Race Eight: Canada

As is usually the case, the Canadian Grand Prix lived up to the lofty expectations that I had of it. However, I was wrong on a few of my predictions, but that in a bit.

The start of the race was a hectic affair that found no less than four cars involved in altercations. At the back, it was Vitaly Petrov and another car coming together (after Petrov jumped the start), while at the front, it was Felipe Massa and Tonio Liuzzi coming together. In fact, Liuzzi got spun around and fell to the back of the pack, but ended up storming through the race ending up ninth. This race was more exciting in the first 15 laps then most races are over their entire running. Canada is a special place where there are big speeds, little room and big crashes because of it. And although I predicted a big altercation at the first corner (sort of correct) I was surprised that there was not one safety car. I had predicted two or three I think, but this turned out to be a very subdued and well driven Canadian Grand Prix. True, there were many passes and lots of action on the track, but no one got overly ambitious and brought out the safety car. In fact, it was the first race held at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve since 2004 that did not feature the appearance of the safety car. So you can see why I made that prediction.

The other big story was that of the tires. With Bridgestone bringing the super soft and the medium compound tires, every driver complained of big time graining and degradation from the tires. Even the Bridgestone officials were shaking their heads at this saying that the tires would not last as long as the drivers needed them to. They were proven wrong of course, and many of the drivers ended up doing as many as 40 laps on one set of tires!

After the dust had settled, it was Lewis Hamilton who took the checkered flag. He was followed home by Button and Alonso. The Red Bulls were fourth and fifth and ended up there mostly because of poor tire choice and some problem with Vettel’s car. Either way, it shows that the McLarens are very good, Alonso is a beast of a driver, and that the Red Bulls – though fast at certain times – were not doing to well with the high speeds and low downforce of this track. Here is how they finished and then how I predicted the race.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Jenson Button

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Mark Webber

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Robert Kubica

8. Sebastian Buemi

9. Vitantonio Liuzzi

10. Adrian Sutil
So how did I do, well, OK I guess. Here is my list and how I thought it would come out. Although, I did say that I just threw up some names hoping they would fall correctly. I really did not see Buemi scoring that high, especially not without any safety car periods, but that’s Canada for you. I will say that I correctly predicted Mark Webber, and came closer than I though on many of the top names, but was really off farther down the list.

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Mark Webber

6. Felipe Massa

7. Adrian Sutil

8. Michael Schumacher

9. Nico Rosberg

10. Robert Kubica

The next race is in two weeks is the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. This is one of the more boring races on the calendar, so pray for rain!!

On Friday, I mentioned that I would run down a little of Le Mans, and it was a great weekend for Audi, as they swept the top three podium spots, even though they were thoroughly outqualified by the much faster Peugeots. It seems that they had the reliability and the race pace to go the distance and made a name for themselves once again. Good for them.

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