The Canadian Grand Prix was well hyped up before the GP on the Sunday. Close racing was predicted, lots of passing with two DRS zones, long straights, it was to be a highlight of the race year. Unfortunately, the soothsayers did not do too well and it was a processional race, completely dominated by (The Finger) Vettel, who was in a class of his own. Now leading the championship by 36 points, he looks to be uncatchable. Vettel (Red Bull) finished 14 seconds in front of Alonso (Ferrari) and was doing it at a canter. His dominance was such that he lapped the entire field up to fifth finisher.
Interest in the race was sparked by the Finn Valtteri Bottas qualifying his Williams in third to claim his best ever start in F1. However, it did not require much imagination to understand that Bottas’ time was set on a greasy track (the great leveler) and that in a dry race he would become a mobile chicane. Which is exactly what he did!
After Vettel, the drive of the day was Paul Di Resta (Team Vindaloo) who quietly went about his business as a race driver going from 17th grid position, making his first set of tyres last until 10 laps to go, one stop for soft tyres and then finished 7th. By comparison, his team mate Adrian Sutil seemed to be perpetually bouncing off somebody, or some thing.
Fernando Alonso has certainly matured as a driver and his was a well thought out drive from 6th to 2nd. No dramas or risky overtaking moves. For me, now that he has given up the sulks, Alonso is the complete race driver.
Third was Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) who appears more interested in his public image than being a race driver. He has an enormous ego (which all race drivers need), but his results are not commensurate with his opinion of himself! And lose the dog.
Fourth seems to be as good as Mark Webber (Red Bull) gets, and he is embroiled in too many collisions these days. You are witnessing the slow demise of the Australian charger. He has one good season left in him, but expect more fourths. This time he was 25 seconds behind Vettel.
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) came home in fifth, the last runner not to be lapped by Vettel, but he was never in the hunt for a podium position. So much for the win at Monaco which was assisted by the fact that it is almost impossible to pass another competitor at that circuit.
First of the lapped cars was Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) who was delighted with his sixth place, handsomely out-doing his team mate Ricciardo. There is intense rivalry between these two drivers, one of whom may inherit Webber’s seat.
Eighth was as high as Massa (Ferrari) could do after crashing (yet again) in Qualifying. Unless Massa finds his form again, he will be clearing out his locker at Modena and Jules Bianchi will be given the drive. 2013 would be a good time for the little Brazilian to retire.
The Hero to Zero award was easily won by Valtteri Bottas. Starting third on the grid, with huge expectations from the Williams team, to finally finish 14th.
The next GP is the British one at Silverstone on the 30th June. The current standings in the driver’s championship are:
S Vettel (Red Bull) 132
F Alonso (Ferrari) 96
K Raikkonen (Lotus) 88
L Hamilton (Mercedes) 77
M Webber (Red Bull) 69
N Rosberg (Mercedes) 57
F Massa (Ferrari) 49
P Di Resta (Force India) 34