2012 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix Review
The first time this man ever won a Formula One race, which was five years ago, was here! And here is he is on top, again. Lewis Hamilton drove an impeccable race to win at the Gilles Villenueve, giving Formula One, “a seventh son of a seventh son”! It’s been all about the records this season for the sport and all you can do is enjoy the show and wish the bookies some good hard luck.
During qualification, the circuit did drop hints on how tyre preservation was going to be the one main parameter which would determine who would come out on top and we all know what ensued.
It was the perfect start that one could hope for, with absolutely no setbacks for any driver through the first corner and the first lap. It was copybook starts from all the 24 drivers though Rosberg and Webber did have a go at each other. It surely reflects on the amount of respect these drivers have for each other.
It all went well for the RB-8 of Sebastian Vettel who seemed to be pulling off with clear air and no traffic, trying to control the race but Hamilton and Alonso weren’t going to make it easy for the two time world champion. Arrived the first set of pit stops and and we saw Vettel hit the pits first up amongst the front runners. After a scorcher of a lap. Hamilton managed to “undercut” him and gain track position. Only a couple of laps hence, the F-2012 of Alonso managed to undercut both Hamilton and Vettel with some brilliant pit strategy by Ferrari. Alonso might have been a good craftsman but Hamilton had the race strategy falling into his hands, with all other cars putting on the Pirelli “softs”, he decided to put on another set of the “super softs” to get away from the pack before he used his set of “softs”, and boy dint it do wonders for him!
As the race unfolded, McLaren and Hamilton made their second pit stop but Alonso and Vettel made a change of strategy and made their final move in the game which was “orchestrated” by the Pirellis. Both of them opted to go for a one stop strategy and this absolutely back fired for both of them. Realising this, Vettel made a stop and undid a part of the damage but Alonso decided to stay out and this cost him dearly.With 5 laps to go, Hamilton was lapping a whopping 2.5-3 seconds a lap faster than both Vettel and Alonso and he comfortably took the lead and was well in control of the race. On the other hand, it was a well driven race by Romain Grosjean who showed why his team principal put so much trust in him. He as well as Sergio Perez, they sure did have cars that worked well with the high temperatures at Canada, but they took brilliant care of their tires to steer respectively to second and third positions. What a podium that was, the odds were astronomical. The Lotus and the Sauber both got to sling shot the Ferrari of Alonso and they sure will remember that moment for a long time to come. Vettel after having succumbed to the bad race strategy and made his second pit stop, was lapping 4 seconds faster than Alonso which led him to take Alonso’s fourth place which made Alonso a mere passenger in the final few laps of the race. It was a very gritty finish with Lewis Hamilton having driven the perfect race with McLaren having made all the right calls which was heartening because they had made a few bad ones in the previous races, and Grosjean and Perez picking up their podium positions only on the final few laps.
The Pirellis are making the sport so dependent on them, its eventually going to get the fans. I have said this before, but I’m going to say it again, unless they find a rubber compound that will deteriorate at a more “stable” rate, races are going to look like lotteries with the “luck” factor playing a pivotal role in deciding who wins.
All in all, the Canadian Grand Prix did live up to full expectation. Last time we were here, it was a four hour marathon with Button emerging victorious, and this weekend was kind of an anti-climax for him because he had a terrible three days finishing in 16th place while his team mate graced the top of the podium. And Michael Schumacher had to swallow yet another setback as the DRS rear wing flap jammed and remained open, forcing the record world champion and seven-times Canada GP winner to retire his Mercedes in the 45th lap in yet another zero-points showing.
This season has proven to be unpredictable as ever and in spite of the Pirellis, has given us promising action and entertainment. From some amazing front to tail stuff in Monaco to top notch tactical stuff here at Montreal, the fans are progressively starting to learn a lot more about the sport. Stay tuned for the European Grand Prix in Valencia on the 24th of June.
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