Welcome to my (kind of) relaunched blog. Many regular readers of my
articles over the last couple of years would know that I have
written a lot of my own opinions in quite a lengthy way.
Unfortunately, time constraints have meant I have not been able to
post as much as I would have liked, despite having a number of
topics in the works.
Added to those ongoing pieces, this year I was also planning to
carry out analysis of race lap times (of which I have created a
wonderful spreadsheet of lap time data), again it has just been the
lack of time which has meant that project is still on the back
burner (if anyone would like a copy of said spreadsheet & take that
up for me, get in touch)
Therefore, in a slight change of approach for this blog, I will be
using it to post my thoughts after each race, which is something I
normally do on twitter, so instead of clogging up people’s timelines
this will be the place to find my thoughts post race.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any comments on these points.
I welcome any discussions on any of these topics. I’ll admit I’m
just an armchair viewer, but one that has a lot of knowledge about
F1 and as well as watching all the sessions on TV, I do also look at
laptimes & car developments too.
So… the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.
It probably won’t be known as a classic, but it was an interesting
race nonetheless. Here are the key points I took away from the race.
Firstly I have to talk about tyres. Surely we don’t need any changes
to the tyres? After the Spanish GP all the talk was that 4 stops was
too many, (if we discount Monaco due to the nature of the track) the
Canadian GP had a mix of strategies from the 1-stopping Paul di
Resta to the 2-stopping top three.
I think the criticism after the Spanish GP was a knee-jerk reaction.
Surely tyre strategy will vary race by race, depending on car
performance, track surface or the weather?
This race showed that the drivers had a tyre where they could push
for the whole race, look at how Sebastian Vettel was able to pull
out his lead in the early part of the race, and in contrast Paul di
Resta making his medium tyre last for over 50 laps and still keeping
good pace & putting in faster lap times as the stint went on.
To me, this race shows (as is the case every year) that the teams
are slowly starting to get on top of the tyres.
That leads me on to Red Bull…
Sebastian Vettel managed to pull out a 2sec lead on lap 1 over Lewis
Hamilton. That surely was key to him winning the race because he got
himself out of any possible danger of a DRS assisted move by Lewis.
Vettel has been a master of this and just has the ability to post a
quick lap time from the start to break free from the pack.
Rather ominously, the next three races are ones that Red Bull have
usually gone well at in recent years, so going in to the summer
break, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel may find themselves with quite
a healthy lead in both championships.
Although as we all know “Anything happens in Grand Prix racing and
it usually does” – Murray Walker (get well soon Murray), it does
appear that Red Bull are in prime position to make it 4
championships in a row, especially when looking at the
inconsistencies of their rivals.
This brings me to Lotus. Yes, they usually go better in hotter
conditions, but how likely will those conditions be observed in the
next few races? It looks like they have lost some pace over the last
couple of races (although I will probably be proven wrong after the
British GP now!). I wonder if the loss of James Allison may be
affecting them (where is he ending up too?)
Other thoughts from the race:
JEV gets a mention, barely seen during the race, kept to himself &
ended with a very good 6th place finish, with fairly consistent lap
Also (previously mentioned above) Paul di Resta, 1 stop strategy
with 80% of the race on the same set of tyres as he started with.
Adrian Sutil also got himself a good result in the points despite
spending most of the race with a bent rear wing after being collided
into by Pastor Maldonado.
I feel for Williams, great job by Bottas to get himself 3rd on the
grid, but nowhere to go at the start & he just fell backwards.
Unfortunately they still haven’t got the pace to get up to the
points. I hope they have a better 2nd half of the season.
It seems like a really good event and atmosphere. So much so that I
am considering making the journey to the race next year (which I may
do as a double header if the proposed New Jersey GP does go ahead in
2014). So, if anyone has any tips, advice or can give me a rough
idea on how much it costs for a Canadian Grand Prix weekend from the
UK, that would be appreciated. The good thing is that I have a year
to plan it.
Finally, I will end this piece on the sad note. Tragically a marshal
passed away after an incident involving a recovery vehicle towards
the end of the race after Esteban Gutierrez crashed at turn 2.
Marshals who volunteer around the world keep this sport going & do
so for the love of the sport. Their safety is just as important as
any of the competitors on track. This incident is a reminder that
any individuals safety around a race track should never be taken for
Motor racing is dangerous & the recognition of those brave men and
women around the world who volunteer their time to make it safer
should always be remembered.