Monthly Archives: June 2011

Canadian Grand Prix stats and facts

Despite yesterday's win, Button has not won for McLaren in a dry race

Despite yesterday's win, Button has not won for McLaren in a dry race

The action-packed Canadian Grand Prix saw Jenson Button take his tenth career win. Here are more stats from this weekend:

  • After breaking the 10,000 miles led barrier in Monaco, McLaren are set to break the 4,000 constructor’s points barrier in Valencia, currently on a total of 3,996.5.
  • The safety car was deployed 6 times on race day – a new F1 record.
  • Similarly, the race was the longest in Formula 1 history, at 4 hours, 4 minutes and 39.537 seconds. The previous record was the 1951 Indy 500, at just under 4 hours.
  • Sebastian Vettel took his 21st pole position in his career. Only 9 drivers have more, with Michael Schumacher on top with 68.
  • While Button has now won 3 races with McLaren, all of them have come in wet conditions.
  • Along with both Lotus, HRT and Virgin drivers, Pastor Maldonado has not finished a single race distance this year.
  • This race was the first ever that both Red Bulls and Toro Rossos were in the points. It is the first time in more than 2 years that both Toro Rossos have finished in the points.
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi’s 13th place has given HRT their best ever result. While Lotus got 12th in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, Virgin have never finished higher than 14th. The result pushes HRT alongside Lotus in the constructor’s championship – the first time they have not been in last place.
  • The last time the lead of a race changed on the last lap was the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix. However, since Kimi Raikkonen had led that race earlier, the previous record for a race win having only led one lap stretches back to the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Points standings after Canadian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 161
2 Jenson Button 101
3 Mark Webber 94
4 Lewis Hamilton 85
5 Fernando Alonso 69
6 Felipe Massa 32
7 Vitaly Petrov 31
8 Nick Heidfeld 29
9 Michael Schumacher 26
10 Nico Rosberg 26
11 Kamui Kobayashi 25
12 Adrian Sutil 8
13 Sebastien Buemi 8
14 Jaime Alguersuari 4
15 Rubens Barrichello 4
16 Sergio Perez 2
17 Paul di Resta 2
18 Pedro de la Rosa 0
19 Jarno Trulli 0
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
21 Jerome D’Ambrosio 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Narain Karthikeyan 0
2425 Pastor MaldonadoTimo Glock 00

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 255
2 McLaren-Mercedes 186
3 Ferrari 101
4 Renault 60
5 Mercedes GP 52
6 Sauber-Ferrari 27
7 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12
8 Force India-Mercedes 10
9 Williams-Cosworth 4
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 Virgin-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Button snatches last-gasp victory in epic Canadian Grand Prix

A safety car start protects Vettel's lead

A safety car start protects Vettel's lead

Jenson Button snatched victory in Canada today on the final lap of the race. Sebastian Vettel was leading every lap, until a slip with half a lap to go allowed Button through after laps of pressure from the McLaren. Mark Webber was 3rd, while a podium just slipped out of Michael Schumacher’s grasp. Here is the full report:

Showers in the morning and across the afternoon meant the track was soaked at the start. Oddly enough, the race was started under the safety car, despite the fact that the conditions were only mildly wet. The field, who were obliged to start on extreme wets, circulated behind Bernd Maylander for 4 laps, before the pack was released.

Fernando Alonso hounded Sebastian Vettel at the start, but the Red Bull held its ground. Lewis Hamilton dived down the inside of Mark Webber, but it ended in disaster, as the two collided. Mark was relegated to near the back of the pack, and Lewis fell behind Schumacher and Button.

A mistake from Button allowed both the Mercedes and his teammate through. Hamilton was fast on the back of Michael, but Schumacher pushed him wide at the hairpin, allowing Button past again.

Lewis Hamilton is squeezed by Jenson Button on Canada's pit straight

Lewis Hamilton is squeezed by Jenson Button on Canada's pit straight

A slow exit onto the pit straight allowed Hamilton to run alongside Button, but calamity struck. Jenson failed to check his mirrors, and accidentaly squeezed Lewis straight into the wall, taking the McLaren out with suspension damage. Button pitted for repairs, and was also the first man to take on intermediate tyres.

The safety car made its second appearance, while the rain began to fall again. Both of the McLarens were under investigation twice, for the collision, and for speeding under the safety car. When the safety car pitted, Button was awarded a drive-through for the latter, and fell to the back of the pack.

The intermediate switch turned out to be a blessing, as Button started to tear through the field. Barrichello took on the inters also, and their scintillating pace prompted Alonso and Adrian Sutil to pit three laps later. Having fallen back slightly, Fernando soon sliced past the two Renaults to take 6th.

With very little warning, a huge shower hit the track. The safety car was deployed once again, while the rest of the field pitted for extreme wets again. The Red Bulls manipulated the conditions to the max, pitting both cars for new wets, effectively giving them a free pit stop.

New race leader Felipe Massa pitted a lap later, and handed the lead back to Vettel. The man making the most progress was Kamui Kobayashi, leaping up to 2nd after staying out during the shower. The rain got much worse, as the back straight became completely saturated, and the red flag was thrown.

The drivers and teams patiently wait for the restart

The drivers and teams patiently wait for the restart

It turned out to be the correct decision by Charlie Whiting, as the rain quickly turned into an absolute downpour, completely flooding the track. For more than two hours, viewers around the world were left waiting for the downpour to end.

A second heavy shower failed to materialise, and the race was restarted under the safety car at 15:50 local time. While the field trawled around behind the safety car, Heikki Kovalainen retired with a suspected loss of drive.

At the race restart, Vettel tore away, while Massa took Kobayashi at Turn 1. At the end of Lap 35, several drivers, including Button, took on intermediate tyres. However, not even a few laps had passed before Bernd Maylander was out again. Jenson Button was squeezed by Fernando Alonso at Turn 3, and the Ferrari came off worse, spinning and hitting the barriers. The McLaren pitted with a front left puncture.

Even though most of the field were now on intermediates, the stewards made the call to enable DRS with 24 laps remaining. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher got past Heidfeld to move up into 4th.

Button displayed his mastery of the tricky conditions, once again slicing up the field to 12th position. Slips from Pastor Maldonado and Sebastien Buemi allowed the McLaren back into the points.

Mark Webber was the first to bravely go out on super-softs. The battle for second took an intriguing turn, with Michael Schumacher shocking everyone by blasting his way past both Massa and Kobayashi when the Sauber ran wide.

Unfortunately, Massa lost his podium spot when, while lapping a backmarker, he ran onto the wet side of the track, slipped and knocked off his front wing. He pitted for repairs, handing 3rd to Mark Webber, who had gained nicely from his early stop. He was soon all over the back of the Mercedes.

Kobayashi was now falling quickly down the field. Nick Heidfeld was much faster, but accidentaly clipped his front wing against the Sauber. The wing then dislodged, and launched the Renault into the air, sending debris everywhere and ruling Heidfeld out. Incredibly, the safety car made yet another appearance as the marshals cleared up the debris.

The race restart saw Schumacher falter, and come under huge pressure from Webber and Button, who had torn his way through the pack yet again. Webber tried a move at the final corner, but ran wide and handed 3rd place to Button. Jenson, being no slouch, quickly soared past Schumacher, with Webber taking the Mercedes a lap later.

With 2 laps to go, Button began hounding Vettel for the win. A 1.1 second gap on the back straight ruled out DRS, so the battle went to the final lap. With Button quickly inside the 1-second window, the tension became unbearable as Jenson sized up the Red Bull.

However, he didn’t need to use the rear wing at all. At Turn 5, on the last lap, Sebastian ran wide on the damp track, handing the win to Button, amid a deafening roar from the crowd. The duo of Webber and Schumacher were too far behind to capitalise, but the damage was done, as Button sailed to the finish to take a astonishing win.

After a drive-through penalty, two collisions with two punctures and falling to 21st with 20 laps to go, the Briton managed one of the most incredible comebacks of Formula 1 history.

However, it wasn’t over yet. Kamui Kobayashi had been reeled in by Felipe Massa, and on the final straight on the final lap, DRS put the two cars alongside as they crossed the finish line. An incredibly close finish for 6th was awarded to Massa by less than a tenth of a second.

After one of the most chaotic races in F1 history, it was a relief to see a driver other than Vettel on the top spot. However, the championship will still be a struggle for the Briton, as there s a 60-point gap to the Red Bull driver.

Vettel pips Ferraris to Canada pole

Sebastian Vettel has taken his sixth pole position in seven races, in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were close behind, while the McLarens struggled. Here is the full report:

Q1

Unusually fast times from the frontrunners put the backmarkers under pressure from the 107% rule.

A 1.13.822 from Alonso meant that Jerome D’Ambrosio was outside of the limits. However, despite this lap being the fastest of the weekend (and still outside 107%) the stewards have decided to allow him to race tomorrow.

Jarno Trulli out-qualified Heikki Kovalainen for the first time this year. Jaime Alguersuari was the main loser from Q1, and will start in 18th place.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Vitantonio Liuzzi

22) Timo Glock

23) Narain Karthikeyan

24) Jerome D’Ambrosio

Q2

All of the frontrunners decided to put on the super-soft tyres, with the field being split on doing either one or two runs.

Times set earlier in the session paid off, as Schumacher (8th) and Petrov (9th) remained in the top 10.

Nick Heidfeld took 10th, while Paul di Resta was just pipped out of reaching Q3.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Paul di Resta

12) Pastor Maldonado

13) Kamui Kobayashi

14) Adrian Sutil

15) Sebastien Buemi

16) Rubens Barrichello

17) Pedro de la Rosa

Q3

Sebastian Vettel set his fastest lap early on in Q3, with Massa and Alonso close behind.

Racing style pit stops were the order for Ferrari, maximising the amount of time they were on the super-softs. They soon switched places, but failed to unseat Vettel.

A KERS problem hindered Webber, relegating him to 4th. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were 5th and 7th. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were 6th and 8th for Mercedes. The Renaults of Heidfeld and Petrov were the only cars in the 1.14 range.

Alonso heads disrupted Canadian Friday Practice 2

Fernando Alonso headed the field for Friday Practice 2 for the Canadian Grand Prix. His time of 1.15.107 was several tenths faster than the pole position time from Lewis Hamilton in 2010.

The session was blighted by three crashes within 20 minutes of each other. The first was when Adrian Sutil took off the front left suspension after hitting the wall at Turn 6.

The yellow flags were quickly put out, but the red flag was thrown soon, as Kamui Kobayashi slammed into the barriers at Turn 4.

The session restarted after 10 minutes, but a crash by Jerome D’Ambrosio in the exact same spot as Kobayashi disrupted the session yet again with another red flag.

Because the clock still runs under red flags in Friday Practice, Pedro de la Rosa’s running in the Sauber was ruined. A late replacement for Sergio, the C30 had to be modified for Pedro’s extra height, which cost him time. The red flags resulted in him barely getting any track time.

Paul di Resta impressed with 6th place, while both Mercedes cars lagged in 19th and 20th after struggling with their tyres.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1.15.107          34
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1.15.476  0.369   29
 3.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1.15.601  0.494   33
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1.15.977  0.870   26
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1.15.989  0.882   25
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1.16.089  0.982   34
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1.16.102  0.995   28
 8.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1.16.324  1.217   32
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                 1.16.422  1.315   32
10.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1.16.687  1.580   28
11.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1.16.905  1.798   16
12.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1.16.941  1.834   39
13.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.17.051  1.944   32
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.17.684  2.577   34
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1.17.757  2.650   20
16.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1.18.470  3.363   33
17.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1.18.482  3.375   38
18.  Pedro de la Rosa      Sauber-Ferrari          1.18.536  3.429   14
19.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1.18.601  3.494   38
20.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1.19.209  4.102   28
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1.19.810  4.703   25
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1.20.284  5.177   31
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1.20.311  5.204   38
24.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1.20.922  5.815   26

De la Rosa replaces Perez for Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa will replace Sergio Perez for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was involved in a heavy shunt in Monaco qualifying, and was ruled out of the race. He returned to the cockpit in Friday practice today, but withdrew after the first session, after he reported feeling sick.

As a precaution, the team have decided to replace him for this weekend. Regular test driver Esteban Gutierrez was not in Montreal this weekend, so he has lost his chance to drive an F1 car for the first time.

A statement from Perez reads as follows:

"Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright. 
But apparently this is unfortunately not the case.

I am deeply disappointed. I spoke to the team after the session 
and told them that I’m not a hundred per cent fit. I only want 
to drive when I’m a hundred per cent well. I need some more time 
to recover."

McLaren have allowed their reserve driver De la Rosa the chance to drive the C30 this weekend.

De la Rosa drove for Peter Sauber’s outfit last year, before he was dumped with 5 races to go, and replaced by Nick Heidfeld.

Rosberg leads while Vettel crashes out of Canada FP1

Rosberg led FP1 in Canada

Rosberg led FP1 in Canada

Nico Rosberg led proceedings for first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. A 1.15.591 was 2.5 seconds faster than the fastest lap set in FP1 last year.

However, the main highlight of the session was Sebastian Vettel crashing out with half an hour to go.

The Red Bull driver locked up at the final chicane, and slid into the “Wall of Champions”, notorious for crashes in the past. As well as losing valuable track time, the team also lost a new front wing which was on Vettel’s car.

Onboard with Vettel as he slams into the Wall of Champions

Onboard with Vettel as he slams into the Wall of Champions

The session was littered with incidents as the track was still in its “green” stage. Nick Heidfeld, Paul di Resta, Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Narain Karthikeyan, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa all had off-track moments.

The first hour was spent testing Pirelli’s medium tyre to be used in Valencia, and soon focus switched to the soft compound. The super-soft compound was not used in this session.

Times from FP1:


 1.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1.15.591           32
 2.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1.16.139   0.548   27
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1.16.549   0.958   30
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1.16.658   1.067   26
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1.16.676   1.085   20
 6.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1.16.842   1.251   19
 7.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1.16.990   1.399   28
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1.17.294   1.703   26
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                 1.17.445   1.854   28
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1.17.549   1.958   20
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1.17.662   2.071   27
12.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1.17.820   2.229   30
13.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.18.458   2.867   31
14.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1.18.506   2.915   15
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.18.648   3.057   35
16.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1.18.852   3.261    8
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1.18.932   3.341   20
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1.19.274   3.683   29
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1.19.422   3.831   30
20.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1.19.577   3.986   26
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1.19.838   4.247   31
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1.19.960   4.369   23
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1.20.520   4.929   21
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1.20.839   5.248   27

Bahrain abandons efforts for 2011 race

Heads of the Bahrain International Circuit have given in to mounting pressure and announced that they will not persue holding a Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2011.

In recent days the FIA announced that the Bahrain event would return to the calendar, moving into India’s original spot. However, Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and FOTA all agreed to oppose the event. Their argument was that unanimous agreement was needed in order to change race dates, which was never going to be achieved.

After months of critisism from international media, the circuit organisers have conceded that a race will not occur there in 2011.

Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani has announced:

"Whilst Bahrain would have been delighted to see the Grand Prix progress on October 
30th in-line with the World Motor Sport Council’s decision, it has been made clear 
that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision.

Bahrain has always sought to play a positive role in the continued development of 
Formula One, from pioneering F1 racing in the Middle East, to helping other countries 
in facilitating their own races in new territories, as well as providing our own 
unique experience and universal welcome to Grand Prix supporters.

Bahrain has absolutely no desire to see a race which would further extends the 
calendar season detract from the enjoyment of F1 for either drivers, teams or 
supporters. We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and 
constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, 
we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season.

We look forward to welcoming teams, their drivers and supporters back to Bahrain 
next year and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our supporters, including 
staff, volunteers, sponsors, private businesses and the general public, for whom I 
know this year’s decision will be a disappointment. We would also especially like to 
thank the FIA, FOM, The Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) and the teams for all support 
and understanding they have extended to us at this time."

While it will not be confirmed for a while, it is almost certain that the Indian Grand Prix will now be returned to its original October 30th date.

2 DRS zones with 1 detection point for Canada

There will be 2 DRS zones in Canada

There will be 2 DRS zones in Canada

The FIA has confirmed that drivers will be allowed to use Drag Reduction System in two locations for the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, both zones will be served by only one detection point, situated just before L’Epingle hairpin.

The two DRS zones are almost right next to each other. The first activation zone is on the back straight (approx. 800 metres), and the second is the entire length of the pit straight, just one corner later.

As these two zones are close together, the advantage will be hugely in favour of car behind. If it is able to pass before the final hairpin, then the second DRS zone will give the driver a clear lead into the first corner of each lap.

Longer lasting medium tyre to be tested in Canada

Pirelli's medium tyre will be tested in Canada and debuted in Valencia

Pirelli's medium tyre will be tested in Canada and debuted in Valencia

Pirelli’s revised medium compound tyre will be available for testing by the teams in Canada next weekend.

Friday Practice sessions 1 and 2 will see the first running of the medium tyre in 2011 (in an official session). This compound was originally tested in Valencia in February testing, but was dropped after complaints of heavy wear after a few laps.

In the actual race in Canada, Pirelli will bring the soft and super-softs. Valencia will see the debut of the medium tyre, alongside the super-soft. Britain will see the hard tyre used in Spain return, as well as the soft compound.

The objective of this new medium tyre is to keep the same performance as the original mediums, but with a longer life.

Compounds used so far in 2011 race-by race:

Option Prime
Australia Soft Hard
Malaysia Soft Hard
China Soft Hard
Turkey Soft Hard
Spain Soft Hard
Monaco Super-soft Soft
Valencia Super-soft Medium
Great Britain Soft Hard