15 Jun


TWO YEARS ago, Jenson Button, driving for McLaren, endured six pit stops, numerous safety cars, horrendous weather and still managed to overtake the entire field to take the lead from Sebastian Vettel on the last lap of an enthralling Canadian Grand Prix. Sadly on sunday, we witnessed a rather mundane sporting spectacle which saw Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull steal the show with a runaway maiden victory on the Île De Notre-Dame today.

Sebastian led the race from lights out to chequered flag- he made it look effortless, lapping all but four cars in an easy cruise around 70 laps of the Circuit Gilles Vileneuve. No opponent came close to preventing the young German take twenty-five points, which are arguably the easiest points for Vettel this year. It was slightly more exciting with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The former had managed to hold onto second place for over sixty laps, pit stops excluded, but the latter overtook Lewis on the home straight, just a few laps before the end; it was a close call, and they clipped briefly, but fifteen points for Mercedes will be some consolation- they failed to end their rubber degradation woes, but it didn’t affect the team as much as it did in Barcelona two races ago. Alonso picks up eighteen points for second.

Mark Webber finished fourth, with twelve points, despite losing some of his front wing in a collision with a snail’s pace Caterham (Giedo Van Der Garde) which failed to obey the blue flags. As a result, he was penalised with a stop/go penalty. Nico Rosberg fought hard, and managed to hold on to fifth place, only just avoiding the embarrassment of being lapped by Vettel. He receives ten points. Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric-Vergne will be elated with his best ever finish- sixth place- today. Vergne demonstrated progress in Red Bull’s younger sister team to qualify in yesterday’s changing conditions, and finished satisfactorily, winning eight points.

Many teams complain about the tyres, but Paul Di Resta will be smug after an astonishing seventh place, after qualifying seventeenth. The young Scot nursed his harder tyres for a whole fifty-four laps, amend managed to overtake cars and leave enough of a gap to pit only once and hold on to his treasured six points. Felipe Massa finished eighth place, which is an achievement following yesterday’s hefty crash during qualifying. He overtook eight cars and brought home four points for Ferrari.

Ice Man Kimi Raikkönen survived a clip with Adrian Sutil and a poor pit stop to finish ninth with two points, and despite driving in a spin, at one point, and undergoing a drive-through penalty for his collision, Force India’s Adrian Sutil brought the car home to finish tenth and pick up the final Championship point. Alas, McLaren finished eleventh and twelfth (Perez and Button respectively) and did not score. They qualified poorly and their lacklustre performance was heightened by the fact that this is the first time in sixty-four races that they didn’t score. Can they improve their cars and overcome technical and performance gremlins to make a second half of the season comeback? McLaren fans will hope so.

It was a sad end for Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. The Finn qualified in an amazing third place, proving that there is pace in their cars, but that pace did not transfer over to today’s dry conditions, and he finished fourteenth. Today’s retirements were Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Guttierez, who lost control into the first corner towards the end of the race and Giedo Van Der Garde, who lost his front wing in a collision with Hulkenberg.


Sebastian Vettel has increased his lead to 36, and now holds 132 Drivers’ Championship points. This is more than a race victory, and he can afford to take a holiday next race and still hold onto the lead. He leads the Championship, ahead of Fernando Alonso with 96 points. Fernando has overtaken Kimi Raikkönen, who is now third with 88 points. Lotus need to find some more form if they wish to compete once more with Vettel for the title. 11 points behind lies Lewis Hamilton, currently fourth with 77 points. In fifth place, we have Mark Webber with 69 points, and Nico Rosberg is sixth with 57 points. Felipe Massa remains in seventh with 49 points.

Paul Di Resta is eighth with 34 points, and Romain Grosjean is ninth with 26, one point ahead of Jenson Button with 25 points.

In the Constructors’ Championships, Red Bull have extended their lead even further, with 201 points. Their lead has been extended from 41 to 56 points. Ferrari are second with 145 points. Mercedes have stolen third place from Lotus, with 134 points, 20 points ahead of their British rival with 114 points. Force India are fifth, a huge 63 points adrift with 51 points; McLaren are sixth with 37 points. Toro Rosso have increased their points tally to 20 points in seventh, and Sauber remain eighth with 5. Williams lead Marussia who lead Caterham and are still yet to score.

I will be back in three week’s time, when Formula One heads to the home of British motorsport, Silverstone. Mark Webber won an incredible race last year, with a wash out qualifying session and an exciting Grand Prix


Since this report was written we have found out that a marshall died whilst rescuing Esteban Gutierrez’s car. Marshalling is a job full of hazards and the men and women who do it show a lot of bravery and our thoughts are with the marshall’s family and friends at this difficult time.


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