F1 Winter Break
Canadian Grand Prix – who was your Driver of the Day?
Canadian Grand Prix – who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2011   |  1:32 pm GMT  |  179 comments

Once we finally got underway, there were thrills and spills from start to finish at a rain-soaked Montreal, but who stole the show in your eyes?

Jenson Button
Qualified a disappointing seventh, two places behind team-mate Hamilton, and picked up a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane while the first safety car was deployed. Clashed with Hamilton on the start-finish, forcing the latter out of the race. Then hit Alonso, forcing the Ferrari driver out. Picked up a puncture as a result, dropping him to the back of the field. Delivered a supreme fight back, passing championship leader Vettel on the final lap for his first victory of the season and 10th of his career.

Sebastian Vettel
Crashed his Red Bull into the ‘Wall of Champions’ in practice – the second time he has crashed on a Friday in four races. Recovered the situation with another dominant qualifying, scoring his sixth pole in seven races this season. Led away at the start and dealt well with all the safety car interruptions. Looked on course for his seventh victory in eight races, but struggled with his tyres in the final stint and made a mistake on the final lap. That let Button through but second saw the German extend his championship lead to 60 points.

Photo: Red Bull

Mark Webber
Qualified fourth but was pushed into a spin by Hamilton at Turn 2 when the race finally got underway. Rejoined the field in 10th but battles his way back to sixth. Lost a place to Schumacher when he gets out of shape, but wass very fast in the final stint and climbed his way up to third. Another mistake lets Button through, but the Aussie limits the damage by passing Schumacher with the aid of the DRS with six laps to go for the final podium.

Michael Schumacher
Made a great start from eighth to run fifth in the opening stages. Defended brilliantly from Hamilton early on but his decision to come in from intermediates backfires as the rain intensifies. Took sixth place off Webber before putting a supreme move on Kobayashi and Massa, passing the two in one corner as the pair squabble among themselves. Looked on course for first podium since Chinese Grand Prix in 2006 when running second, but was a sitting duck as the DRS lets Button and Webber cruise past him. Nonetheless, finished fourth in what was arguably his best performance since his return.

Kamui Kobayashi
Crashed heavily in second practice to compound Sauber’s troubles after team-mate Perez announced he wasn’t ready to return to racing. Qualified 13th, but delivered another gritty drive to rise as high as second before the race was red flagged because of heavy rain. Valiantly held off Massa, but lost out to Schumacher while doing so. Hit by Heidfeld and then passed by Petrov and then Massa on the finish line to ultimately finish seventh.

Vitaly Petrov
Came to Montreal on the back of a heavy crash in Monaco but was passed fit to race. Was edged out in qualifying by team-mate Heidfeld and started 10th. Struggled to make much progress in the early stages, but made good decisions on strategy and passed Kobayashi in the closing stages to score fifth – his second best result of season after a podium in Melbourne.

Jaime Alguersuari
Started from the pitlane after the team decided to change the torsion bars in the suspension and front and rear wings in anticipation of a wet race. Kept his nose clean and quietly moved up the field, finishing eighth, two places ahead of team-mate Buemi, for his first points finish of the season.

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What, no "Bernd Maylander" option?


Can't believe Vettel has so few votes, given he kept his calm for 99.95% of that race. Made stonkinly good restarts, kept his head whilst many lost theirs, made good tyre choices etc... He was within half a lap of the perfect professional drive.

Still Driver of the Day has to be JB with a mention for MS too.


apparently not many Seb fan visit this blog, even when he win the hard fight race such as in Spain, he not been voted as driver of the day,so the trend continued as expected i guess


I'm 1 of the few English Vettel supporters and it's sad to think how deluded people here are in their support of Hamilton no matter how poor he drives, the best driver in the world is Vettel and he is soon to be a double world champion and I for 1 hope Hamilton goes to Redbull because we will truly see how good Seb is, I just hope there won't be another 2007 Mclaren situation.


I agree. He did "lead" 19 laps by my count!


Jenson wins this by virtue of being at the back of the field with 30 laps to go, and winning the race. I don't think there has been a better drive.


While I actually voted for Schumacher in the poll, I do agree with what you say about 21st to 1st in 30 laps.

Best comeback since Barrichello in Germany 2000!!


No question. That drive will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

I'm surprised that anyone voted for Schumacher over Button. It was great to see MSC doing well, but did it really eclipse BUTs performance enough to make him driver of the day?


I agree that Button's drive was absolutely mindblowing, but at the end of the day he has a win to show for it, Schumacher didn't even make the podium even though he had a fantastic drive out there. He truly did deserve to be on the podium, but unfortunately his Mercedes was no match for Red Bull's DRS.

Honorable mention for Jaime Alguersuari for starting from the pitlane and making it to a points scoring finish in his Torro Rosso.


Some people insist on believing that if Button does well, it can only be because his car was massively superior.


You must be joking. I might be the only one thinking this way, but there is absolutely no way this drive is anywhere near being called 'one of the greatest of all time'. Let's think logically here. Button is only on alternate strategies to others in the race because he is unable to pass/successfully accomplish the target during the race, so he has to risk different strategies. In this race, he collided with two drivers, ending their races (his could easily have ended too). Additionally, he picked up a penalty for speeding.

The safety car allowed him to catch up to the field. With his newer tires, he then passed the slower Webber and Schumacher...aided with DRS. DRS which made overtaking absolutely simple. He didn't even have to pass the leader...the leader made a mistake and just let him pass. Does anyone really truly think this is a drive worthy of one of the greatest of all time? We must be watching different sports for the last few decades then. This was a good but lucky drive from Button, in a race where Mclaren should have dominated. I believe had Hamilton and Alonso not been in incidents, they, would have easily, easily, pipped Button. Just my two cents...


Not by any stretch of the imagination is it one of the greatest. its only the british media pushing that rubbish. Button can take his great driver because i doubt he will pull it off ever again. So all the Button fans can have "the greatest drive ever" maybe the great drive for the 12 day of June in the year 2011. Jenson gets lucky in the rain. Exclude his year at brawn(the fastest car by far) and he has only won when its wet. 4 win.


Just like the strategy employed by all American racing teams. Nothing wrong with it in f1. At least it was a lot less controversial than alonso and Singapore.


John Did you seriously watch the same race as the rest of us? I have been following F1 for over 20 years and struggle to think of a better drive than Jenson's in Canada.


Jenson is unable to pass?

Did you watch the race? he made plenty of overtakes during this race!

It was a drive any driver past or present would be proud of.


Preconceived narrative? I'm just explaining why it isn't 'one of the greatest drives of all time'. Your talk of Button overtaking half the field and such...he'd have had no chance if safety cars didn't close people up. And Vettel was 'pressured' into a mistake? Button didn't even make a passing attempt on him, he only got within a second of him on the last lap. That's not pressure. Thats just a mistake from Vettel. He didn't lose control trying to even block...he just lost control as he said in the post race conference. We've seen races where almost 80% of the lap has pressure between 1st and second. Great to see that you believe the tyre degradation was not enough...Button felt it was important enough to ask on the radio about how old the tyres were for Webber and Vettel. The fact is the Red Bull was only the faster car in the wet...the Mclaren and probably Ferrari were faster in the dry.

I suppose it might be 'blind narrative', but I chose to take the words 'one of the greatest drives of all time' literally. I'd rather be blind than foolish enough to jump on a bandwagon. I believe there are better drives than this virtually every year in an F1 season.


Quercus is right.... one of the best. The fact that he was involved in the skirmishes and had a penalty yet still kept his head makes it all the more impressive.

Every driver on the grid past and present would be proud of having that drive to their name.


Well, thanks. I think you made my case for me. Button was daring, intelligent and lucky. What a great drive!


Newer tyres? Seriously? They were one lap newer and Button had used his to overtake half the field. Vettel's were two laps newer than Button's and they didn't do him much good. The tyre degradation was not enough to make any difference at the end of the race.

Button wasn't on an alternate strategy in Canada either. He pitted for drys around the same time everyone else did, and not because he was in trouble - he was already making places hand over fist on the wets.

Vettel didn't "let" Button past - he was pressured into a mistake.

I think you're letting your preconceived narrative blind you to what actually happened yesterday.


Fair comment. But I think some people, including myself, look at the car factor and mistakes as well. But then it just our opinions.


Can't be Kobayashi - no way! The man managed to brake-test 3 drivers and get away with it. If there's one dangerous guy out there, it's not HAM - it's KOB! Voted for Petrov, obviously.

Gathered some driver quotes about KOB's adventures, reminds me of Brazil 2009 and him sending Nakajima into the barriers and blocking JB.

Nick: "I was behind Kamui (Kobayashi) and then something happened. He slowed down suddenly and I hit the back of him, which resulted in my front wing coming off and me going off the track."

Rubens: "I went offline to avoid Kobayashi after the last safety car went in. He ran wide while overtaking a backmarker and rejoined the track without seeing that I was there. I was then forced offline and lost a lot of positions."

Nico: "I was trying to overtake Kobayashi and was very close behind him in turn 10; he slowed when I didn't expect it, I hit the back of him and damaged my front wing, which then came off on the last lap."


Its his car's characteristics, how F1 fans do not understand that and think he did that intentionally is just sad.


Also sauber does not run a blown diffuser of any type so the instant grip that it gives was a major advantage for the Car behind.


The characteristic of the Sauber being easy on their tyres was a liability in those conditions.

In the wet on inters he was able to pull away from Massa,but when it dried and had to change to slicks he couldn't get any heat into them.

He just didn't have any grip out of the slow corners, which caught out the guys behind.


He simply put two wheels off into the wet part of the track, and had to slow down to get back on the dry stuff. He was not brake-testing people.


Maybe... KOB unfortunately didn't explain anything regarding people running into the back of his car all the time. I'd love to hear his version of events. It just stood out for me that 3 drivers said the same thing about his driving tactics. Nothing against KOB obviously, he's mad in a good way but I'm terribly curious about these slowing down episodes.


@Douglas - that's fairly simplistic take on things and Sauber is not HRT, it's a team with fantastic facilities and decent technology. Besides, they're using a good engine/KERS Ferrari package, unlike 1-year old Ferrari engines they would run back in the 1990s and early 2000s. OK, they did say KOB didn't have the grip in the dry, that may explain a few things. He's fans' favourite, I get it but I don't see him achieving anything more than a couple of podiums in F1. I don't cheer for underdogs or beavers, or hamsters of this world, sorry.


He's driving a Sauber, remember. His "tactics" are to keep his car in front of the other cars. Drivers who complain about "him" are actually complaining about his machinery - what the heck is a Sauber doing in front of me, and why wont it get out of the way? They can all go home and cry to mommy, lol. He's punching well above his weight, running second for a long while, in an inferior piece of machinery, in comparison to the top running teams.


michael. only beaten by the joke which is drs. i mean how anybody gets excited by seeing a car from so far back just sailing past him at the end of the straights is beyond me. it was like watching a motogp bike against a moto 2 bike. left me with a very bad feeling after the race.


i agree this drs does not give a fair picture. I also cant believe Kob is one of best drivers. Did no one notice that Massa was up front throughout the race until kart took him out but he still came back fighting right down to the last second of the race.


That was why I thought Vettel would let Button past on the penultimate lap so that he would have the benefit of DRS on the last lap. Wonder if that would have worked out better for him


If DRS made passing so easy, why was Webber sat within a second behind Schumacher for 10 laps before passing (laps 53-62)?

Button got past easily enough but given that he was going about 3 seconds a lap faster, that's hardly surprising.

Schumacher failed to get on the podium because he wasn't as fast as the guys who beat him yesterday, you can't blame it all on DRS.


Maybe his Mercedes isn't as fast as the red bull or mcLaren??


because the red bull had terrible traction out of turn 10 yesterday and took webber a while to sort that out. take a look at the helicopter cam on webber on michael and see how far back he was on the straight half way down yet still ends up miles in front of him at the braking point.


Jim Clark and other greats of the past would turn in their graves if they saw how F1 has degenerated with Kers,Drs, blown and unblown diffusers etc. We need to get back to basics and common sense.


Why don't you watch F2? Or GP2? Or any other motorsport?

F1 is about more than those championships, which is why it attracts so much interest and passion.

We all love F1 cars being able to lap our tracks at phenomenal speed, but this is only due to the aero. If it's down to DRS or getting stuck behind backmarkers because of lost aero in the front car's wake, I'm happy for the FIA to continue to work to get the balance/distances correct.

Each track is different, it'll take at least all year before the FIA know how to approach each track in regards to activation zones and length of activation. Allow some time - I'm willing to bet most of those against DRS have argued F1 was boring in the past for zero overtakes. It was a thrilling race and thoroughly enjoyable, isn't that enough?


Almost / sort of, this was the most thrilling end to an F1 race since..since...well, last years Canadian GP, which was another classic and the best of 2010.


The issue with DRS here wasn't that it was too easy to overtake (which it was) but it was because the overtaking car could continue to use DRS down the next straight and pull away, not allowing MS to try to retake the position on the next lap. DRS also takes away from Button's awesome victory. How many laps was he able to use his DRS being so far back? That has to add up to significant track time.


Exactly right!

The DRS was introduced to aid overtaking-not aid overtaking and then pull away from the driver you just passed on the next straight.

Whoever came up with the idea of having 2 DRS zones was a complete idiot.

Please FIA - don't do it again!


Or at least do it at a track where it needs it, which does not include Montreal. I was cheering Button and loved the fact that he won in such a fashion, but it's interesting that only he questioned the use of it before the race......


Can't they carry out some tests with two cars and ascertain beforehand the effect of DRS. They should know exactly what sort of performance advantage it will produce and position the white line accordingly. In Monaco it was pretty useless, here it made it too easy for the following driver.


Honestly, I think that even without DRS Button would have overtaken Schumi such was the pace difference.

Maybe he would've managed to keep Webber behind, but the DRS was really a joke yesterday with drivers able to overtake so early in the straights.


thats not the point tho. if button had of passed him somewhere without the drs but the drs was so effective here. halfway down the straights webber was no where close to michael but at the end he of the straight he was 3 or 4 car lenghts clear so he didnt even have to outbrake michael. thats not racing to me.

Michael Grievson

Yeah, I thought he had a problem at first.


+1 - DRS needs to go, or be changed so a car can't just go sailing past.


Yeah man its a shame he deserved that podium. But I think may be it's good that he didn't get it. People respect more.


You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

You can't have those exciting GPs without a small price. I'm a huge Schumi fan, and am not happy about this result either. Honestly, for a second there I thought that Schumi would have gone after Vettel when the 10 seconds got erased with safety car - that would have been something. I thought - he can smell blood, he'll turn it up. But I'm sure Schumi has had his share of advantage with DRS so far this season, and the season is not over yet.

What if the blown diffusers being banned evens things out and it will be Schumi chasing down Webber at some other track? In the end, these things tend to even themselves out. And they will.


It's not about people being sad that Schumacher lost places because of DRS, it's that DRS is making the racing fake, and the passing too easy. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes as long as you're within the one second, suddenly you get a free pass with DRS. That's not what F1 should be about.

The tires already gave us excellent racing. DRS just provides the most dull overtakes in F1, and potentially robs us of more exciting ones on other parts of the circuit since drivers can just wait for a safe DRS drive-by pass.


yep DRS might of worked with bridgestone tyres, but with pirellis its not needed. Like in 05 with the one tyre rule the racing was fantastic.

or perhaps they should limit how much the wing opens. if u half it say it may mean the driver behind gets with in range of an attack. rather than clean past


I agree DRS with B'stones would have been good


I agree also Irish.


If they allowed DRS for the car behind on the back straight and then the car that had just been overtaken could use it on the start/finish straight I think it would have worked a lot better. It would give each driver a chance to attack and defend and the better driver would come out in front. Schumacher had no way to defend from Webber and Button and then when they used DRS on the main start/finish straight they moved more than 1 second ahead of him so he had no way to get the position back on the next lap.


But Schumacer should have been able to use DRS to get back past, but clearly he was no as fast.


The problem though is that Button/Webber were able to use the DRS again on the start/finish straight AFTER passing him. This helped them put a cushion between them and him so he would not be close enough by the end of the lap to use DRS.

I might be wrong and haven't looked at the lap times but that's what I think was happening.


agreed.. DRS robbed Michael of a podium place. it was a joke


If he, or any of the others that were passed, were fast enough they too could have passed the car that had just passed him on the next lap.

Do we want to go back to races of past days that were decided on the first lap?

The DRS zone perhaps needs tweeking but I don't think it cost MS a podium, if he was fast enough he would have won on merit. Did he use it to his advantage to pass any other cars in the race?


no because 2 drs zones meant they gained a second in the first one(and passing the driver) and then pulled out another second or so in the second.

meaning leading a pack is currently totally useless. Just cos you are quicker shouldnt mean you a free to pass token. and sadly thats what we saw in canada. the lap after webber got by he was well over a second in front...due to the second drs...meaning the driver behind had no chance to fight back.

If the DRS allowed one driver pass, then passed driver to attack back in DRS zone 2 then it would be good. because it would be really really hard to make a move stick and therefore better to watch.

what we have now means you can get in the lead with great strategy(over car speed) but its pointless as you cant defend.

will we ever see races like imola 05 and 06 again?


Schumacher also used the DRS to get into position to pass Kobayashi and Webber.

I agree the DRS was a tad too long here maybe the different set-ups exacerbated the speed difference a bit, the double DRS is just a farce without a second detection point.

mohamed south africa

drs was not enabled at that part of the race my friend


Agreed, it was too easy.


Did you stick that comment in there just to provoke comments?!

On a serious note, if you are less than 1 second behind a backmarker, do you still get allowed to use the DRS?


We might as well make a rule where you get within 1 second and the car in front gets blue flags...:/


Haha, that's a good piece


The RBR is perhaps faster than the Merc on the straight anyway, regardless of DRS? Those overtaking speed advantages, towards the end of the race, using RBR DRS were enormous, not the 10-13kph quoted in previous races. Everyone wanted to see Schumacher on the podium; you’re not an F1 fan if you don't. But his car was fairly beaten.


I too sat there cursing DRS and willing Michael to hold on. But then I have to ask... did he use DRS to put himself in that position in the first place?.....


for me i think thats why vettel made the mistake on the last lap. the team would have been on the radio telling him to keep out of the 1 second window because button would of passed him easily in my opinion on the back straight using drs plus kers plus a slipstream even if he was a just under a second because it was so effective here.


Didn't work the lap before when the gap was 0.9 seconds

I think drs looked more effective because cars were getting so code out of the hairpin.

This is common at Montreal, and we've seen passes completed before the breaking point before. DRS Just amplified the normal Slipstream effect in my opinion.


While it was easier than at some other races with DRS to overtake, I don't think it was too easy.

If it was too easy then Webber, Button and the rest would have taken the chance at the first opportunity. As it stands the driver behind needed to be at least a second or more quicker per lap to get close and then make the move. The person then, if they weren't quicker on the whole lap, would be overtaken by the person they'd just sailed past. I don't recall this happening.

We all know this is a work in progress with the DRS and some races need monitoring and perhaps looked at next year.


Schumacher was 0.4 seconds off of Webber at the end of the final lap.

Paul Braithwaite

Agreed - a great shame.


If Button had not survived either of his collisions it would have been worth asking the question. If die-hard Alonso or Hamilton fans want to disqualify him because of those incidents, perhaps. Since neither of those are in the running who else is there ?

Schumacher had a superb drive, his best since his return. Webber , an excellent recovery, and Massa and Kobayasi deserve honorable mentions.

But Button's was one of THE great drives. One to speak of in the same breath as Senna at Donnington.

And James, if you have the data and a moment to explain, I'd love to know how Button got his Pentalty for speeding in the queue of traffic behind the safety car without either going into the car in front or slowing down to create a gap in front and then charging into it leaving a gap behind which the following cars closed over several sectors or laps.


I second that request - I am assuming that the teams independently need to calculate the delta time, and someone at McLaren got it embarassingly wrong

Michael Grievson

I think it was when he was catching them up after having a tyre changed


No it was during the first saftey car period, Hamilton also broke the speed limit but of course he was out of the race before a pit lane penalty was served.


There is no competition, Button owned that race.

Michael Prestia

Look at the facts... he took out his team mate and Alonso and even though he escaped penalty he was under investigation for those incidents and had some responsibility in the accidents. Secondly every time Vettel built up a lead it was removed by a safety car and I was at the race so I was amazed at the amount of laps under a safety car... even when it wasn't raining so the only reason Button had a chance was because he got lucky under the circumstances and not cause he was the best racer out there. Under normal circumstances he finishes 6th place at best.


Button pitted 6 times, putting him in bottom 20 4 times, had a drive through penalty and a puncture, and he won the race. Read some of the news around world, all media agrees it was Buttons best race of his career. He didn't escape penalty, it was not his fault.

Btw, I live in Montreal and I was to the race as well...

Michael Prestia

You speak like he did all that without Horseshoes!!! I'm not a Red Bull fan so this is not a biased opinion but the person that should have won the race was Vettel... Every time he built a lead he would lose it with another safety car... 2 of them caused because of Button.

British media will play it up but reality is if he pits 6 times in a normal race and he will finish behind a Virgin!

What does living in Montreal have to do with your point?


He got lucky under the circumstances? He was last with 30 laps to go


Exactly!! People just don't use common sense nowadays!


It has to be Michael Schumacher. It's the unexpected of his performance and the brilliance of his moves and drive. Wouldn't give it a second thought, it's Michael, clearly.


Jenson did well and was a worthy winner but DotD has to be Michael Schumacher for the amazing passes he did.

Well done MS, good on you 🙂


But Jenson must have dome more passes than anyone, and most of them twice or more after dropping back after penalty and puncture.


Dont get this comment re. Button "Then hit Alonso, forcing the Ferrari driver out."

Sorry but that seems to be trying to put the entire blame on Button for that colision which isnt really accurate. Button had the inside line into the corner and was level alongside - as clean an overtaking move as you can try. Alonso was the one that tried to cut him off last minute and turned in. It was just as much Alonso's fault - if not more.

For one of the most exciting finishes to an F1 race in a long time DOD has to go to Button.


Agreed. Footage clearly shows Button is ahead going into the braking zone before Alonso tries braking too late and causing an accident.


Completely disagree. Alonso didn't close the door, Button simply didn't give any room and punted Alonso off. Front wing of Button hitting rear tire of Alonso..clearly the man behind should be able to break. Button was just racing hard and got lucky, Alonso was unlucky, but I believe if the situation was reversed, Alonso would have left room, because he drives cautiously when aiming for a title. Now that there is no title shot, I'm hoping Alonso stops playing nice and punts Button/Hamilton via a 'racing incident' out at the next race in a similar fashion. I'd just like to see the responses from drivers once things are reversed a little..


the situation changed massively a second later and alonso was clearly going to get round the corner on the outside(remember its wet, many different lines). Button understeered into him.

Racing incident.

But if you were lewis or Paul you might be a bit annoyed as to the lack of penalty when compared to their own incidents recently....

also i think this whole fraction ahead thing is getting a bit silly, like at melbourne cos jenson was a tiny bit ahead of massa he seemed to think that meant the corner was all his and he could cut it with no penalty....what was he thinking??? you still have to actually make the bend! we could all go steaming into a bend and barely brake then cut the corner and say ' well i was ahead'

This was simply a racing incident and no pen was the right decision i just hope when others do it is deemed the same.

you could argue what was the difference between button-hamilton and Michael-Rubens....only difference michael knew exactly what he was doing. Where as button didnt...but does that make it better? im not sure


Don't think Alonso would have gone onto the grass...thats just your theory. Stubborn all the way? You aren't biased at all. In my view, Button had room on the inside, he could have moved inside further to avoid contact. If Button and Alonso were side by side truly, then I could agree with Button not moving further inside and making the contact. In this instance though, they were not side by side at all, Alonso was ahead because he could brake later on the outside. Your theory of Alonso going off on the grass is pointless (and stubborn all the way) because if Alonso was definitely going onto the grass, Button should have just held the inside line and avoided damage from a contact, as he'd speed past Alonso on the grass. Common sense..


Man....what r u watching? The only reason Alonso found himself in front at that point is that he thought rather opportunistically, that Button would brake earlier than him!! Actually, Alonso outbraked himself and if it wasn't for the touch, he would have gone straight on the grass! Stupid move from Alonso...He just couldn't accept that the place was lost....stubborn all the way...


Going by this camera Button is ahead on the inside line entering the braking zone. I'm not sure how the guy on the inside is supposed to give more room. Even the stewards report available on the FIA website says he was up on the kerbs trying to avoid Alonso.





if they were "level" then why did button's front left tag alonso's rear right?

what i don't understand is why did the stewards wait until after the race on both of button's incidents? they issued penalties for others during the race. strange...


Although Button was the most exciting, I voted Schumacher ( :O inconceivable for me two weeks ago) because I believe JB had at least 30% of the blame on each of his close encounters and he had the quickest car, while Schumi hardly put a wheel wrong, comprehensively outperformed his car and totally outperformed his teammate. Too bad the track dried that much in the end and the regular status quo of pace was restored, Kobayashi+Schumacher would have been a hell of a podium!


If schumi finished on the podium he would be my driver if the day. The best example of something similar to buttons victory is jacques villeneuve Indy 500 1995 which he one from a lap down using the safety car as a way of getting back on the lead lap then used the safety car to close up on the pack and then fought for the win.


And he out-performed his own aging body


its appearing when chips are down, sepang, monaco, and in the wet at canada Rosberg isnt the one that gets the best out of the car.

has to be noted michael is having an alright season. and has been ahead of team mate in last 3 races.


Jenson Button, closely followed by Bernd Meylander.


Canada!! It always throws us an exciting and interesting race, year in \ year out. The paddock \F1 circus loves the city, the fans adore the racing. Great stuff and apt it should be on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit 🙂

Jenson - outstanding job!! Kudos to Michael (would have loved to have seen him on the podium) and Jaime (stealth driving).


Jenson by a country mile. Excellent race for him. Scythed through the field and his pace in the last 15 laps was stunning.

I did notice how easily McLaren/redbull managed to get past Mercedes (SCHU) on the DRS zone on the straight. Was that a gear ratio issue for michael? The differential didnt appear to me to be as big between the Ferrari and McLaren and Redbull drivers. Seemed almost like he was running out of rev limiter?


I think it may have been to do with traction from the tyres. Button managed to look after his tyres better, and got better drive out of the hairpin.

Webber struggeled to get by Schu in the DRS zone untill Schu's tryes started to go off even faster.


Do keep in mind that Webber did not have KERS while Michael did. That would explain why Webber was finding it difficult for some time. I hoped Michael could hold him up. But sadly, that wasn't to be.

I also feel that Michael's setup was more suited to a wet track than to a dry one.(Remember 2000 Spa?)

To all those who were saying that Michael was too old, too slow and God-knows-what-else, guess he showed them!


Webber did apparently have KERS, according to a post race comment from one of the BBC presenters (Ted Kravitz I think) quoting Christian Horner.


Webber took a lot longer to get past him than I was expecting though.


James - pick a tense please! You're swinging from present to past so fast that I'm getting a headache. DOTD has to go to JB of course. Polls across all F1 sites pretty unanimous on that... 60%+ everywhere for him.


I vote for Bernd Mayländer led for a good part of the race and kept it off the walls. Great Drive....


Awesome comment!


But perhaps excluded as refuelling is banned, as is using a second car 😉


And he did it all on one set of tyres!


DRS robs spectators of exciting overtaking


Pirelli has done an outstanding job with the tires this year. They have provided tires that seem to allow passing where Bridgestone did not. Perhaps it has to do with them running softer compounds on each circuit, therefore actually allowing the tires to get up to proper temperature so that they do not grain. Bridgestone, in their conservative nature, installed hard tires that would grain instead of wear. We bolt on some soft Pirellis and suddenly the racing is fantastic! So much for Frank Dernie's theory of hard tires and high downforce (which, coincidentally, contrasted Adrian Newey's opinion that matched every driver that dared comment: "we need more mechanical grip and less downforce!").

However, Pirelli has one arm tied behind their back. With the advent of DRS, unfortunately drivers have realized that instead of trying for that risky manoeuver between corners, wait until the straight and drive by. As I said many times prior to the season, Tilke track design and DRS will provide us with the absolute least exciting passes that F1 can possibly offer: a slipstream pass on a straightaway where the chasing driver simply drives past the defender. Unfortunately, I was proven correct, and this race showed it as well as Turkey; the passing was too easy.

So now we have a situation where passing is possible with these Pirelli tires, but the FIA is sticking with their theory that any pass is an exciting pass, and instead of forcing the drivers to really race for track position, they are simply racing for that one-second bracket so they can activate DRS and drive by their opponent.

DRS is leaving a sour taste in many fans' mouths because it is robbing us of exciting overtakes, where drivers need to take a risk to actually get past the other driver. The drivers are being smart in taking the low-risk/high-reward route of a DRS pass, but this option removes the possibility of actually seeing a good fight for position between two closely-matched drivers in closely-matched cars.

Remove DRS, and the racing will only get better.


If DRS goes, overtaking goes...simple enough. Oh and Hamilton will get all the penalties for trying the impossible, that is to overtake in modern F1...


Have you completely missed all of the overtakes that have happened outside of the DRS zone? The last two corners of Turkey? Between corners 8 and 9 at Turkey? Webber's pass and Alonso's re-pass at Catalunya? The passing into turn 4 at Montreal?

DRS is not needed. If it goes, we will have better racing, as drivers won't rely on the easy DRS passes, and try more of the difficult passes that are now POSSIBLE with the Pirelli rubber.

I want to see passes that are possible, not that are probable or even a given. DRS falls in the "given" category, most of the time, and "probable" for the rest (Monaco being the only exclusion).


not the 1st time and I have to agree. Sometimes, DRS rob us from a good fight. I don't know why the FIA feels it is necessary to put it on every circuit and it is a scandal to have it available twice on a circuit, I still can't understand who came with such a stupid decision.

There are circuits though where DRS is necessary to help the show like Catalunya and others where it has to be banned like Spa and Monza where overtaking is much easier.


Moves of the Meeting ........ Jessica going nuts in the garage and then smacking Jenson with a kiss on the helmet ! ..... Sweet !

Great race Jenson - Many Congrats.


Jenson - what a legendary drive. I've never shouted at the telly so much.

Also in line for an award for the day is the BBC - they did an epic job on Sunday.


I agree with the comments about DRS. I was largely skeptical of it in the first place, and I don't like it generally, but at Montreal it was farcical. Both Schumacher and Kobayashi had got to where they were on

a) merit

b) skill

c) strategy

How can it be right that just because there are other "faster" drivers behind them, they are automatically gifted a place by pressing a button on a steering wheel?

F1 racing is more than about being the "quickest" or the "fastest", it's about creating pressure, forcing each other into mistakes and capitalising on any opportunities, not pressing a button that lets you blast past simply because you are "quicker".

That's why the Kobayashi-Massa fight in the race was the most fun, I was watching the onboard stream on the BBC. No DRS, no unfair advantages, just two good drivers going toe-to-toe every lap with Massa creating oodles of pressure, but then Kobayashi nailing the hairpin every lap to ensure he got better traction to protect himself.

*That* is racing.. not DRS. James, you must carry the sentiment of the fans to the sport as a whole.. DRS is a gimmick, it is too artificial. It spoils the good sporting challenge of F1.


That message came across from some fans at the Forum in Montreal. But over 50% of the crowd liked the DRS racing


I'm one of the die hard fans who likes DRS. Without DRS the race would have been a precession to the finish with Vettel leading Shumi and so on. We would all be bemoaning how it was dull that Button despite being so much faster couldn't pass due to the aero wake.

DRS may have made it easy for Button and Webber to pass Schumi but it gave us the fastest two cars fighting for the lead on the last lap. That is about as good as it gets.

Brilliant, exciting racing for a race win beats a dull precession with fast cars behind slower cars in the midfield and the winner a foregone conclusion.


James, I know I mentioned this before, but has anyone put forward limited use DRS...like each driver gets 10 uses of DRS during the race, but not on the first 2 laps or the last 2 laps? That would still allow for pure racing at the start and end to not allow an unfair advantage. Just a thought.


Off-topic on this thread (sorry!): Was anyone else concerned about the falling-top track marshals?

I'm thinking particular of the one who fell over and then re-fell over (in his haste to get up and out of the way) after Heidfeld had run-over his own front wing. For one horrible moment I thought we'd got another Tom Pryce moment on our hands and I was going to watch a track marshal get sliced up, live on TV. Scary!

James has there been any news \ FIA messages on this topic?


I thought it looked bad. I have the utmost respect for marshals but he looked overwhelmed by the moment. They need to stay calm and act sensibly


I think Liuzzi deserved a mention as well. He arrived 13th and managed to be the best of the 3 new teams.


Has to be Button. Pity Schumi missed a podium he deserved if not for DRS.

Button > Shumi > Webber.


Why did he deserve it...he was not fast enough, you do not get a "deserved" podium just because everyone thinks MS is king.


I agree, he just wasn't fast enough.


Has to be schumi for me...My trip to montreal was made worth it even though I had to sit in the chilly rain for 1 hour all soaked. It was all worth it to see schumi overtake so many cars from P17 to P2...Brought tears to my eyes. Deserved podium


He is not as fast as other drivers in top teams though. That's why he didn't get the podium...


Too simplistic and incorrect. He outperformed his lemon. In the wet, he was the fastest despite driving an inferior car. Others simply didn't outperformed their machinery, made some mistakes and they just had better cars.


Same here mate. It was too good to a point where its almost hurt. I feel your waiting in the rain for hours but surely its worth it 🙂


Schumacher did one little crime, lunging towards Hamilton at the braking point for the hairpin. Apart from that he was great, and it was excellent to see him running second.


Voted for Button, who drove like a possessed demon.

I'm a big Kobayashi fan and I think he drove a brilliant race up until the point the track started to dry out.

When that happened, the inferior aero performance of the Sauber (relative to the Ferraris, Renaults and Mercedes) meant that he was a sitting duck and he made too many mistakes, probably desperate to cling on to what could've been his best-ever finish.

It was painful to see him running wide with Massa behind (letting Schumi past both of them), him losing the rear-end and letting Petrov through (almost collecting Barichello), and him forgetting to step on the gas and having Heidfeld plough into the back of him.

Normally, finishing 7th from 13th on the grid is a good thing, but had he kept his cool, he really should have finished in at least 5th. The good news is at least he's aware that he blew it. Hopefully experiences like this will make him better.


After the puncture for Button came the safety car then button was 45 secs down under the safety car. He then did a purple sector 3 and caught the pack by the start/finish line. Why is this not speeding under the safety car? Or is this that as soon as Vettel backed everyone up then all regulations are off?

But Jenson did awesomely well considering he must have had the collisions on his mind.


FIA Sporting Regulation 40.7:

"In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at which the “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” message is shown on the timing monitors until the time that each car crosses the first safety car line for the second time, drivers must stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU."

So from that I take that having done 2 laps under the safety car minimum laptime rule you are allowed to catch the back of the snake.


The purple sector would have been because the track was at its driest up to that point. His last lap under the safety car after the puncture was 1:31.6, which was quicker than what people had been doing in the full wet conditions earlier, but obviously still a way off a dry lap time and presumably also slower than the required safety car lap time.

The safety car "delta" times are set with the intention of allowing everyone to catch up to the safety car, so the marshals can get time work on the track without a car going past every 10 seconds.


I was so dissapointed Schumacher did not get on the podium, that old tingle came back to me yesterday seeing Schumi at the sharp end of the race where he belongs. Come on Mercedes give him a quicker car to compete, there is surely no doubt now that he can.


Has to be Schumacher. The Merc is a much poorer car than the McLaren and it was all down to MS and his freakish skill on inters that he was up there in 2nd.

I hope the FIA pays attention to how fans are feeling. So many people have expressed distaste at what would have been a wonderful finish.

I have no doubt that were it not for the joke that is DRS Michael would have used all his guile and experience to hold on to third. He was robbed, the fans were robbed and it impacts on the show. Webber was so much faster on the straight it actually looked dangerous as there was such a huge variation in speeds. After such a great drive, Michael deserved more than to be a sitting duck.

It would have been a wonderful story for F1 and great positive publicity after the Bahrain debacle if MS had made it on to the podium, I have no doubt he would have been ecstatic and it would have been great to see him there, he remains the most popular driver with fans.

Compare to Webber in the press conference who looked like someone slapped him with a wet fish.


I too was disappointed that MS did not get a podium because of DRS but on the other side of the coin I doubt that JB would of won without DRS.

Jury still out in my house.


I voted for schumacher, but as I guessed, in an english pole on an english news forum when an english driver won (albeit a very deserved win) voting for a german driver goes against the rules, but I dont care.

Im a Vettel fan but was honestly more disappointed that Schumacher got robbed of his podium by DRS rather than Vettel blinking himself out of the win on the last lap. He was probably so concerned and focused on the DRS zone into the hairpin that he probably forgot that he still needed to make it there and got caught out, a real shame but the fact that Schumi whipped and dragged that slow donkey of the MGP02 up to second before the artificial elements kicked in speaks far better than being able to take advantage of a handful of safety cars to work through the field in a car that was slated unanimously to win the race. Everyone discredited Alonso for working from 24th to 5th in Monaco '10 because of all the safety cars that he also took advantage of and yet he made several clear on track passes on a track that is quite nearly impossible to overtake on without turning it into a destruction derby. Jenson definitely fought for the win and I dont want to cheapen that and given that he was arguably robbed by these same elements in Monaco I dont want it to seems like he didnt deserve it, but in the real world, Schumacher for driver of the day... FULL STOP

In Button's favor I will note that he escaped punishment for his involvement in drama because he has a reputation of being a clean racer which is precisely why Vettel or Hamilton Schumacher and Alonso had a similar drive probably would have gotten hammered by the stewards, if you always have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot its a easier to tip from racing incident to avoidable accident and thus penalty, Button doesn't have this reputation so he gets the benefit of the doubt and honestly, thats how it should be.


I see where you are coming from and gutted for MS but I don't think it's all about that. Well may be English media yea. But Michael is huge in Uk. Am I right James? You know more than anyone else when you punished his book, "The Edge of the greatness"


I'm British, love schumi and voted for schumi but button was the driver of the day because he won.


Schumacher without a doubt. Were it not for DRS he would almost certainly have been on the podium.

None of Schumis many passes were made with the benefit of DRS.


I think mclarens wet set up and high downforce that they got slated for in qualifying is what won it for them, o and vettels mega cockup on the last lap. It was good to see vettels finger in a different position at the end of the race


Yes, but did you see JB taking the pi** out of SV at the end by holding up a finger on each hand and grinning at him?


So you are saying the drivers can't have a bit of fun amongst themselves? I remember Alsono doing considerably worse to Massa when he passed him in one race, it's all part of it. Let them play


It has to be Schumacher. Aside from appearing to make a second move in the breaking zone alongside Hamilton in the first phase of the race, he was one of the only drivers who didn't make a mistake and was only deprived of a well earned podium by the farce that was DRS.

Also, surprised not to see Massa on the list of options. He had an excellent weekend, as quick as Alonso in general and his only mark down was not getting past Kobayashi. His final position was only as a result of a spin which was caused by an atrocious piece of driving from Karthikayean.


Schumacher defending brilliantly = moving into another car's breaking zone and pushing them into the grass. Nice.


Schumacher was really excellent yesterday, it's the first time he's turned up since Brazil 2006. However, I don't know how any anyone could vote for anyone else but Jenson? It was simply one of the best drives I've ever seen in 30 years of watching F1!!

stephanie isherwood

My head says Jenson of course. But my heart says Michael and I voted with my heart


Just a comment for thoughts

Michael needed 1 year and a few months to raise his game up to the same level as Rosberg. But does he still have room to improve over this and the next year?


You’re a great reporter James but your favouritism towards Michael shines through sometimes. I don't mind it at all because we all promote the best bits of our favourite driver. It's clear you give him driver of the day and you every right to say it, it was superb. I'm a Button fan though, always have been since he qualified 3rd first time out in Spa (not a bad plug) so I gave him driver of the day for all the great reasons you failed to mention.


I have to agree with RichardB. Sensational drive by Jenson, 5 pit stops and a drive through, hadn’t caught the last car in 21st when the safety car pulled in and he still won it, a true champion’s drive.

It reminds me of when, in similar conditions, he was driving seconds a lap faster than anyone (4sec quicker than Vettel, 5sec than Kubica, 10sec Fisi) in his Honda.

If Vettel didn’t spin I’m sure JB would’ve passed down the final straight. Driver of the day.


Couldn't agree more with RichardB and AlexG. In fact I'm surprised the question is even asked! Look at the poll results and JB is the driver of the day by a country mile. He is the best driver out there in changing conditions and can win even if his car is not the best car out there - Hungary '06, Australia '10 and now Canada '11 all prove it.

He was in a class of his own. Shame he can't drive like that in all conditions but please give him some credit.

I'm sorry James but you seem to have a problem with JB - you say he hit Alonso but even viewed from Alonso's on-board camera JB was right alongside (maybe even a fraction ahead if you look at their rear wheels) when Alonso turned in. In my book that means JB was hit by Alonso and not the other way round!


How did you come to that conclusion? I just want to know because I really dont think it is the case.


I voted for schumi as I'm biased. Loved seeing eddie jordan squirm at the end as schumi showed what he can do in a poor car. His moves into t6 were awesome!

Just a note on how far I think f1 has come. Eddie Jordan was pushing Christian Horner trying to get him to say he wanted the race called off (during red flag) Horner wasn't having it and said he wanted to race because he was a racer. I really appreciated this as it was thinking about the bigger picture something that I think whitmarsh dominecalli and Horner are doing. F1 seems to have moved on from the todt Dennis briatore era and definitely for the better.


Hi James,

I would like your insights on the pre-post 2007 Alonso.

In my opinion, he has really lost that edge of a relentless machine, maximising every opportunity. And my sample set is not restricted to the Canadian GP, but includes the entire 2010 as well (I am discarding 2008 and 2009 because these were patchy years for him).

Do you think next year we will see the real Alonso brought out with the help of some momentum from reasonably competitive years or is he just not the driver of 2006 anymore?


Don't agree and F1 engineeres wouldn't either. He's relentless in races, most of the time


I know that DRS brings some passes we would not ordinarily see in F1, but these passes are, to me, artificial. It was disappointing to know that MS's hard-earned podium, and possibly even a 2nd place, were inevitably going to vanish.

That being said, I imagine wet setups probably exacerbated the effect of DRS.


Re DRS: we've seen the good and the less good side of it. It's effect is very track dependent and we've and we have to remember it is largely experimental for this year. I think it is of beneift to the racing in some places, like Malaysia and China I think were good. And then it was too easy at Turkey.

I think it's still of value but needs perfecting, and as others have posed, is it necessary to have it at every track? I like the idea of each driver getting to use it for a limited number of times per race.

Schumacher was a victim of DRS yes, but on the other hand by aiding the faster drivers to race and not get trapped forever behind slower cars, we had the likes Button being able to hunt down Vettel, which was a great spectacle.

I think Button would have got Schumacher even without DRS though. We have to remember the Mercedes was much more competitive in the wet, so he was always gonna to be at risk once it dried out.


Cannada is the winner, great race.

Not a huge fan of DRS but its a tool for each driver to use, I mean they all got it!

What I dont want to see is faster driver held up by slower cars.

Nice drive by Button, best ever?? mabye not but I still give him DotD

Im aghast at only 24 votes for Seb.....pole, race leader for 69 laps, one mistake so costly 🙂


Clearly when voting for driver of the day, the limitations of the equipment are a consideration. When we see the drive that MS had in putrid conditions, and on a drying track, it was something to behold. The sitting duck factor(DRS), and visibly inferior equipment, are what stood between him and a second place when the track dried out. But had the conditions not dried, even Vettel was in danger. It was a pleasure to see him in the office on a rain wet track. Also being a Montrealer, I wish to take the opportunity to express my satisfaction with the fan turnout and once again the quality of racing that our track affords. While its true we struggle to pay the fees, we do show that we are true F1 fans.


James could you or other readers help me. At one point Jenson pitted under the safety car and left the pit lane while the safety car with the train of cars were going past the pit lane exit. Wouldn't the pit lane lights be on red, as was the case when Hamilton ran into the back of Kimi?



No that rule has gone


JB's Montreal drive will be remembered as one of the greats long after the silly arguments about 'luck' have been used to manure the weeds of a trackside verge. What more do you people want of a driver? That was an utterly stonkiing drive the like of which most of us have ever seen before.

We had a taster of JB in Monaco which was ruined by a red flag and a tyre change. But he certainly made up for it and then some!

I note that neither the FIA nor LH nor FA nor SV etc is complaining about JB...


Hard to go past Button..combination of his wet weather patience, car & luck with safety cars.

The old rainmeister, Schumi deserved a podium here.

KOby was getting very ragged in the later stages due to defending off the dry line. If it had stayed wet, a podium was definitely possible; with the track drying it should have been P5 without the mistakes.

Hope the banning of hot blown exhausts narrows the performance gap amongst the teams.

P6 in the drivers championship is wide open at the moment...


Button owes his success to his set up of more down force. Hamilton must be thinking this race was his to win had he been a little more patent.

I thought Button was very lucky to get passed Webber, Schumacher. Correct me if i'm wrong but this occoured when Webber was giving Schumacher back a postion after he missed the hairpin. Still a great drive.


I think it's disingenuous to suggest that JB was quick purely because of downforce level. It was clearly a good setup, but he has a history of great performance on a drying track. Credit where credit's due.

...and yes, you're wrong. Webber had already given back the place. He later got out of shape at the chicane and that's when JB got by.


Let's remember Button did the winning moves in the dry...where he could do without the downforce!


If you have drs opened then you don't have down force.


and he passed Webber on the wet side of the track on dry tyres


Voted for Schumacher. A sublime drive and 4th place was totally undeserved but the DRS made it too easy for Button and eventually Webber to get by the man. He was truly masterful in the wet and picking out some truly beautiful moves WITHOUT THE AID OF DRS. Was stunningly quick on the inters and didn't make a single error in a race blighted by them. A wonderful return to form and one which the young ones can learn from.


clearly MSC did the best drive. got to 2nd with no DRS help, keeping out of trouble & showed what driver skill is when it can clearly be saw.

Why swich the DRS on at that point is a mystery & i feel the FIA want it to be seen as succesful, but not on this occassion as its a track that doesn't need it because car are able to follow each other.

button had a better wet set up, but had to qualify with it.

Shumi's move on Lewis was legal as he moved once to defend & after to get near the racing line.

james, can you find data on the drivers heart rates please to compare. during monaco MSC was 140 bpm in quali, but i watched the moto gp and the riders was 178 bpm. would be interesting to see who's pushing the most from the cars.


i like johns idea of 10 DRS goes. that would make it a bit fairer, mabe just 5 presses would be enough. it would give the commentators even more to keep on top of!


Great Drive by Button who achieved what the Mclaren was capable of in the last 3 races, a win (undoubtedly the fastest car in race trim).

However if your driver of the day means:

1)maximising the performance of the car

2)driving beyond the cars limits in tricky conditions

3)Making fewest mistakes compared to other drivers

4)Making spectacular overtakes without DRS

Then there is only 1 winner, The Great Michael Schumacher!

Mercedes, please wake up, throw some resources and give Schuey and Rosberg a car to challenge at the top, not a mid field car to race Renault and Sauber as it currently stands...


Congratulations to Jenson Button, the new improved 2.0 version of Hamilton. -Aplausse.- .............Approved...........


It is interesting see the different criteria people use to justify their choice of driver of the race. We have finishing position, age, how poor they feel the car is in comparison with others on the track, the number of overtakes a driver did (although not opting for one who did more), keeping calm for 99.5% of the race, one driver having tyres a whole lap newer than the one he overtook, and many more.

I voted for Button because his drive enlivened a race that had been dire up until then.


I gave it to Schumacher, as while Button's race was excellent, it required a Safety Car for him to win.


Michael Schumacher! his drive on the wet brought back memories from the 90's. All overtakes without DRS and sublime defending against faster cars, clearly the fastest driver on the inters.

If the track was wet till the end of the race, Schumi would have given his young pretender a run for his money. What a battle that would have been.

Common mercedes, give Schumi a car where we could see him battling out with vettel, hamilton on equal race pace. Thats F1.


I hoping to see Marlon Stockinger. I only see him once in one of the advertisement but i don't know what his standing on the F1 race. He look good but i think he is new in the sports event. But the rest of the player I've see was great.

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