11 Jun


LAST YEAR Jenson Button achieved an astonishing victory in the waterlogged Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and whereas rain was the deciding factor in 2011, 2012 saw rubber decide who won, and who lost out.

It was a well deserved victory for McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, who secured his third Canadian GP win, and became the seventh different winner in seven races- an extension to the world record set in Monaco- in an interesting, but not entirely exciting, race. Tyre strategy was quintessential. Martin Whitmarsh’s crystal ball of strategy foresaw a one stop strategy leading to sitting ducks at the end of the race, and he was right- Alonso sacrificed a win because his soft tyres just couldn’t hold out for fifty eight laps; Vettel’s tyres were older and he was forced to pit late, meaning Sergio Perez (Sauber) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) managed a more successful one stop strategy to overtake Vettel and Alonso to take third and second place respectively; Hamilton’s two stop strategy was ideal, and although his pit stops weren’t smooth, he managed to stay calm, collected and he drove his heart out to take the chequered flag.

Sadly McLaren didn’t do the same for Jenson Button- a disastrous car in qualifying, problems with the tyres in the race and unsmooth driving sent him right down the grid to mingle with the likes of Jean Eric Vergne and Bruno Senna in sixteenth; Vettel eventually finished fourth, which was disappointing because his earlier battle between Alonso and Hamilton made for quite interesting viewing, and Alonso came home fifth; they scored twelve and ten points respectively.

Mercedes had another mixed race- Rosberg finished in a respectable sixth, receiving eight points, but Michael Schumacher was forced to retire or face disqualification following a damaged DRS flap which didn’t shut; joining the retired German was Pedro De La Rosa, Timo Glock and Narain Karthikeyan. Mark Webber finished seventh with six points; Raikkönen, Kobayashi and Felipe Massa took the final point. Massa looked strong before spinning in a Ferrari which has returned to form.
Despite the champagne at the podium tasting sweet for Hamilton, yet again it has been proven that McLaren’s pit stops are not up to scratch, and tyre strategy was the determining factor- Grosjean and Perez did this well, conserving their two sets, whereas Alonso and Vettel lost out, and the less said about Button, the better! It was a procession, with some interesting overtaking bits, and a few cars mowing the grass, but it just lacked the fun and excitement of the rain; I guess we’ll have to wait until Britain for that- I’ll be live at Silverstone over the British GP weekend, so please keep following Tom’s informative blog – weather permitting- for on- location updates!

It is Valencia in two weeks, and last year not one car crashed- let’s hope it’s not as boring as last year!


Hamilton’s weekend has soared him up to the top of the driver’s championships, with 88 points to his name, but just behind him is Alonso and Vettel, with 86 and 85 points respectively; seven different winners still means it is all to play for, and other serious contenders include Mark Webber, who is only 9 points adrift of Hamilton with 79 points, and Nico Rosberg with 67 points. Button’s chances are fading fast as he slips further down the Championships with another pointless race- he has 45 points and is now eighth, behind Raikkönen (55) and Grosjean (53).

Concerning Constructors, Red Bull still lead by a comfortable 33 points, with 164 points over McLaren’s 133, but their gap will probably narrow if Hamilton is back on form; Lotus’ consistency in F1 has meant they now overtake Ferrari into third place, with 108 points over Ferrari’s 97; the Mercedes tally has increased to 69 points, but Sauber are only 11 points behind with 58 points. At the bottom of both Championships, after seven races, are the usual suspects- Catheram, Marussia and HRT are still to score a single point.


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