Formula 1 2013 – The Canadian GP The Wall of Champions is perhaps one of the most recognisable walls in Formula 1. It has claimed the cars of many champions over the years such as Hill, Schumacher, Vettel and Jacques Villeneuve the son of the great Gilles Villeneuve whom the Canadian circuit is named after. Partly wet and partly dry, this race weekend was excellent.

Qualifying Throughout qualifying there was a steady amount of rainfall which helped in mixing the grid up for the race. Q1 saw both Marussia and Caterham drivers out along with Romain Grosjean and Paul Di Resta again. A poor showing from the Force India team as Di Resta had to start out of position again. Romain Grosjean was also put to the back of the grid after he was given a 10 place grid penalty for his collision with Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco. Q2 was disrupted towards the end by Felipe Massa spinning off into the barriers at the second chicane. This caused a queue to form in the pitlane ready to put a final high speed lap in. Massa would start 16th after his crash behind Gutierrez in 15th, Button in 14th, Maldonado in 13th, Perez in 12th and Nico Hulkenberg in 11th. Q3 saw the top 10 battle it out for pole position, which included the unlikely rookie Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. He put in an excellent lap to get himself into the top 10, and then he went and got himself 3rd on the grid. An excellent achievement for his rookie season. He was running a high downforce setup which gave him superior grip in the wet conditions, but this would hamper his progress in the dry. Both Toro Rossos made it into the top 10 with Ricciardo 10th and Vergne an impressive 7th. Raikkonen was only able to manage 9th with Adrian Sutil in 8th in his Force India. Alonso seems to love qualifying in 6th place picking up another one behind Mark Webber in 5th. Rosberg was only able to manage 4th with his teammate Hamilton in 2nd and Vettel clinching pole by a 1/10th of a second. After qualifying both Raikkonen and Ricciardo were given a two place grid penalty each for jumping the order in the pitlane during Q3. A very minor offence in my opinion, but they were deemed to have been doing it in an unsafe manner. This meant that Raikkonen and Ricciardo moved back to 10th and 11th respectively. The Race Much to Bottas€™s misfortune the weather had cleared up and it was a dry and warm race. This played into the hands of Vettel whose Red Bull works most efficiently in the hotter temperatures. Sadly Bottas, who had a wet weather setup with more downforce than the cars around him, had a hard time keeping position. Bottas was swarmed at the front of the grid as Vettel stormed away leaving everyone else behind. Rosberg and Webber made the jump to 3rd and 4th with Alonso in quick pursuit overtaking Bottas by the end of lap 1. Massa was also on top form at the beginning carving through the cars around him and making the most of his super soft tyres in the early stages. The first major excitement of the race was Adrian Sutil pulling a full 360 spin to avoid hitting Bottas on lap 6. An excellent save kept him from hitting anyone, but did drop him a lot of places down the order. Vettel nearly crowned a different wall €œThe Wall of Champions€ as his rear tyre clearly made contact with the concrete. Luckily for him it was only a light brush and he was able to continue un-phased. Maldonado received a drive through penalty for clumsily tapping the rear of Sutil€™s Force India going into the hairpin on lap 15. That really didn€™t help Williams in their quest for a points finish this season. Canada is a mixture of a one and two stop strategy for the race. Depending on which tyres are used and how hard you are pushing, most drivers opted for a two stop strategy with a few doing a single stop. Paul Di Resta started on the harder of the two compounds and was now climbing through the positions as everyone in front of him pitted. Button was also trying the single stop but opted to start on the softer compound tyre first. This sadly didn€™t work for him as well as Di Resta, as Paul managed to make it to the 57th lap of the race before needing to pit! Lap 36 bought a small incident between Giedo Van Der Garde and Mark Webber as the Australian was trying to lap the young rookie Caterham driver. Webber lost the end plate from his front wing and Van Der Garde spun and was given a 10 second stop & go penalty for ignoring the blue flags. 10 laps later the Dutch driver ran into Nico Hulkenberg forcing the Sauber out of the GP and taking off the front wing of Van Der Garde€™s car. The young Caterham driver pulled over onto the side of the track and both cars were forced to retire. Ferrari have again clearly shown superior race pace to their qualifying efforts as Alonso claimed third from Webber and Felipe Massa had risen up to 10th from his starting position of 16th. Alonso then managed to dispatch Hamilton and claim 2nd place on lap 63. Lap 66 saw Esteban Gutierrez hit the wall at turn two meaning no Sauber finished the race. As there were yellow flags at the end of the start/finish straight Massa was forced to wait behind Kimi Raikkonen, but as the flags were bought in two laps from the end, Massa was able to pounce on lap 69 and take 8th place from the Fin. Vettel won today with ease. He was untroubled throughout the race and dominated from start to finish. The improvement in the weather helped the car perform better which allowed him to lap every driver up to 5th place. He now takes a 36 point lead to Silverstone in a few weeks€™ time. Here is the top 10 from the Canadian GP 1 €“ Sebastian Vettel 2 €“ Fernando Alonso 3 €“ Lewis Hamilton 4 €“ Mark Webber 5 €“ Nico Rosberg 6 €“ Jean-Eric Vergne 7 €“ Paul Di Resta 8 €“ Felipe Massa 9 €“ Kimi Raikkonen 10 €“ Adrian Sutil The Awards Driver of the Day 1 Paul Di Resta Great tyre choice and a solid race pace got him the places he needed after his qualifying mess. Great drive from the Scot. Driver of the Day 2 Jean-Eric Vergne Fantastic result for Toro Rosso getting another top points finish. He was incredibly consistent and raced excellently. Driver of the Day 3 Felipe Massa Great drive to get some points after his crash in the qualifying session. The Most Consistent Award Sebastian Vettel A very easy victory for the German. A very Schumacher-esque win. Team of the Day Ferrari Fantastic race pace shown by both Alonso and Massa as they carved through the field. Especially Massa with his overtaking spree. Not so Driver of the Day Valtteri Bottas It was unlucky that his high point of qualifying was only short lived. As his car was set up for the wet, he had very little speed for a dry track so was easy pickings for the big teams. It was a shame he wasn€™t rewarded for his excellent qualifying position Full Race ResultsCurrent Championship Standings The next race will be the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The race will be live on the BBC and Sky on June 30th. See you then.
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