Monday, June 13, 2005

Comments on the Canadian GP

This was a very enjoyable and unpredictable race. Right from the beginning you could tell something was up. After the disastrous turn last race coming off the two race suspension, Jenson Button put his BAR-Honda on the poll. We also got to see something new for this season, Red at the top of the grid as Michael qualified his Ferrari second. Behind them were the two Renault, Fernando Alonso in third position and Giancarlo Fisichella right next to him. Juan Pablo Montoya out qualified his McLaren-Mercedes teammate Kimi Räikkönen to start fifth to Kimi's seventh. Takuma Sato slid the other BAR in between them. Starting from pit lane would be Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari due to his not even being able to run in qualifying. So, the stage is set for the start.

And what a start it was. As we've been seeing over the last two years, the Renault's blasted out of the gate with Giancarlo edging out Fernando to take the lead. Michael had a horrible start falling quickly back to sixth. The race went on for the first third of the race when all the fun started. First Narain Karthikeyan (the first F1 driver from India) had a suspension failure, caused by bouncing off of Champions Wall, quickly followed by Taku. But the next few laps saw race leaders fall bricks. Giancarlo loses Hydraulics handing P1 to Fernando. Six laps later it's Fernando's turn as he kisses the wall and cracks his rear suspension. Sometime around this point Taku rejoins the race some 15 or so laps down. The speculation was that he was just taking it as a test run. However, his race would end permanently on lap 40 when his brakes locked. Three laps later the Williams-BMW driven by Nick Heidfeld saw it's engine let go. There's been some real bad blood this season between Williams and BMW with each blaming the other for the poor performances this season. But back to the race. Just another three laps go by when Jenson meets Champions Wall himself. Was it just a mistake in his driving or did he have some help from the oil that was left from Nick's mishap? Who can say. All that mattered is that there was a new driver in P1. But JP didn't have a long stint either. He was Black Flagged on lap 52 for running a red light in the pit while the safety car was on the track. This propelled Kimi into the lead. So the progression went something like this:

Giancarlo -> Fernando -> Jenson -> JP -> Kimi

The interesting thing is that with all these lost leaders, Michael was able to take P2. Not to be outdone by his teammate, Rubens went all the way from dead last into P3. The Ferrari's were both on the podium for the first time this season.

With the Renault's taking no points this puts the championship races in a much more competitive situation. The drivers points look like this:
Pos   Driver             Nationality  Team            Points

1 Fernando Alonso Spanish Renault 59
2 Kimi Räikkönen Finnish McLaren-Mercedes 37
3 Jarno Trulli Italian Toyota 27
4 Nick Heidfeld German Williams-BMW 25
5 Michael Schumacher German Ferrari 24
6 Mark Webber Australian Williams-BMW 22
7 Rubens Barrichello Brazilian Ferrari 21
8 Ralf Schumacher German Toyota 20
9 Giancarlo Fisichella Italian Renault 17
9= David Coulthard British Red Bull Racing 17
11 Juan Pablo Montoya Colombian McLaren-Mercedes 16
12 Felipe Massa Brazilian Sauber-Petronas 7
13 Alexander Wurz Austrian McLaren-Mercedes 6
14 Jacques Villeneuve Canadian Sauber-Petronas 5
15 Pedro de la Rosa Spanish McLaren-Mercedes 4
15= Christian Klien Austrian Red Bull Racing 4
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Italian Red Bull Racing 1
And the Constructor's points are:
Pos Constructor      Points

1 Renault 76
2 McLaren-Mercedes 63
3 Williams-BMW 47
3= Toyota 47
5 Ferrari 45
6 Red Bull Racing 22
7 Sauber-Petronas 12
Now it's off to Indianapolis for the US GP next Sunday.

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