Tag Archives: Canadian GP

Hamilton leads Mclaren 1-2 in Canada

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate with the team after their 1-2 finish in Canada

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate with the team after their 1-2 finish in Canada

Lewis Hamilton led home a McLaren 1-2, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, at the Canadian Grand Prix today. The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were 4th and 5th after suffering tyre and car problems throughout the race. Also, Force India got both cars in the points for only the second time. Here is the race report:

At the start, Hamilton retained his lead, ahead of Vettel and Alonso. But, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa collided further back, which completely ruined both of their races, as they hit each other at least 3 times. Also, Vitaly Petrov jumped the start, and then caused a collision further back.

Kamui Kobayashi made a brilliant start, going  from 18th to 10th. But, when he was battling with Nico Hulkenberg for 9th, he launched his car across the kerbs of the final chicane, and crashed into the Wall of Champions, ending his race on the spot. Meanwhile, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Felipe Massa and Vitaly Petrov all pitted for repairs after the first lap.

Lewis Hamilton leads into Turn 1, while Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa collide further back

Lewis Hamilton leads into Turn 1, while Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa collide further back

Michael Schumacher also made good progress, and was up to 8th. Sebastien Buemi got 1th, and amazingly Heikki Kovalainen managed to get himself up to 12th position. On Lap 5, Mark Webber made a move on 4th-placed Jenson Button, followed by Robert Kubica.

By Lap 7, Sebastian Vettel was all over the back of Lewis Hamilton for the lead. While they battled, Hamilton’s team-mate Button, along with Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg, all switched to the medium tyre, after starting on the super-softs.

On Lap 8, both Alonso and Hamilton pitted. Alonso’s stop went well, but Lewis was dangerously released straight into the path of Fernando. Hamilton lost his lead, while it remains to be seen whether he will receive a drive-through penalty. These stops left the Red Bulls leading 1-2, with Vettel 1.5 seconds ahead of Webber.

While all of this chaos ensued, Heikki Kovalainen briefly got as high as 7th position. As he pitted soon enough, news emerged that Vitaly Petrov had got a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Both Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber pitted on Lap 14. While Webber’s stop was fine, Schumacher got alongside Kubica at Turn 2, and he pushed both cars onto the grass. It was very cheeky, even for Schumacher, but no penalty was issued.

Sebastian Vettel pitted the next lap, leaving Sebastien Buemi leading the race. However, there was a surprise, as Vettel decided to switch to the super-soft tyres for the middle stint. This left Buemi to defend the lead against both Alonso and Hamilton. As Buemi pitted, Hamilton made a great move on Fernando to retake the lead.

For the next few laps, everyone caught their breath, while the race order settled. One of the most interesting notes was that Michael Schumacher was now battling with Jaime Alguersuari for 11th place. Again, like Australia, Jaime did very well to keep the 7-time world champion at bay.

On Lap 28, Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica were battling for position on the back straight. Kubica decided at the last minute to pit, and chopped across Sutil’s car, giving him a right-rear puncture, and forcing him to pit. The stewards very quickly announced they would investigate the incident after the race. Meanwhile, an incident between Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello would also be investigated after the race, but it was not shown on TV.

After Alonso and Hamilton pitted for the second time on Laps 28 and 29, Lewis got ahead of Fernando again, and Mark Webber took the lead of the Grand Prix. His strategy was to only pit twice, and put on the super-soft tyres last. All of the other frontrunners were planning a 3-stop strategy.

Felipe Massa, as he did in 2008, was in recovery mode, and was now challenging the Force Indias of Sutil and Liuzzi for 12th and 13th. He got very close to Liuzzi, like at the start, but unlike that time they avoided a collision.

Fernando Alonso started to clock in fastest lap after fastest lap, as he caught up with Hamilton in 2nd. Meanwhile, Vettel in 5th was being instructed to try and pass Jenson Button for 4th, although his team were “managing an issue” at the same time. McLaren changed tactics, and now were trying to stay on the same set of medium tyres for the rest of the race, effectively a 2-stop strategy. Also, it turned out that teams were running out of tyres to supply their cars. Felipe Massa was forced to put on medium tyres that had been used in qualifying.

By Lap 50, Webber, still to put on the super-soft tyre, was suffering from heavy rear tyre wear. Both Hamilton and Alonso had caught up quite rapidly to him, and were trying to get past. Lewis put in a good move at Turn 1, and took the lead from Webber, who then pitted at the end of that laps, and dropped to 5th.

Then, a few laps later, Jenson Button started to catch Fernando Alonso for 2nd position. When Fernando was held up by traffic on Lap 56, Jenson took the initiative and stole 2nd place from under his nose, to the disgust of Alonso. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa finally got past the Force India duo, with the help of Heikki Kovalainen compromising Adrian Sutil at Turn 4.

With 10 laps to go, both Hamilton’s and Alonso’s rear tyres showed the signs of degradation, while Jenson Button’s were in very good condition. He was only 2.2 seconds behind, and catching him by a few tenths per lap. Also, Sebastien Buemi put in a great move on Michael Schumacher to take 8th place from the German.

Lewis responded to Jenson’s pressure by putting in the fastest lap of the race, and started to move away. His fastest lap was quickly beaten by Robert Kubica, who recently changed to the super-soft tyres, and set a 1.17.9. Felipe Massa caught up quickly to Schumacher, whose tyres were faling apart, and made his move at the final chicane. But, Michael moved twice and cut across him, breaking off Felipe’s front wing, and forcing him to pit for repairs. This left Vitantonio Liuzzi to take 10th position from the Brazilian. It was another stupid move, and that incident will be investigated after the race as well.

With only a few laps to go, the Red Bulls (in 4th and 5th) were instructed to turn down their revs and save their cars. On Lap 68, Vitantonio Liuzzi caught right up to Schumacher in 9th, and quickly made his move. Michael made a mistake and cut the final chicane, but failed to give the position away. Liuzzi tried again on Lap 69, but made a mistake at L’Epinge, and was unable to make a move.

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in first place

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in first place

Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line to take victory number 13, ahead of team-mate Button. Alonso was unable to keep the pace, but still took the final podium spot. The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber cruised to the line in 4th and 5th. Nico Rosberg was chased home by Robert Kubica, ahead of Sebastien Buemi in 8th. Schumacher made a mistake on the last lap, handing 9th and 10th places to Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil. Oddly enough, Vettel pulled over and stopped right after the finish line, so it remains to be seen what happened there, though it may have been fuel-related.

So, Hamilton takes the lead of the drivers’ championship, with Button behind him by 3 points. McLaren-Mercedes still lead the constructors’ championship, now on 215 points.

The full standings have been updated, you can view them here.

Webber drops to 7th after gearbox change

Mark Webber will now start 7th because of a gearbox change

Mark Webber will now start 7th because of a gearbox change

Mark Webber has dropped to 7th position on the grid, thanks to an overnight gearbox change which resulted in a 5-place grid penalty. This promotes Sebastian Vettel up to 2nd place, alongside Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix.

This will cause problems for his tyre strategy, as he is starting on the medium tyre. The only other two drivers in the top 10 on that compound are Vettel and Robert Kubica, who is on the same row as Webber, in 8th place. Also, this promotes Vitantonio Liuzzi up to 5th place, his highest qualifying position so far in Formula 1.

If Lewis Hamilton cannot manage his tyres at the start, then I feel that Sebastian Vettel is the best choice for the win today, after what happened to Webber.

Canadian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first time this year in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix. Here are the pictures from today:

Hamilton takes pole position in Canada

Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix tomorrow. He will start ahead of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, who will both start on the medium tyre. Here is the full report:

Q1

The Virgin of Timo Glock was first out, while most others waited in the garage for a few more minutes. Vitaly Petrov set the initial pace with a 1.20.210, before being unseated by Jarno Trulli soon after. Fernando Alonso was the first of the frontrunners to set a time, on the medium tyres, with a 1.17.864.

Mark Webber decided to go out on the super-s0ft tyres, and set a 1.17.988, which was quite surprising, as it was predicted that they would be conserved until Q3. McLaren revealed that they would be using used super-soft tyres for Q1. Fernando Alonso improved on his earlier time, before being beaten by Mark Webber, who was instantly beated by Vitantonio Liuzzi. However, this only lasted for about 10 seconds, as Lewis Hamilton was the first driver to get into the 1.16 zone.

Sebastian Vettel, also on the super-soft tyres like his team-mate, ended up 2nd on his first run. But, Hamilton blitzed a 1.15.889, and became the first driver of the entire weekend to get a 1.15 time. Robert Kubica was the last driver to set his first lap, which was a 1.16.853 to take 9th place.

With 5 minutes to go, the battle to survive Q1 was between the Toro Rosso and Sauber drivers. When both Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi improved their times, it became clear that Kamui Kobayashi was going to fall at the first hurdle. He was knocked out alongside the Lotus, Virgin and HRT cars.For a moment, it appeared as if Heikki Kovalainen was going to be the first of the new teams to beat an established team, but Kobayashi just scraped past him to finish 18th.

Karun Chandhok set an awful time, a 1.27, as his car had a problem. Seeing as he had been given a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change, he elected not to go out again.

Amazingly, in this session, the Lotus cars were only 2.2 seconds slower than the fastest laps, which is an excellent improvement.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Kamui Kobayashi

19) Heikki Kovalainen

20) Jarno Trulli

21) Timo Glock

22) Bruno Senna

23) Lucas di Grassi

24) Karun Chandhok

Q2

Vitaly Petrov was the first driver out, on the super-soft tyres, although he ditched his first attempt. The first fast lap was set by Vitantonio Liuzzi, which was a 1.17.726, which was 1 tenth faster than Fernando Alonso’s first attempt. Mark Webber than got a 1.16.292, before Sebastian Vettel set a 1.16.163 to take 1st place.

But, it was short lived, as Lewis Hamilton recorded a 1.16.053, and Fernando Alonso got a 1.15.954. Then, Robert Kubica got the fastest lap of the weekend so far, with a 1.15.6, before Vettel took top spot again with a 1.15.556. Nico Rosberg went 4th, beating his team-mate Schumacher, although he did crash his car over the final kerbs a bit.

Jenson Button was particularly unimpressive, getting 9th place, while Hamilton took 1st spot again with a 1.15.528. Mark Webber was next up out on track. He was very close to Hamilton’s times in the first sector, although he messed up the second half of the lap, and ditched that attempt. Sebastian Vettel also went out for another run, but was unable to improve his time.

Nico Hulkenberg was quite poor in Q2, and couldn’t improve from 17th at the moment. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher was in danger of being knocked out, as he was only 10th. With his next attempt, he failed to improve. He and Jenson Button were struggling, and were in danger from 12th placed Liuzzi. His final lap, a 1.16.423, knocked Michael down to 11th. Then, Schumacher’s next lap got him into 10th, at the expense of Button.

Jenson’s final lap got him into 7th place, which again pushed Schumacher into the drop-out zone. Then, a faster lap from Nico Hulkenberg shoved him down to 12th, and he stayed there, and was knocked out in Q2. Rubens Barrichello’s last-gasp attempt got him 11th, alongside Hulkenberg, which is an improvement for Williams. Also, Force India did well to get both cars into Q3.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Rubens Barrichello

12) Nico Hulkenberg

13) Michael Schumacher

14) Vitaly Petrov

15) Sebastien Buemi

16) Jaime Alguersuari

17) Pedro de la Rosa

Q3

As the lights went green to signal the start of Q3, no car made a move for at least a minute, until both McLarens were the first out. Button’s attempt was very poor, and Hamilton beat him by an entire second, with a 1.15.500. Fernando Alonso was up next, although his first attempt was more of a warm-up. Both Red Bulls and Robert Kubica opted for the medium tyres, while Alonso’s lap was well behind Hamilton.

Webber’s first lap was only a few tenths behind Hamilton, which isn’t bad considering he was on the harder tyre. His next attempt was very close to Lewis, but he was still in 2nd. Vettel cut the final chicane after a mistake, which ruined his main attempt. Robert Kubica went 5th fastest, while Nico Rosberg was 7th.

Fernando Alonso finally knocked off Hamilton, just before Webber went even faster with a 1.15.373. Lewis’ final attempt was too slow, and he didn’t improve. Felipe Massa went 5th, and Button got 4th. Then, as the session neared the ending, Vettel went 2nd, and it was all down to Hamilton. His final lap was a stunner, a 1.15.1, which clinched him pole position, ahead of the two Red Bulls.

Vitantonio Liuzzi had a fantastic qualifying performance, possibly a career-saving one, to take 6th place.

But, as he celebrated, his team went on the radio to inform him that he didn’t have enough fuel to enter the pit lane, and he had to stop out on track. He then proceeded to delight the fans by cutting out the engine and pushing the car down the back straight! It certainly was a unique way to celebrate beating the Red Bulls to pole position for the first time this year.

Canadian Grand Prix Friday Practice in pictures

Here are the pictures from today’s practice sessions in Canada:

Vettel heads Canadian Friday Practice 2

Sebastian Vettel topped FP2 for the Canadian Grand Prix today

Sebastian Vettel topped FP2 for the Canadian Grand Prix today

Sebastian Vettel led the second Friday Practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix today. His time of 1.16.877 was a tenth of a second faster than second placed Fernando Alonso, who was followed by Nico Rosberg in 3rd position. Most of this session was dogged by severe graining on drivers’ tyres.

This session was a bit of a disaster for the McLaren team. Lewis Hamilton was 7th, and 0.6 seconds off the pace, with Jenson Button back in 11th. Lewis said on the team radio that he was “about to crash the car” as his super-soft tyres were disintegrating rapidly, before he pitted and switched tyres. Jenson was unable to set a fast lap with the super-soft tyres on a heavy fuel load, and ended up halfway down the pack.

Mark Webber and Felipe Massa improved from FP1 to finish 4th and 5th respectively. Adrian Sutil was only 0.014 seconds behind Massa in 6th, while Hamilton was 7th. Robert Kubica and Michael Schumacher were 8th and 9th, while Vitantonio Liuzzi topped off the top 10.

Jenson Button was 11th, while the two Williams cars of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg were 12th and 13th respectively. Vitaly Petrov was 14th, and the two Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi were 15th and 16th. The Toro Rossos of Buemi and Alguersuari were the slowest of the midfield.

Once again, Heikki Kovalainen was in 19th place, only 3 seconds slower than Vettel. Also, yet again, HRT comfortably beat the Virgins, as Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna were 20th and 21st. Their critical lack of downforce has actually considerably helped them on the straights this weekend.

Jarno Trulli was 22nd, although he had electricalm problems, and could only get 10 laps in. It was another disastrous session for the Virgin team. While both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi managed to get proper stints in, they were more than 4.5 seconds off the pace, and filled the back of the timesheets in FP2.

While Vettel and Alonso set their final fast laps on the super-soft rubber, nearly all of the other drivers were reporting severe graining on that compound. Many drivers were forced to stay on the medium compound near the end, as the super-softs were falling apart. As the track rubbers in tomorrow, it should become less of a problem.

Unfortunately, WordPress isn’t working properly tonight, as my usual chart for driver times isn’t going on the page properly. It will be up as soon as possible.

Button leads Canadian Friday Practice 1

Jenson Button led the way as Formula 1 returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time in 2 years. ¬†Michael Schumacher was an impressive 2nd, ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the other McLaren. However, the track was reported to be incredibly greasy, as the track hasn’t been raced on in years.

Because of this, the times were much slower than anticipated, as Button’s fastest lap was a 1.18.127. Lewis Hamilton was with Button for most of the session, before Schumacher displaced him near the end of the session, by 0.067 seconds. Nico Rosberg was 4th, while Sebastian Vettel was a further 2 tenths behind in 5th place.

Robert Kubica beat Fernando Alonso for 6th and 7th, and Vitantonio Liuzzi helped himself by beating his team-mate Adrian Sutil by getting 8th. Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello were impressive with 9th and 10th respectively. Adrian Sutil was 11th.

Felipe Massa was dissapointingly slow, as he tends to be in Friday Practice sessions, in 12th, and was 1.3 seconds slower than Button. Vitaly Petrov was 13th, and Mark Webber was 14th, nearly 1.5 seconds off the pace. However, it has been reported that he was on a different setup compared to Sebastian Vettel.

Kamui Kobayashi was 2 seconds back with 15th, ahead of Sebastien Buemi and Pedro de la Rosa. Jaime Alguersuari was 18th, and Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest of the new teams with 19th. Karun Chandhok was very impressive, as he was only 3.8 seconds off the pace, and was 20th, 6 tenths ahead of the Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

Bruno Senna was 22nd, ahead of Timo Glock’s Virgin. Lucas di Grassi was unable to set a time, as he pulled over after only 4 laps out. With Timo Glock 4.5 seconds off the pace it was a very poor session for Virgin.

The slippery track made is very difficult for the drivers, with many going off track. Karun Chandhok claimed it was “the greasiest track I’ve ever raced on”. Also, Rubens Barrichello had a technical problem during this session, and had to be pushed back to the garage.

Unfortunately, WordPress isn’t working properly tonight, as my usual chart for driver times isn’t going on the page properly. It will be up as soon as possible.

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