#CanadaGP. If not the best #F1 Grand Prix for a decade, it was certainly the longest!
June 13, 2011
The Canadian GP was over four hours long from flag (or rather lights) to flag. It was also quite the most extraordinary race that we’ve seen for some time.
McLaren: It has to be said that so far this year McLaren do not appear to have really delivered on the promise their car has been showing. But that changed in Montreal, well it certainly changed for one of their drivers and the team must take a fair amount of credit for opting for the high-downforce setting, something that neither driver seemed particularly happy about during qualifying, but it paid off in the race.
Jenson Button: It is perhaps a bit unfair that Jenson’s Championship season was achieved in an outstanding car, and one which most people remember for the rather creative interpretation of the regulations relating to rear diffusers. However it has to be said that on his day Jenson is peerless and this was another one of those days, he showed the kind of controlled aggression that you only associate with the best of Champions. There are still a lot of races to go (although not quite as many as Bernie might have liked) and there is still plenty of time for things to shift in the championship stakes in Jenson’s favour.
Charlie Whiting: Race Director Charlie Whiting often gets a lot of stick over this or that, and particularly from Martin Brundle relating to how long the safety car is out. Of course we don’t want to see safety cars, but we want to see loads of wrecked cars and injured drivers much less. I think he achieved a great balance between anticipating undrivable conditions and keeping the racing alive for the fans. I was convinced the race was going to be called off during the red flag period – not because I wanted to watch Antiques Roadshow – but because I felt that was the lower risk route. But he didn’t and what a race we had. Thanks Charlie.
Sir Stirling Moss: Stirling has retired from racing at 81 years old after giving himself a fright on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, the equivalent of what most other 81 year olds might feel batting along the pavement in their mobility scooters. What an absolute winner, never a champion, but one of the most respected drivers of all time, and someone who Enzo Ferrari rated as the closest to Nuvolari he’d seen, you don’t get higher praise than that.
Lewis Hamilton: Lewis could have won this race, but in the way that Alonso is often ahead of his car, Lewis seems to be ahead of everything, particularly the car in front, before he’s passed it. There seems to be an air of desperation about Lewis’s driving. Let’s hope he’s got things a bit more under control for Valencia.
Ferrari: As in Monaco Ferrari showed great promise for the actual race with Fernando not really being able to mount a serious challenge. Filipe had a rather erratic race, but redeemed himself with a last minute charge to take sixth away from Kobayashi.
Team Lotus: With one HRT and two Virgins ahead of them at the end Team Lotus won’t have been happy with their days work. They need to start making progress if they want to seriously challenge Toro Rosso, Sauber, Williams and Force India.