Last weekend’s Canada GP marked the first race of the Formula 1 season that wasn’t overshadowed by tire controversy. The more accepted limitations of weather and car setup conspired to shake up the status quo. Hit the jump for our race recap and some amazing pictures from the Formula 1 Canada GP.
First off, we at Infinite Garage would like to extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family of the F1 worker who was killed in an accident with the recovery vehicle after last Sunday’s GP. The corner marshals and safety workers, who keep the drivers and spectators safe, are an integral part of Formula 1 and the accident on Sunday was tragic. Formula 1 simply wouldn’t exist without their efforts and we here at Infinite Garage appreciate their work and dedication to the sport.
For the first time in the season, tires didn’t seem to be at the fore front of the weekend’s discussions. The traditionally unsettled weather at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal left the grid in disarray and many of the midfield teams were hoping to gain some advantage in the tricky conditions.
One team that managed an amazing performance was Williams. Valtteri Bottas, Williams’ rookie Finnish driver, put on an impressive show during Saturday’s qualifying sessions. The Williams car has been less than impressive this year but Bottas somehow managed to qualify the car in third position, behind the likes of Vettel and Hamilton. Some of the WIlliams surprising pace can be credited to a wet setup on the car, as the team gambled on wet conditions for the race, but the fact remains that Bottas dramatically out performed his team mate as well as the rest of the midfield runners.
The other Finn, Kimi Raikkonen, managed to performed well below expectations last weekend. While there was much speculation that the Lotus team would have good race pace, neither Raikkonen or Grosjean showed much life. Both drivers had grid penalties, two places for Raikkonen and 10 place for Grosjean, and the cars just didn’t seem to have the speed that we’ve come to expect. Kimi did manage to score points but Vettel’s win, and strong finishes from Alonso and Hamilton, promise to make Raikkonen’s title chase a difficult one.
Speaking of Vettel, he simply showed that he was the class of the field. While he might have his detractors, admittedly we aren’t his biggest fans, it is very hard to deny that he is an exceptional driver. Vettel led from lap one and finished a comfortable 14 seconds ahead of Alonso, who’s drive from 6th place on the grid wasn’t too shabby, managing to lap the field up to 6th place. If it weren’t for all the action in the rest of the field one would almost think that we were back in the bad old days when that other German, Ralf’s brother, dominated F1.
As we near the halfway point of the season, it looks like we might have a repeat of 2012 with Fernando chasing Vettel to the finish. Lotus and Kimi could still be dark horses and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Force India win a race or two. The on thing that is surprising is the lack of pace shown by McLaren. Not only have they been embarrassingly slow, but they have shown little to no improvement.
We’ll see what happens in three weeks when Formula 1 heads to the historic Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix. Will McLaren finally show some performance? Will Webber take revenge on Vettel and their history of team order controversy? Perhaps Force India’s Paul Di Resta or Mercedes Lewis Hamilton will take their first win of the season at what has to be considered their home Grand Prix. We’ll know in three weeks.