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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1

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

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

2

James,

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

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

3

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

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

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

4

I can only really answer the first one with the engine noise.

If it was traction control I think it would be pretty noticable in terms of the noise of the engine being somewhat “erratic”. Just try and find some old onboard videos on Youtube and you’ll see what I mean.

In addition, with the standard ECU unit the FIA regulate, this has put a control on teams secretly using traction control.

I suspect the engine note being “louder” may be to do with the actual length of the exhaust seeing as the Red Bulls do have it at a lower position pointing at the suspension and entry to the diffuser area.

So the fact that it’s longer means there is more surface area for the molecules to collide with and vibrate to create the sound.

That would be my thinking anyways.

5

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

6

For me, a die-hard, really hard, Alonso fan, it was Hamilton. Perfect race, waiting for his chances (Alonso pass), not getting hot headed (pits racing with Alo), managing his car and sending the right messages (a couple of fastest laps) to his team mate so he didnt try too hard at the end.

I think Alonso drove well, but still I found him a little bit too eager in the Buemi and Hispania issues he had. Nevertheless I keep wondering what would have happened if the Lotus would not had held him back while Hamilton was in the pits and he setting a fastest lap.

Im very happy with this race as it showed how both of them are now very mature, have learnt a lot from past hard times, and they are still my bet for the WDC. I think they are still ahead of the other drivers, even if they are also fantastic.

Ham & Alo will give us one of the most beautiful sport rivalries in years to come (as they weren’t giving it already…!), and they will miss each other when they retire.

Button keeps growing his reputation by the race, what a bet moving to McLaren, and how well he is playing his strenghts!

Schumacher… Who?

Also Canada was the confirmation of what the fans have been crying out loud for some years now. Classic circuits please, in places where there is real fan base support!

7

“both of them are now very mature”

I’m afraid it was only Lewis who showed his maturity. As for Fernando, his odd attempts to pass Buemi and Chandhok straight away have probably cost him the WDC leadership.

PS

I’m Alonso fan as well.

8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9

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

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

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

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

10

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

11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12

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

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

13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A great day and one without any jingoism.

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

14

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

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

Keep it up!

15

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

16

I agree with you, it was a cracker

17
Abdul Rehman Jajja

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

18

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

19

Right you are, Abdul.

20

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

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

21
Just A Bloke (Martin)

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

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

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26
Mike from Medellin, Colombia

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

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

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

27

Good idea

28

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

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

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

29

Posted in wrong topic, so again:

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

So the poll is rigged.

30

Spot on, Spanish Guy.

31

Webber.

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

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

32

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

33

James,

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

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

34

Those who criticized Schumacher, had no idea what they are talking about.

36 laps with soft tyres mean 6 solid laps then waiting for a disaster. You could argue that that was worst strategic decision that Ross and Michael have ever made.

As a die-hard Schumacher fan, I personally couldn’t sleep after his poor qualifying, but after the race, I saw a small hope in Schumi. Why?

It was arguably the best start he made this season, at least he capitalized the situation and he overtook Sutil and he was well-positioned(his teammate was at 13th) at the beginning stages and lapping similar times to front runners. It was all good until he fought with Kubica.

Sometimes, it’s better to fight like mad and go down in flames than settle where the car belongs to.

Look at Nico, a great talent, a huge potential, yet to win the race. Because he had this mindset where he sort of play safe bring points home and settle for a position where the car belongs to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

35

Hamilton drags Button like a chain and ball with him.

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

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

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

36

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

37

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

38

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

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

39

Let’s not go over that again…

40

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

I love the way so many people have put Hamilton on a unrealistic pedestal. Hamilton will thrash Button, what a stupid move to go to Mclaren etc. Hamilton is a true great etc etc.

All the evidence says Hamilton is very slightly quicker than Button but it is not night and day or head and shoulders. Either Hamilton is not as good as people have said or Button is a lot better than people think. You decide…..

41

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

42

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

43

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

44

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

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

45

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

46

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

47

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

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

48

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

49

What no Schumacher?

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

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