Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Catman
TJ13 readers voted the latest instalment of the Canadian Grand Prix to be the worst race at the circuit since we started polling. Not even Sebastian Vettel’s comeback drive, Romain Grosjean’s stupidity or even the appearance of a groundhog could convince you otherwise.
2013 – TJ13 reader score – 5.98
You thought that the 2013 race not going to be remembered as a classic either, with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel taking another dominant victory from pole position.
His victory margin was so comfortable that on the final lap he decided to try to show the world the pace he had in his pocket, as was his trademark that year. As the timing sectors started to glow purple, Red Bull race engineer Guillaume “Rocky” Roquelin decided to bring some reality to the situation by giving his driver a brief reminder… “Monaco, 1988, Senna”. Vettel wisely took the hint and backed off, not wanting to emulate the Brazilian’s crash into the barriers when dominating the field, trying to gain a psychological edge over his rival Alain Prost.
One saving grace for the show was Paul Di Resta, who put in a magnificent performance to claim seventh position after starting a lowly seventeenth on the grid. His first stint lasted a whopping 58 laps of the 70, keeping a decent pace throughout and leapfrogging his two stopping rivals.
The rather dull race was unfortunately overshadowed by the death of track marshal Mark Robinson, who stumbled while assisting the mobile crane retrieve the stricken Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez. It is always worth remembering the risks the brave men and women in orange make for our enjoyment and we at TJ13 are always grateful to these passionate people.
2014 – TJ13 reader score – 8.73
Daniel Ricciardo provided some relief to the F1 fans not clad in silver during the 2014 season and Canada was the first of his three victories. Mercedes were leading but both cars suffered an almost simultaneous MGU-K failure, losing horsepower and putting additional strain on the braking systems. Hamilton, who is typically harder on his brakes, retired from the race after he cooked the rears, while Rosberg managed to work around the problem. Such was the team’s advantage in 2014, he managed to hold on to a miraculous second position.
The race ended with a huge collision between Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez, with Vettel using Jedi-like reflexes to avoid being collected in the aftermath. Massa was taken to hospital for checks after the g-force meter was triggered as he hit the wall, but both drivers emerged unscathed. Debate raged after the incident as to who was at fault, with the F1 community generally coming down hard on the Mexican for adjusting his line (albeit very subtly) through the braking zone.
2015 – TJ13 reader score – 5.12
The recipe for the most recent snore-fest was whipped up during qualifying, when Sebastian Vettel failed to get out of Q1. He was the only one who had even a slim chance of pressuring the Mercedes duo. As it turned out the Silver Arrows were able to run away with the show despite once again nursing overheating brakes and fuel consumption issues. Kimi Raikkonen, who seems unable to get on top of the current technological formula, could not even keep Valterri Bottas behind him. He spun at the hairpin in identical fashion to last year, clearly still struggling with the power delivery from his upgraded unit.
Romain “Crash Bandicoot” Grosjean tried to liven things up by swiping across the front of Will Stevens and somehow trying to blame him for the ensuing incident. I’m sure that Verstappen fans will be loving the reversal of fortunes.
2015 – TJ13 Driver of the Day – Sebastian Vettel
After his qualifying disappointment, Sebastian made amends by storming through the field. His battle with Alonso provided some early entertainment, if only by prompting viewers to leaf through a Spanish dictionary to bet on which choice words were screamed into his helmet as his former chariot breezed past. After Vettel’s botched pitstop he quickly came up behind the Spaniard again. Clearly fuming at his predicament, Alonso pushed Vettel hard onto the sausage kerbs at the final chicane and the German was nearly reunited with the famous “Wall of Champions”.
His second incident at the chicane was with Nico Hulkenberg, who’s Mercedes powered car was proving more difficult to pass. They entered the corner side by side, which was never going to stick. Hulk clattered the inside kerb and spun while Seb marched on imperiously, getting in his declaration of innocence immediately over the radio so that Charlie Whiting could hear.
Not a single TJ13 viewer voted for Nico Rosberg, who sat behind his teammate for the whole race and never really looked like challenging him. The race was neutered by reliability concerns, particularly bearing in mind the events of the previous year and the pit-wall managed to bring home their one-two finish this time.
Neither did you vote for last year’s hero Daniel Ricciardo, who had a pretty torrid race and languished down in thirteenth position complaining that his car was so bad it was like “banging his head against a wall”. He was outpaced by Kvyat all weekend and you get the feeling that his characteristic smile is painted on at the moment.
One of the major talking points after (and during) the race has been fuel saving. We know the teams all make a guesstimate of how much fuel they need, taking into account the variable such as weather and the possibility of safety cars on a track. Each team wants their car to be as light as possible at the start, as every extra kilo of fuel carries a lap time penalty.
If the cars had started with their 100kg allocation, I believe there wouldn’t have been a need for any of them (except the McHonda) to save fuel. I wonder just how much fuel the cars did start with.
By the way, fuel saving has always been an issue with F1, but now we’re getting to hear just about every driver/pit conversation, we’re now hearing more about how the teams tackle the problem and it’s being blown up out of all proportion, because it’s an issue all the teams face during a race.
IMHO the least the FIA can do is demand that the car takes 100kg before they start. By some kind of weighing system or whatever. Just force all competitors to start with max fuel. They want less? Use more in the first part of the race.
Fuel laiden, heavy cars can’t go too fast at the beginning of the race. The rubbish tyres will fall apart within minutes of the start. Also, why should a fuel efficient Mercedes be penalised because the McHonda uses more fuel than an ocean liner?
The reason why we don’t see ‘racing’ is down to the rubbish Pirelli tyres.
What killed the excitement of backfield overtaking was the lack of anything of interest at the front and the constant whining on the radio about brakes, fuel and tires. It was an endurance race with shite tires, underfuelling, bad brakes and see who manages it home at best. A far cry from a sprint race to the finish for at least half a race. What a pathetic farce.