Tag Archives: Montreal

2012 Canadian Grand Prix Results

Well, the one-stop strategy was tried and in full effect… it just failed miserably for a few of the front runners and predicted winner especially. In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton, whose record in Montreal is either a win or a DNF so far in his career, meaning that I really should have picked him to win as he had a pretty good shot. This makes it seven winners from seven races and means that the championship is still wide open and anyone can take it in the remaining 13 races.

Usually, Canada provides some good racing, and it provided some good moments to be sure, but not if you are a fan of the Prancing Horse. With Felipe Massa spinning out of his own accord and Fernando Alonso trying to nurse some very well worn tires for over 45 laps, neither of the two I picked to have good results finished that well. Alonso’s tires fell off the cliff in the final three laps, making him easy prey for Hamilton, Perez, Grosjean and Vettel, all of whom passed the struggling Ferrari in the last few laps of the race. To his, and his team’s, credit, the McLaren driver had the right strategy for the day called all along. Even when Hamilton came in for his second stop and both Alonso and Vettel stayed out, it looked like the race would be over for him. Either they would put in a few fast laps to come in and stay ahead after the pit stops, or they would stay out and just run out the few remaining laps to the checkered flag. However, the team must have known something – or got very lucky – as they were adamant that Alonso and Vettel would be stopping again before the end and that Lewis would catch them in the rotation. However, the longer they stayed out, the more Hamilton had to push, and the faster he wound up catching them both as their tires began to fall apart. As Kimi Raikkonen proved earlier this year, when the tires fall of the cliff, they fall off hard, and both Red Bull and Ferrari made critical errors that they might come to regret later on in the season. Lewis is one of the most consistent drivers on the grid for scoring points, and now leads Alonso in the Driver’s Championship by two points.

Yes, there is a long way to go, but with every point becoming more and more valuable, no driver can ill afford to have a blunder or blown strategy call anymore. Both Ferrari and Red Bull will learn from this, but Hamilton is going to only find strength in this win and it could be a three horse race as they start to come down to the wire. Look for these three to lead the way and start to pull clear of the rest of the field soon enough.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Romain Grosjean

3. Sergio Perez

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Mark Webber

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Kamui Kobayashi

10. Felipe Massa

 

In other racing news, the next race is one of my most detestable: The European Grand Prix in Valencia. And it comes as no surprise to me that the race is struggling to find an audience. As I have said before, it makes no sense for one country to have two races, and even Bernie said as much, then went ahead and did the damn thing anyway! Now, the director of the circuit was quoted as saying, “Two races for Spain is meaningless. Like everything, you have to rationalise.” If that isn’t proof enough of what I had been preaching since this race’s inception, nothing is. Bernie, stop lining your goddamn pockets, pull your head out of your ass and either alternate the race (bad idea) or get rid of the parade lap that lacks the pomp and theater of Monaco (best idea) known as the Valencia circuit.

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2012 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

That time of year is upon us. I can’t believe it’s been one full year since I was sitting in a grandstand in the Senna S curve watching Formula One cars and getting a great tan. This weekend, despite the protesters wishes, the whole of Montreal will be reverberating to the sounds of 2.4 liter V8 engines as the best drivers take to the Circuit Gilles Villenueve. I am actually glad not to be there this year because of those hoodlums, but I still always wish I could be anywhere that sweet, sweet sound is being made. Anyway, let’s get right to it. As always, Lewis Hamilton looks quick, and we know he generally likes this track (he took his maiden win here). Over one lap, both he and the two (surprisingly enough) Ferraris looks to be the front runners for this race. However, the Mercedes has been decidedly slow all weekend and may have something up its sleeve for qualifying and the race. I also wouldn’t count out Vettel, who seems to be liking the Red Bull, despite its lack of straight line speed.

We also know that Montreal is probably going to give us the best racing of the year, so enjoy it while you can. With multiple spots to pass (the Senna curves, the hairpin, into the final corner, etc), the ever present threat of unpredictable weather – remember the two hour rain delay because of the torrential downpour last year when I almost developed hypothermia? Well I certainly do – a possible one-stop strategy, crashes and safety cars, this is going to be a great race.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Felipe Massa

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Nico Rosberg

6. Jenson Button

7. Roman Grosjean

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Michael Schumacher

10. Kamui Kobayashi

2012 Grand Prix of Monaco Results

What can I say? I tried to get cutesie with my pick and it came back to bite me as the Grand Prix of Monaco became just another parade lap with the pole sitter taking the victory. There was the threat of rain, but of course, the skies didn’t open up until about five minutes after the race was won. How exciting would that have been? If that downpour had happened just 10 minutes earlier… well, we would have had quite a different race on our hands. As it ended up though, we did get our sixth different winner from six races, and now both Vettel and Webber are tied on points, while Fernando’s third place finish has him out in front… just. Really though, the Grand Prix of Monaco has always been more about brokering deals and the spectacle of the town rather than the race. Honestly, when was the last truly epic race there? The last vivid memory I have of any race there was in 2009, and that was AFTER the race when Button parked in the wrong spot and had to run the entire length of the front straight to collect his trophy.

Either way, the season is shaping up to continue to be unpredictable. And with the next race usually being the undisputed best race of the season in Canada (Montreal is both an amazing city and provides some of the best on track action the entire year) we are going to be in for even more unpredictability. Can Hamilton shake off his funk and become the seventh winner in seven races? What about the turn of speed that Massa just showed. And how about Kimi or Schumacher or Grosjean (if the last two can stay out of trouble that is). All I know is that I wish I were back in Canada like last year, because it is always a spectacular time… even if it does rain for over two hours non-stop and I almost develop hypothermia and end up standing in a porta-potty just to retain warmth, wait out the rain and wring out my sopping clothes!

1. Mark Webber

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Felipe Massa

7. Paul di Resta

8. Nico Hulkenberg

9. Kimi Raikkonen

10. Bruno Senna

European GP Roundup and News

Although I missed this past weekend’s European Grand Prix, it took place in Valencia, so in reality, I didn’t miss a thing. In fact, the only two notable things to come from the weekend were that Fernando Alonso came in second, and that every car finished the race. Yes, you read that correctly. Every single car actually finished the race. At least last year Mark Webber went flying and flipping all over the place to give the race a little more gravitas than normal, but this year, it seems like it turned into a long, boring parade in which Vettel dominated from the word go… again. I’d have more, but all you really need for Valencia is who won the race because it is generally the most boring race out there and still needs to go away. Bernie should just count his losses on this one and let it go. Valencia is just simply a bad, boring race to watch and it proved that once again this year. Here is the finishing order.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Mark Webber

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Felipe Massa

6. Jenson Button

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Jaime Alguersuari

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Nick Heidfeld

In other, more interesting news, there are now officially official new engine regulation for the 2014 season. Formula one will downsize again, this time to 1.6 liter V6 engines with a maximum RPM of 15,000. Supposedly this will appease those who didn’t want the 4 cylinder engines and still make the sport appear to be environmentally conscious. It was also revealed that Audi would have come into the sport if the 4 cylinder engines were approved, which would have made for an interesting field, but I still think that F1 is nothing with 4 cylinder engines (even though I know that 4 cylinders with turbos have been fielded in the past). Also, it should be noted that F1 does have a distinctive sound. I brought this up when I talked about going to Montreal. I do believe it has lost some of its power moving down from the V10s to the V8s, and now it will lose even more with the switch to a turbo’d V6. There will still be a distinctive wail, but it really won’t have the same impact that it used to.

Also, the Austin GP got its funding from the state and is moving ahead. This is good news and hopefully should be the last hurdle (other than actually completing the track) to get over before the US GP at Austin is put on next year.

Silverstone is up next. I will be out of town again for this race, so updates will be scattered. However, I can tell you that the tire choices are medium/hard compounds, making for some scrambling from Ferrari to try and figure out how to make their car work on those, and that the track was updated and changed last year so the layout will be new to all the teams and be sort of like going to a new venue. It should be interesting how that plays into Vettel’s hands. And yes, I think Vettel will win. Some other team needs to prove me otherwise, because unless it rains and he has a brain fart, he will simply dominate the field like normal.

Montreal This Weekend and Austin News

I’m off to Montreal tomorrow for what should be an exciting Formula One race. There are two DRS zones, Ferrari seems to be on the mend, and McLaren is starting to challenge the Red Bulls up front. This track is one that relies heavily on straight line speed, which the Ferraris have in spades, while the Red Bull is historically better on tracks that feature medium to high levels of downforce. And in case no one has been watching the weather, there is the possibility of some rain as well! All of this should make for an interesting race.

In other news, it seems that the US GP is still not secured yet. Apparently, the Austin City Council still needs to actually approve the money ($25 million a year) for the track to be completed, and they have the final say over whether the track is actually finished or not. Here is the article, but the most troublesome quote is at the end, where the lawyer for the US GP says that the race not being held is “a distinct possibility.”

No, really?

Concerns over timing of US Grand Prix

Hmmm, now, who brought this up when this race was originally planned? Let me think here… uh…. oh yeah I DID! OF COURSE IT’S GOING TO BE INSANELY HOT! IT’S SOUTH TEXAS IN JUNE!! GOOD LORD YOU IDIOTS WHO PLANNED THAT OUT?!

Although technically it is just a proposed date, it coincides with Montreal too well for them to go somewhere outside of North America and come back later. The logistics are too much and the expense would not be worth it. They have three options then. They can stick it out and pray that somehow Texas isn’t sweltering and no one dies of heat stroke, they can come back and race some other time in the fall or spring and just deal with the logistics and money, or they can move both the Canadian and the US GP dates to another season (but Canada has always been in June and that would throw some people off as well). They have some choices to make about what to do with that, but my thought is that they will just deal with it and see what happens. Therefore, next season I’m predicting lots of sunburns, sunstroke and some fainting in the stands from excessive heat.

Monaco Grand Prix Results

One week. One more excruciating week until I board a flight for Montreal to see my first F1 race in six years. I am suitably excited because of the action that took place this past weekend in Monaco. The Monaco Grand Prix was one of the best of the season, and certainly one of the most exciting to ever take place around the streets of the principality.

At the start, there was frantic action up front as Vettel rocketed away from the pack. Toward the middle, Schumacher and Hamilton were having a great battle that resulted in a very ballsy pass by Hamilton into Ste Devote. And while Vettel, Button and Alonso began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, Hamilton then got into it with Massa about halfway through the race, running into him at the hairpin. On the next lap, Massa got into the built up rubber pebbles in the tunnel and he smacked the wall hard, destroying his suspension and his race. Hamilton would eventually get a drive-through penalty and his race would be effectively over. However, up front, it was coming down to the final few laps, as both Button and Alonso had made multiple stops, while Vettel was attempting to finish the race having made only one stop. This was uncharted territory for the Pirelli tires, as he was trying to make them last for over 55 laps! However, with only six laps to go, a three-car pile up occurred at the swimming pool complex with Vitaly Petrov having to be taken away in the back of an ambulance (he was later released having suffered no severe injuries) and the race being red-flagged. This ultimately brought up a weird rule that had been changed for this season. In years past, if a race had gone past 75% of the race distance, it would be called off if red-flagged. However, it seems that that rule had been phased out and the race was going to continue after the cars were cleaned up and the track was ready to go. As the cars sat on the grid, they all received attention from their mechanics, and, in another odd twist, the used tires were allowed to be swapped out for new ones. What this meant is that the very worn tires that Vettel had been using and abusing for many laps were allowed to be switched, resulting in a very normal ending to an exciting race. Had that accident not have happened, Alonso even said he would have tried to make a move, as it wouldn’t have mattered to him if he were to have crashed. Also, had that accident not occurred, who knows how much longer Vettel could have raced on those tires. Would they have burst? Would Alonso have made that move? Would Button have pushed both of them into a mistake? Would all that traffic have affected the running order? No one can say, but the fact of the matter is that with the tires being changed on the grid before the restart, there was not going to be any more heat on Vettel from the Ferrari or the McLaren. Thankfully, if this happens again in the future, Pirelli has said they support not being able to change the tires on the grid, making the final few laps that much more exciting for the audience, and that much more excruciating for the drivers. As it ended up though, I did get the first two podium positions correct and just mixed up 3rd and 4th. I’m fairly pleased with my predictions on this one! Here is how the Monaco Grand Prix finished.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

5. Kamui Kobayashi

6. Lewis Hamilton

7. Adrian Sutil

8. Nick Heidfeld

9. Rubens Barrichello

10. Sebastian Buemi

 

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