      And by the way he didn’t get penalize for his pit release which was not allowed in the rules.

      1. Paulo says:

        Actually MS did break the rules, by moving more than once, and moving in a breaking zone. it wirten in the sporting code that your not allowed to do that.
        the pit stop was safe and hamilton should have exited ahead of alonso but got too wheel spin, and both drivers were sensible driving down the pit lane

  26. Jacqui says:

    “With nine laps to go, Sebastian Buemi pulled off a brilliant pass on Schumacher for 8th place, a remarkable performance in a Toro Rosso car which looked horribly off the pace in the practice sessions. Buemi started 15th on the grid. Schumacher lost a further two places at the end to the Force Indias”

    Michael’s tyres were finished and he was not able to defend his position – so how was it a “brilliant pass”?

    1. JimmiC says:

      Because Canada is very narrow, because Buemi’s tyres were probably far from perfect as well, because it’s a young head against an old hand, because it’s a Toro Rosso against a Mercedes/Brawn, because Michael’s defending up until that point can be charitably described as ‘forceful’…

    2. neil m says:

      cos he made it stick, and MSC would have put him in the wall given half a chance

  27. PaulL says:

    Ok it’s official, the stewards have officially gone missing on penalties this year. Schumachers double block and hit on Massa cried out for a 10 place grid drop.

    1. Howard Hughes says:

      Oh please. Why not just give all the drivers jelly babies and tummy rubs while we’re at it?!

      This softly softly attitude to the sport is sickening me…

      1. JimmiC says:

        There is letting them get on with it, and there is weaving in the braking zone of a 200mph straight..

  28. Amritraj says:

    As an Alonso fan, I am pretty disappointed with his race. Alonso was special in converting such half chances into great results in the past (both 2005 and 2006). But he has let a lot of points slip past him this season. There is something that has changed him as a driver. I am not sure if 2007 has permanently dented his mentality in a way. I mean he just doesn’t seem to be the driver he was in the past.

    His moves on Buemi and the backmarkers were not the kind you expect from a driver of his class.

    James, could you kindly share your opinion on this and also answer a question, if you will: Do you think certain people in Ferrari are blaming Alonso for letting a win in Canada slip through their fingers?

    1. Lamer says:

      Absolutely agree. It’s not that sort of Alonso that we, his fans, got used to.

      1. neil m says:

        I think you have to remember that, with the equipment he has got, he failed to get P1, but he also managed to far outstrip the P5/6 his car was fast enough for. Glass half full, or half empty??

    2. Merk says:

      Difference is, in his championship winning years he had a car which was later branded ‘illegal’.

      Paper champion, like it or not.

      1. Pat M says:

        Would just like to point out that what was deemed illegal was the mass damper, which is a couter-weight INSIDE the nose of the car to stabilize the front end and it was called a ‘movable aerodynamic device’ although not actually in the air flow. At the same time the Ferrari had air scoops moving around in the airflow on the outside of their front wheels which the FIA decided were legal as ‘cooling’ devices. Hmm……..

      2. PaulL says:

        You wish!

      3. Amritraj says:

        I completely disagree, Merk.In 2005 his car was inferior to Kimi’s McLaren and in 2006 he beat Schumacher fair and square. Those two years Alonso was uttely magnificen, and ot a paper champion as you have suggested. Drives like Imola 2005 and Turkey 2006 are not done by paper champions.

        He is still supremely quick, supremely consisent in his laps times, but according to me,he hasn’t managed the tricky situations the way he did in the past. And that is what I am pointing towards. Not his ability as a driver but his mentality in certain conditions.

  29. Eric says:

    The fact that this race was very exciting was a rare fluke with a single tyre supplier. There is no incentive for a single supplier to produce tyres which fall apart or suffer fast degradation because it is simply bad advertising. I’m not going to buy Bridgestone tyres for my car if I see them fall apart after 20 miles every Sunday, am I?

    I think Bridgestone made a very smart move in getting out of F1 before the rules are made to mandate fast degradation.

    Sure, as a spectator I’m all for extreme tyre degradation, but I’m not naive. F1 needs to find a realistic way to spice up the racing that does not rely on tyre degradation (or a tyre war). Possibly a mandatory second pit stop because most dry races are over after 16 laps.

  30. beka says:

    well I was in argument with several people concerning massa. I think this race proved how chaotic and unprofessional he is. Simply rubbish, typical Massa. Incident with Schumacher? It was dirty from michael’s side but massa had no rights to be there, he was just at the rear tyre and should have surrendered. Another misjudgement. He should be renamed MESSA

  31. Fausto Cunha says:

    Awesome race, great action , drivers fighting their cars,tyres degradating, brilliant drives and lots of fun, that´s what everybody wants.

    We´ve seen some great races this year, i think this was the best.No great hopes for watching a great race at valencia but let´s
    wait and see.

  32. Robert McKay says:

    It’s funny, they keep resurfacing bits of the track and ironically somehow it appears to make the tyre degradation worse.

    I think the season would be very nice if we could replicate that tyre situation elsewhere a few more times.

  33. MIchael P says:

    Amazing race from start to finish. Finally a race that was fun to watch. I’m glad that the stewards are not penalizing the drivers for silly things but I hope it is consistent for the remaining races. Hamilton’s release into Alonso in the pit lane is an example. As long as there is no contact it should not be penalized.

  34. Jhonnie Siggie says:

    Morale within the Red Bull team must be shattered at the moment. They have squandered the healthy advantage they held during the start of the season and now Mclaren is close to catching them. You must have a bunch of nervous people in their camp and this leads to mistakes. It is anybody’s championship at this point.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Well probably not Lotus’s

  35. Jake Pattison says:

    So there we have it, the answer we were all looking for. All you need for a great race is crap tyres.
    I loved it.

  36. Jonathan says:

    An entertaining race, but one which saw the first appearance this year of a depressing and familiar sight… the winner was decided in the pit lane.

    Just when his duel with Alonso was shaping up nicely, Hamilton pitted. Alonso looked set to take the lead, but got held up in traffic on his his in lap… and the race was as good as over.

    That’s the old F1, and it’s rubbish. I want to see races decided on the track!

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      LH was brought in at precisely the right time for McL. The thing they had to fear was a few fast laps from Alonso to put him in the lead.

      It wasn’t just a fluke (or at least one assumes it wasn’t, it is fairly basic tactics and McLaren’s tactics are, at best, basic) that Alonso had traffic to negotiate on his ‘flying’ laps. That was the McL plan.

      Fair enough it wasn’t a pass on track but it was still exciting. With the lap time read out in front of me I went from ‘He’s got the lead’ to ‘He’s blown it’ in 30 seconds.

      There were enough pases to keep everyone happy during the race.

      It was a very tactical race. But that didn’t make it any the less exciting. That was something yesterday for everyone.

  37. Paul says:

    I don’t know why people are blaming ‘traffic’ for Alonso’s demise. Since when was catching the leader (Buemi) classed as traffic? The only time a back marker got in his way was Chandhok but Button had been catching him anyway and made a superb opportunistic move. Alonso is good enough not to need excuses from his fans. Amazing win by Lewis, great drive by Jenson. McLaren best strategy, best drivers, best car. The best team in F1 again.

    1. Chris says:

      People are blaming traffic because after the Buemi-Alonso-Hamilton pass (which was fair and nothing to do with traffic) Hamilton pitted before Alonso and Alonso immediately went about 1.8 seconds faster on the next lap and continued onto another lap where he lost 2.5 seconds behind a Lotus. He pitted at the end of that lap and came out 0.5 behind Lewis, if it hadn’t been for the Lotus on his in lap he would have been about 2 seconds ahead! Then as you said Chandhok got in his way and he lost second place. I still think Lewis may have managed to get back ahead even if he hadn’t have lost the lead because of the Lotus but at least he would have had a fair crack at it. Drivers of the day without a doubt Hamilton and Alonso, can’t call it between those two.

  38. Luke A says:

    James,

    People regularly criticise Hamilton for his tyre wear and suggest he can’t look after them like many others, however, his team and himself have both suggested that this is somewhat a myth and that it is just a coincidence that he has had a few tyre problems when he has had to really go for it to have a chance of winning.

    I think this race was the hardest race on tyres for maybe 2 or 3 years and yet Hamilton has come out on top and made his set of hard compound medium tyres last longer than any other person in the race (44 laps in total?). Buttons may have been in slightly better nick at the end but he did spend less time on them.

    Do you agree that this proves that Hamilton is very capable of looking after tyres and that people often make too much of a big deal about this?

  39. Alias J says:

    If Schumacher didn’t suffer the puncture he could have finished 2nd, 3rd or even won the race. I am a Schumacher fan, and I’m glad that the message is loud, and clear to all you youngters (F1 drivers).

    “Next time think twice about passing me, because I will fight you hard, ruthlessly and I won’t give an inch, whether you’re a Hamilton, an Alonso or a Kubica.”

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Right on the nail, Alias J.

    2. Steven says:

      In other words, I will put your life in danger just because I can and because I wont 7 WDC.

      The car doesnt have the speed, and the driver is just there for PR, he cant adapt.

  40. Rafael says:

    Fantastic race and great blog as always, James!

    If I may ask though, what’s with the “new” look post-race press conference (drivers just sitting down)? Since when has it been in place? Looks like a return to the early ’90s!

    1. James Allen says:

      It has come from the top. This was the first race. The drivers actually seem more relaxed with it, I thought

      1. Howard Hughes says:

        Didn’t like it – makes them look too exposed and uncomfortable I thought… like if you were facing the world’s press, you’d rather be behind a high desk than on a swivel chair with a coffee table in front of you I think…

      2. Alistair Blevins says:

        It’s pretty amusing as both the McLaren drivers looked pretty uncomfortable as they had their race suits down by their waists and were wearing the starched sponsor-appeasing jackets. Lewis went to great lengths to make sure it was well presented!

      3. James Allen says:

        Take us through your thoughts on the soft furnishings

  41. BMG says:

    James,I would love to know who in the Redbull camp made the decision in regard the the Tyre strategy? I think that the 3rd race this year that tyre strategy has cost the Redbull Team.On a positive note I think it was a great race. Alonso my driver of the race and I even think Webber was pretty good once again, Strategy cost him.

    1. beka says:

      I think +5 penalty cost him even more. He still gained 2 places. Not a bad race for him. Should have been in a contention for a win if not the gearbox change.

  42. cheers says:

    Webber’s performance today was as faultless as any of his other drives, his overtaking flawless with every first bite a success whereas Vettel just can’t do the business when needed, and his speed on that 2nd set of hards, and the length he ran compared to others was as good as you can get.

    The last run on softs has more questions for his team from Webber fans than what happened in Turkey. Mark “turned the car down to save it for the next race”. ie he gave the position to Vettel who he could have either driven over or broken. that is a fix and that is why RBR is not a tean you can follow and trust.

    I hope Marko and Horner get their Vettel because they deserve him.

    1. Legend2 says:

      Great comments Cheers. It seems clear we cannot believe what RBR are saying. My understanding is that Vettel almost ran out of fuel – hence why he stopped early after the race. He also apparently had a gearbox problem (remember we now cannot trust what RBR say). Webber had his last stint on the softs, and we saw Kubica put in some stunning lap times on those tyres. Meanwhile Webber was lapping miles off the pace – even slower than Schumacher at the end, who spent more than half the race on softs.

      Clearly, RBR made Webber back down. This is BS. Really disappointed Webber did not go to Ferrari. Again, his team screwed him. Gearbox penalty, then he’s not allowed to overtake Vettel. Absolute BS RBR. If the stewards (denying him pole) and Red Bull did not stuff him, Webber would have won the race today – despite the strategy. So very disappointing.

      My drivers of the day:
      1. Jenson Button
      2. Mark Webber
      3. Sebastian Buemi

  43. Julian says:

    How naive was Vettel demanding to know what the fastest lap time was so that he can go for it? Especially when he was already nursing a car problem. Christian Horner’s response, “Don’t even think about it!” was one of the funniest moments of the race.

    1. AlexD says:

      The funniest comment for me was when Vettel asked whether he needs to pass Button to win the race….but…Button was behind Alonso and Hamilton:-)

      1. Pat M says:

        I think maybe Vettel was asking if he had to ACTUALLY pass the cars in front of him, and he has misunderstood the new passing rules at Redbull and assumes Horner will tell ALL the drivers to jump out of his way if he gets close, when really it is just Webber that has to do that.

    2. Steven says:

      Vettel showing his arrogance and imaturity.

  44. nsm says:

    It was like all the drivers came to life in Canada. There was so much happening. Guess it proves that this is pure driver’s circuit.

  45. Clay says:

    Hi James

    Great race. Liked the pre – race stuff on Channel One. You got your Aussie lingo half right. Everyone says “hooning” but no one (except our nerdy PM, in an attempt to sound more in touch with everyday people) says “fair shake/suck of the sauce bottle”. Keep up the great work though!

  46. fausta says:

    Great Race, one of the best of the year! Would have been perfect if anyone other than Hamilton would have won it.

  47. pawelf1 says:

    And James you didnt mention that Kubica had the fastest lap time

    1. Julian says:

      Fastest lap times are pretty irrelevant this year (remember Petrov last time out?), plus Kubica was the last of the top runners to stop for tyres.

      1. pawelf1 says:

        i know but it was first time in Kubica carrier so i think he should even mention it :]

  48. Michael says:

    The past two Years I have been wondering about the felt equal high quality Class of Alonso and Hamilton. They are like Magnets with oppodite poles attractingbeach other. That very silly old man Helmut Marko was dann right to recite a comment he heard somewhere when saying “we need to watch out for Alonso and Hamilton but don’t care much about what the others do.” Alonso’s year so far has been at best okay, but honestly, i’d aay embaressing just look at where he stands in the drivers Championship. Who can match the quality and Class of either Lewis and Alonso?dann good race! Is Mercedes gp asking by now why on earth they bought Brawn? Ron certainly would say “can’t buy success!” to which Mateschitz would respond “well wrong, just look at my bulls!”

  49. Hendo says:

    Why didn’t Red Bull bring Webber in once Hamilton started to catch him? If a pitstop added about 20 secs to a lap, his 10 second advantage would have brought him back out in 3rd.

    1. Sam B says:

      Because the softs wouldn’t last him till the end of the race that way. He’d have to pit again and risk coming out worse than 5th.

      Red Bull’s tire strategies for both Webber and Vettel seemed to be based on the assumption that there would be a SC, and the frontrunners would be stuck in traffic. It was a gamble that did not pay off.

  50. RickeeBoy says:

    Tyres, Tyres, Tyres

    I said after boring Bahrain that Bridgestone should bring Super soft tyres with lots of stops. Canada proved that softer tyres makes different strategies and drivers or cars who are better on their tyres and it makes more exciting races.

    Bridgestone please bring soft tyres to more GP’s.

    1. krampa says:

      With all the Friday and Saturday practice runs, teams will have to be allocated more tyres if they have to race with super softs. Else teams will simply run minimal practice runs and wait for race day.

      Furthermore, I’m not sure Bridgestone wants to be branded as a company whose tyres need to be replaced ever so often.

      I do agree, though, it makes for a good racing spectacle and will play into Lewis’ hands. He’ll enjoy thrashing them around

      1. RickeeBoy says:

        Actually Krampa it questionable who it plays to – someone who thrashes their tyres for quick times but needs more tyres or a car and driver who can save their tyres and ultimately get longer times on them and may not need that final tyre change ( happens all the time in Indycar or Nacar) – but it makes it exciting like Canada as we really didn’t know if Lewis’s tyres were going to last right up till 5 laps to the end.
        In Indycar or Nascar the tyres are only expected to last a set amount of time – Its just in F1 that Bridgestone decided that its bad publicity to use more than one set of hard tyres – which last about 200+ laps.

        Soft tyres cost more tyres …. but its actually better racing as it brings loads more factors out in the open of the driver and the car, as either can easily ruin the tyres but treat them well and you get long, fast, times on a set of tyres.

        Actually, by not bringing softs to a GP then it is more hidden as to who is good and who is poor. Hard tyres mask this huge area which is a skill and design of the car which should be highlighted but we are not seeing it.

        It was so good to see the BBC commentators on the forum thanking sincerely the head of Bridgestone for a great race and asking for more soft tyres. Its not a reflection of poor tyres – its a reflection of speed and grip –

        Actually McLaren did a great job as I expected the Ferrari or Bull’s to be far better on their tyres and come back at the McL’s at the end 10 laps.

        Please Bridgestone more soft tyres !!

  51. HowardHughes says:

    I might be in a minority of one here, but I thought Michael Schumacher did very well indeed today. Yes I’m a big fan, so I could be said to be biased, but seriously… he went from 13th to 8th in the first few hundred metres, which no one in the commentary box thought to mention. At the same time his teammate went from 10th to 13th. If that’s not some kind of alchemy I don’t know what is.

    He rose as high as 3rd before his own pit stop before the incident with Kubica – and I’m waiting to hear why he had to pit; his car didn’t seem damaged afterwards. As to the whole incident, I found it, as David Coulthard did, simply a ‘racing incident’. Honestly, people need to lighten the hell up when it comes to commenting upon these guys. They’re paid the big bucks to race each other hard – none of this ‘after you Claude’ rubbish… If you read about the old guys, the ones who raced in the 20s and 30s, who treated the track as a chariot race yet hugged and socialised together afterwards, you realise how cossetted our modern view is.

    I WANT to see drivers on the grass because the the person they’re trying to muscle out of the way doesn’t budge an inch. I want to see drivers so desperate to hold their position that they weave a couple of times. I mean really – the idea that some guys in suits have created a rule stating how many times a grand prix driver can or can’t block if he’s being overtaken – how pathetic.

    Let’s all lighten up and enjoy the spectacle of these men battling hard.

  52. Steven Pritchard says:

    That was one of the best drives ever from Lewis, fast yet controlled, he always had plenty of pace left in his pocket, and (as he admitted) Jenson just could not touch him all weekend.

    Canada always seems to suit Lewis more than Button (Lewis likes to stamp on the brakes hard and late, whereas Button is more progressive which does not suit this track as much)

    The best race of the season so far, which proves the point that we require tyres which degrade quicker!

  53. Harvey Yates says:

    The race was entertaining and exciting. A real thriller although not a classic.

    Once LH took the lead on lap 48 it became purely tactical with the leaders lapping 2-3 seconds a lap slower than mid-field cars. That’s not to say it wasn’t compulsive viewing but from then on it was a question of tyres.

    I hope I wasn’t the only one to think that Mclaren had blown it with their tactics when there was no pace car during the first five laps (or whole race as it turned out). Even with hindsight I still find it an odd decision. Being McLaren one believes they lucked into it but the softs at the start gave LH the race.

    McLaren with good tactics? That’d be awesome.

    I’ve never been a fan of Todt. I think he ruined the sport for me for many years. But there has been a refreshing change since he took over from that other bloke. The results now stand it seems. No challenges in courts, no peculiar bans, no iffy decisions.

    There was one really dangerous incident during the race, one that made me swear, according to my wife. And that was penalised with an admonishment. Good decision.

    It was a shame that Webber was penalised for the gearbox change – no problem about it, it’s the rules. Whether it would have made that much of a difference (the first corner notwithstanding) to the result is doubtful given the places he made up in the first lap.

    The one common theme throughout this season has been RBR’s lack of reliability.

    There has been a lot of criticism of driving standards on here but there were no really dangerous crashes. The dive for the pitlane from the wrong side of the track was very dangerous. One thinks of Patrese and Berger’s coming together. Perhaps a line into the pits in the same way as the exit, when required? Or how about sensible driving?

    It is a shame that Rosberg didn’t get any air time.

    RBR are (my) favourite for Valencia but if McL are going to use tactics (difficult concept I know) one never knows.

    It is a shame to see one of the F1 old stagers humiliated on television in front of millions. Perhps he should have retired completely from the sport. He’s yesterday’s man now. His performance made me cringe at times. Eddie Jordan is realy out of his depth.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for the comment. Not heard from you for a while

      1. Harvey Yates says:

        Nice of your to notice. Sorry I’ve been away – I’ve still read you blog though. I’ve been setting up a small business (see my website) and it’s taken up so much time that I’ve had to ration the internet.

        Your blog can become compulsive and before you know it a couple of hours has gone by.

        I’ve a bit more time now so I’ll pester you a bit.

        Derek

  54. ThePieman says:

    An epic performance from the McLaren boys today. Hamilton was especially impressive – I’ve been one of the many who doubted his ability to make tyres last, but on yesterday’s performance it looks like he’s picked up a thing or two on the subject from his team mate!

    The one thing that Button had in his armoury was the ability to counter Hamilton’s out and out pace by getting those extra few laps out of the tyres. Not so any more…

    Without the tyre advantage we may find Button struggling to match his team mate for the rest of the year.

    1. Mark V says:

      Not to take anything away from a good drive by Hamilton, but I believe cars in the lead do not wear their tires as quickly as cars trying to struggle for grip while following closely behind another.

  55. krampa says:

    James,

    Red Bull claim Vettel was nursing a gearbox problem. I doubt it. Red Bull expected a Safety Car and planned their fuel and tyre strategy with that assumption. I think Vettel was running out of fuel.

    I’ll believe the gearbox story when he has it changed for the next race.

    1. James Allen says:

      Which may well happen

      1. Sam B says:

        Will that incur him a grid penalty? The rules state that one gearbox should last four races. Canada is the eighth race, which means the second gearbox has lasted four races already. So if they change to a new gearbox for Valencia, is that considered a scheduled and therefore legal change?

      2. Luke A says:

        James, I’ve always wondered, what stops teams changing their gear box between race venues, I know it’s a illegal, but how would anyone know, seeming as it’s a component inside the car?

      3. James Allen says:

        Everything is checked, very carefully, by the FIA.

  56. Alistair Blevins says:

    Great overtakes by the McLarens on Alonso. Both completely opportunistic and using the traffic to maximum effect.

    Button’s pass had shades of Mansell on Senna at Hungary in 1989.

  57. Ray.C. says:

    Just quickly James,

    It’s, Fair “shake” of the sauce bottle.

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t worry, I won’t be using that expression again!

      1. monktonnik says:

        I stick to a “fair rub of the rhubarb”. It is much more concise.

    2. BMG says:

      Yah,I’m an Aussie and even I cringed when you said that.

  58. Mike Dawson says:

    Interesting to see the standings so very close coming up to half distance in the championship.

    My question is, and perhaps the same as many F1 fans, Can Red Bull develop their car to iron out their quality/reliability issues? Or is their car fundamentally a fragile, albeit very fast, car?

    The smart money should perhaps start to shift to Hamilton and Button for a championship fight now, with a watchful eye on Alonso and Webber.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      Your first point, that of how close the standings are this season, highlights a remarkable change. The norm is that by this time one team has built a lead and the others try and catch up. For 2010 we have a wonderful scramble. It isn’t classic F1 but it is, none the less, exciting.

      But it was your second point that highlights the most remarkable thing about RBR. Everything about the team and car, with the exception of driver rivalry perhaps, is on the ball but their one major fault, reliability, seems not to change.

      It is probably the only thing they need to work on – although perhaps their PR as well – but they have singularly failed to do so. Both cars suffered with gearbox faults in Canada.

      I’ve lost count of the number of g/box changes Webber has had and I would assume he is hoping the stewards have as well.

      So venturing into the Spanish Inquisition area: RBR needs to work on reliability, PR and personnel management. The cars need to last. If they do then the drivers need to avoid one-another. If they don’t then RBR needs to manage the media. But I’d start with reliability.

      Ferrari reckon they will have significant upgrades for the next race. McLaren promise a virtually new car for Silverstone. And all this while RBR are wondering what’s going to break next.

      This is a really interesting season.

  59. Nando says:

    James what is the procedure on pit crews coming into the pit lane, I noticed Red Bull brought out their pit crew in front of Lewis for his first stop even though they were never going to bring either driver in. I noticed Mclaren doing the same infront of another team later on in the race.
    They aren’t ready to change tires on every lap so it can’t be just a precutionary measure it looks like an attempt to complicate the opposition drivers in and out boxing.
    In my, probably uninformed, opinion it’s a needless risk. The red bull mechanics being out prevented Lewis from going back sharply to the left to avoid a possible collision with Alonso. By the time Lewis was outboxing then I’d imagine both Red Bull drivers were past the pit exit so they couldn’t of even been there in case they made a last second strategy change.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I agree that is something that needs looking at

      1. RickeeBoy says:

        Wrote this and then noticed Nando had noticed the RBR mechanics like me – also James note item 2. below.

        James,

        I’d like to highlight 2 aspects of Pit Lane Safety as there are some unnecessary things happening.

        If you check the actual pit stop of Button and Lewis – ( Forget the part of Lewis and Alonso them coming out together and study the Pits.

        1. I’d like to highlight something which I think is unnecessary – In the next pit to McLaren is the Red Bull Pit and when
        a. When Jenson ( lap 7 ) leaves a Red Bull mechanic runs out into the car entry space ????
        b. When Lewis ( Lap 8 ) leaves with Alonso alongside there are 2 Mechanics just hanging around standing in the outside area of where a car would park – Lewis accelerates and moves away and up to 100K next to Alonso and next to these Guys –

        ( The Red Bulls don’t pit till lap 14 so they should not be running into a dangerous area )

        - Why are they there ????????? to force a slow line ??? to try to put McLaren drivers off ????

        In Indycar you have to clear the area immediately after a stop or all come out together for a stop ( or the marshall will penalise you )

        Can anybody explain their actions ?

        2. The Air Guns are just lying on the ground for the outside wheel changing at every pit. WHY ???? these are like hanging dangerous trip up hooks just waiting for an car to hit one of these and a horrendous accident in the making.

        The air guns could be simply hung up into the suspended gantry above and any tube pulled up therefore if a car was to come through this area then we wouldn’t get a potential accident.

        When the guns are wanted then the mechanics could easily walk out unhook and pull out the hose – much safer.

        Don’t you think this is dangerous ???

      2. James Allen says:

        We’ve seen a few things I thought were dangerous this year. Kubica’s pit in was another

  60. Phil W says:

    At the end of the race i overheard Jenson saying to Lewis something like ‘The tow you can get round here is amazing’

    It did seem like the cars were following each other really closely and it made for great viewing!

    Was there a reason they could follow so close round this circuit?

    1. Spenny says:

      What happened to all the complaints about not being able to follow.

      I’m not sure of what the subtleties are, but the drivers have shown that close driving for lap after lap is possible.

      My suspicion is that last year few teams if any had sorted out the moveable front wing (no driver ever seemed to comment on it); this year they realised that it was a key feature for managing the changing demands of the car.

    2. Jorge says:

      I live in Montreal and I have bike around the circuit, no fast corners means no need to have too much downforce (which the RedBull has), this is a stop and go circuit, you accelerate and break a lot, lots of stress into brakes, engine, tires. Very similar behavior to Montreal. This tends to level the playfield since downforce is not a key variable.
      On the contrary, Silverstone, Turkey, fast corners needs lots of downforce.

  61. Malcom says:

    Amritraj, can you with all honesty truly believe that Mclaren’s release of Hamilton was more dangerous, than the wreckless and dangerous move made by Robert Kubica upon entering the pits. Kubica received a reprimand, justifiably so for one of the most dangerous moves that I have ever seen a F1 driver make.

  62. Calixto says:

    You can say that again, it was a memorable GP in which Hamilton displyaed a bit of everything to take the win. Qualifying speed, race craft, opportunism, tyre and equipment managing, etc. It had it all except for wet weather driving.

    Valencia should be another very exciting race with lots of potential, but it’ll be hard to get better than this.

  63. Spanish guy says:

    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.

  64. Mark V says:

    Wow, first time I’ve seen so much squabbling here amongst posters.

    Anyways, that was a good race, once again mainly due to a lack of grip on a slippery track that caused tire performance issues.

    But I don’t like this idea of artificially inducing graining into a tire; why would any company want to put their name on a product that is designed to fail? That would be like Boeing putting their name on a plane designed to crash, a step backwards in technology.

    Install sprinklers. Control them with a computer program that randomly generates wet and dry conditions that no team can anticipate. Repeat to taste. Bon appetit.

  65. Barry says:

    I havent read all the comments to check if this has been asked, but did there not used to be a rule that if you were lapped when the lead car took the chequered flag you could not lose or gain any positions thereafter? I remember one year in France Michael let Ralf unlap himself right at the end of the last lap to give Ralf the chance to pass for 6th (which he did). So I ask has this rule been changed as if it has not then Schumacher should be classified 9th as he and both Force India’s were lapped by Hamilton.

  66. Ross W says:

    Best race that I have seen in a long time! Crumbling tyres seems to make for a great race, though perhaps it would be a little artificial to intentionally engineer thm that way.

    James,

    Do you think that this race signals the beginning of the end for the Red Bull dominance? With Ferrari rumoured to be bringing the Red Bull exhaust concept to Valencia, and McLaren a race or two later, the gap may be closing still further- on the other hand, it was always acknowledged that Montreal probably wouldn’t be a Red Bull track. What do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the track had a lot to do with it and it’s a bit of a one-off. RBR will still be massively strong at the high downforce tracks. But McLaren are right there now

      1. James Punt says:

        Yes the track makes this race. Hopefully Mr. Tilke will have been watching and picked up a few hints. No more designing corners to look like letters of the Chinese alphabet please. Why does he get get every design gig?

  67. Luke A says:

    James,

    I’ve seen a few people on here and on other forums ask why Red Bull would say that Valencia should suit McLaren, when Valencia is listed as a high downforce track and Red Bull have the most natural aero downforce of any team.

    Could you please comment on if you think my understanding is correct. From my understanding, you have:-

    High speed corners: require most amount of downforce (very high).

    Low speed corners: require medium – high downforce.

    Straights: require low downforce

    So depending on the mixture of them on a track then that dictates the usual level of downforce. However, there are many factors to consider:-

    1. How long the straights are and how many of them there are.

    2. How many high speed corners there are.

    3. How many low speed corners there are.

    Therefore, Canada has some huge straights and a few low speed corners, so it is a low downforce track. I’d say Valencia is medium – high, it has no high speed corners and has a lot of slow speed corners, however, it does have a fair few straights. Saying this, those straights are not huge long straights, like those at Canada. That is why it is on the high side.

    The reason why Red Bull will say McLaren will be suited to this, is because of there F-duct, not because of the downforce level required. There F-duct is effective on small straights, as well as long ones. It also allows them to put on more down force for the slow speed corners.

    In contrast, Red Bull’s downforce will suit the low speed corners, but will not be as beneficial as it would with high speed corners. Plus, the addition of the many short straights will only be a hindrance to them as that isn’t their strongest point.

    If we look at an example between Turkey and Barcalona.

    Turkey is: medium – high downforce
    Barcelona is: high – very high downforce

    This is because Barcelona has a vast amount of high speed corners, a few slow speed corners and only about one main straight. Whereas Turkey has only one major high speed corner (a monster of one at that) a couple of low speed corners and then a fair few straights. These straights bring down the standard downforce level requirements and with McLaren being able to use their F-duct, they really prospered.

    In other words, McLarens F-duct is most useful on medium – high downforce level tracks where they can make use of their great top speed, while adding more wing (downforce) than others. On low downforce tracks, it is still useful, but the car naturally requires less downforce anyway and so it isn’t maybe as useful.

    All in all though, there is a lot more to why a car would be good or bad irrelevant of their downforce. McLaren haven’t had the greatest amount of aero downforce on their car this year so far, however, they seem the 2nd best team round high speed corners because there car has great balance. Contrast this to Ferarri who arn’t so good round high speed corners, but excel around slow speed corners, because their mechanical grip and traction is better. So this is almost the opposite of how it usually is for the two big guns, if you look at previous seasons.

    If you ask me, I think Ferarri, especially with their new big update, will be favorites for Valencia and then McLaren and Red Bull will be just behind, with not much at all between them (unless Red Bull’s updates give them a good step). This being because McLaren arn’t so good around the slow stuff this year, whereas RB have improved in that department, they also have a little extra natural downforce, however, McLaren have a very efficient F-duct. Mercedes and Renault shouldn’t be too bad either.

    Do you guys think that is a good evaluation / have anything else to add?

    Thanks.

    1. James Allen says:

      Wow! Too much to comment on there but thanks for sharing. All I would add is that RBR is better in low speed downforce than last year and traction, so that’s why they are very quick in low speed corners as well as high speed ones. Weakness is on straights

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