After the carbon-shredding crashiness of Monaco, this weekend’s Canadian GP looked far less eventful. Even so, the race had its heroes and villains – here is who we rated and slated.
Woah, where did that come from? Massa suffered a huge shunt in Monaco practice, an identical neck-buster in the street-race itself, and then took another broadside hit during a soaked Montreal qualifying session. He should’ve been too sore to pull on a crash helmet, yet alone drive out of his skin, charging through the field to eventually finish 8th. His 1.16.939 fastest in-race lap was only 0.3sec slower than race-winner Vettel’s fastest lap, for good measure. Well raced that man.
Seb Vettel did NOT deserve to get booed on the Montreal podium. So the fans reckoned he was boring, that he’d denied them a titanic battle to the line? Rubbish. Here was a man running the dream F1 race, the ideal race we’d all like to drive if we ever had the fantasy shot in a title-contending F1 car. A pole lap in the wet, and then a lights-to-flag victory in the dry, with no-drama pitstops and scything through the back-markers with calculating ruthlessness. It might not make for sexy viewing, but the fact is the chap drove a flawless, perfect race. Yet again. Now with a win and a fifth place worthy of a points lead in the championship, we know where the title is heading for the fourth year on the spin.
With fuel-saving woes and a measly ninth place, how does Kimi qualify as a Canadian GP hero? Because that ninth place scored Kimi two championship points, in doing so scoring the Iceman points for the 24th GP on the trot. Think that’s an impressive run? It’s almost the greatest ever. Michael Schumacher also once scored in 24 races in a row, so the British GP could see Kimi overhaul the seven-time world champ. For grinding out points from a low-key weekend (by his standards), Raikkonen gets the CT thumbs up.
Honourable mention: Paul Di Resta, for managing 57 laps on one set of flaky Pirelli tyres. We knows Scots are allegedly tight, but that sort of tyre-saving is ridiculous.
Giedo Van Der Garde
If you’re a back-maker, you basically have one job: stay out of the big boys’ way while trying to not stick your own ride in the barriers and piss off your sponsors. Don’t for example, slam the door shut on a constructors’ title-chasing team on one of the fastest circuits on the F1 calendar. It’ll win you no friends. Webber called Van Der Garde’s move ‘not clever’. That’s kind, mate.
Another race, another moment of carelessness by F1 bad boy Pastor Maldonado. This time he outbraked himself on Lap 15, piling into the Turn 10 hairpin way too fast in a desperate attempt to overtake strong-performing Force India driver Adrian Sutil. The lock-up slid Maldonado’s Williams into the rear of Sutil’s car, smashing his own front wing and creasing Sutil’s rear wing. After the race, he had a pop at the stewards for his penalty as a result of causing a collision. Grow up.
I’m a huge Lewis fan – he’s probably the most naturally gifted racer out there, along with Fernando Alonso. But…his temperament has never really recovered from the ‘I was forced to cheat-gate’ scandal in Australia 2009. He comes across as brooding and miserable in a way that ice-cool Kimi just doesn’t, and it’s not becoming of a truly great sportsman. In Canada he took a commendable third place – on a track Mercedes didn’t initially expect to conquer – and could barely raise a smile. His radio message to his engineer saying ‘Shut up and let me drive’ was a poor Kimi-tribute act too. I hope he smashes a win out at the British GP in three weeks time. If that doesn’t make him smile, sorry Nicole, but nothing will.