Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend, Round 7 Canada, 2017
Rate The Race Mean Reader Score: 7.34
Surprisingly this race only scored 7.34 ranking as third out of the seven races of the season so far. This is better than last year’s score when at this stage in the season it was placed fifth with a mean reader score of 6.57. Why is the score so low? There was a thrilling final qualifying session where in Q3 Hamilton set a blistering pole (first of the weekend to be sub one minute 12) only to be followed by an equally thrilling lap by Vettel who failed to snatch pole by four thousandths of a second, topped by Hamilton setting the fastest lap ever immediately afterwards (1:11.459.)
The race got off to a controversial start with the young Verstappen leapfrogging his way from P5 to P2 which, on closer inspection, was not as great as it seemed as he took off Vettel’s front wing in the process. That in its self added to the drama as Vettel had to pit not only for fresh supersoft tyres but also for a new front wing, jettisoning him down to P18 i.e.last, as Sainz and Massa had retired (WAY out of the points which, with Hamilton leading the race and being 25 points behind Vettel in the championship, made for a very interesting scenario.)
We had an excellent drive by Ocon, another retirement by Alonso (who looked as if he may have been on for scoring McLaren’s first points of the season) ,Stroll did score his first points of the season, intra team squabbling over which of the two Force India drivers should have the privilege of attempting to pass Ricciardo for a place on the podium and finally a great recovery from Vettel who worked his way through the field from P18 to P4 (AND managed pull off a couple of daring overtakes WITHOUT destroying his own or other cars in the process.) Which probably explained why he won our Driver of the Weekend.
Driver of the weekend: Sebastian Vettel, 21.24% of Reader Vote
21.24 may not seem like a very high percentage of the reader vote (a bit like a British election score) but that’s because it was a pretty close run poll, with Hamilton and Ocon both getting significant numbers of reader votes. But there can only be one winner and this time it was Vettel who took the top spot. What can I say? It would take an awful lot of words to describe just how daring Vettel’s last couple of overtakes were, as on Lap 66, he took advantage of Ocon’s attempt to pass Perez on the outside of the chicane and as Ocon tried again to overtake Perez, Vettel drove down the inside of turn one , overtaking Ocon. The penultimate lap saw Vettel move into P4 overtaking Perez to claim P4. Would he have taken a podium spot from Ricciardo if the race had been a couple of laps longer? Comments below, please …….. and, as Marek and Matt say, play nice!!