A review of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.
Canada considered possibly one of the best tracks out there, with a surprisingly long history, the wall of champions and the unpredictable weather (who can forget 2011*)!
With Hamilton still recovering from a poor start to the season and his first win only in Monaco two weeks before it was tough to judge who would actually win. It seems in this day and age pole position means very little especially when you have the likes of Risky Rosberg who like Hamilton is a true racer who would take any chance to win; Hamilton’s 2015 dominance has not been seen this year so far.
Let’s not forget Hamilton has won here 4 times already.
The front of the starting Grid consisted of Hamilton in pole, followed closely by Rosberg third held by Vettel and Ricciardo in 4th. You could see the sheer determination of Hamilton on the grid who had already slightly pointed his car towards Rosberg looking to immediately alpha him out. Lights out and a shocker of a start Vettel faster than the speed of light over took both Mercedes leaving them to fight for 2nd leading to Rosberg being forced off the track and fall back down to 8th. Deemed as a racing incident no action by the stewards was taken but I would have loved to see Toto’s initial response.
The race was on Vettel looking to create a huge gap between Hamilton and himself until a little mishap between Vettel and couple of Seagulls and yes this is true it was then Hamilton who had the opportunity to make the time up.
Sad times for Alonso a previous world champion and one of the best drivers out there was caught holding up a pack of angry drivers at lap 9 and button retiring on lap 11. Alonso near completion of the race then querying why they were even pushing at P11 just for one point!! It’s a sad state of affairs for Mclaren these days who have brilliant drivers but just can’t sort out their speed and reliability. No doubt they will rise again someday – I hope.
Prior to race start words of wisdom arose from David Coulthard who stated there will be a safety car in this race, well he was right due to buttons car stranded on the side of the track VSC came out. Ferrari perceived this as a good time for Vettel to take a pit stop could this strategic move be the winning one?
It is possible for a one stop or two stop strategy on this track the Ultra Soft tyres were working a dream for majority of drivers at the start bear in mind that all drivers must use Soft tyres at some point in this race.
This Pit stop lead Vettel to having an attack of the red bulls it was game one, fresh tyres gave him that extra speed and grip.
Lap 21 we sadly saw a retirement from Jolyon Palmer no drama involved.
Lap 25 commenced with the only pit stop to be taken by Hamilton, bringing him back out to 2nd behind Vettel. With Vettel taking an early pit stop could he hold out for the whole race?
At this part of the race you could clearly see Rosberg putting pressure on everybody in front of him, he shouldn’t have been amidst middle markers it looked like this was not to be Rosberg’s day.
Lap 34 involved the 2nd pit stop for Kimi’s Ferrari being rather quiet this race and not making a huge impact pitted first. Vettel in Lap 37 obviously losing time and coming out behind Hamilton. This 2 stop strategy was not going to work for them. Only a Safety car would have brought them back together to fight it out with the speed of Ferrari’s it would have hard to determine who would have won on a head to head battle, unfortunately we were not treated to this in Canada.
Sad times for Williams when Massa retired for the first time this year on lap 52, first retirement this year. Lets not forget this man nearly became World Champion in 2008 he should not be underestimated.
Rosberg’s day became worse when he had a slow puncture running up to lap 51 managing to getting to 4th unfortunately this dropped him back to 7th although this was not stopping him and you would clearly see he fought all the way through the race. Personally I would give him driver of the day. By lap 64 he was giving Mad Max in 4th a run for his money pushing constant pressure on the teenager but unfortunately Rosberg made an error with a only a couple of laps to go losing time and leaving Max to drive without a Mercedes constantly in his mirror. Poor Rosberg, lucky Max.
Hamilton floated to the finish line, quoting the late Muhammed Ali “float like a butterfly, sting like bee” a thoughtful and considerate dedication.
Now 9 points behind Championship leader Rosberg can Hamilton take the lead in Baku! Lets not forget Vettel and Ricciardo are still able to grab the title too. The Ferrari’s and Red Bulls are getting stronger. With 13 races to go anything could happen!
*I would not encourage anybody to try and watch the full coverage of the 2011 Canadian GP, maybe catch the highlights on YouTube if possible – let’s just say I ate all the contents of my fridge waiting for the race to get going.