Before we get on to the results of our race predictions, let\'s spare a moment of silence for the Canadian GP marshal who was involved in a serious accident while helping to move the Sauber car of Esteban Gutierrez in the late stages of the race. Unsighted by the driver of the trackside mobile crane, the marshal was run over as he retrieved a dropped radio and succumbed to his injuries on Sunday night.
It\'s easy to take the hazards of motorsports for granted because of the much-improved safety regulations we have these days, but the potential dangers are still there--for drivers, trackside personnel, and spectators alike. We sincerely hope more measures will be put in place to prevent such an incident from happening again.
1. At least one member of the swipe club will cause trouble, and there will be a safety-car period. Amazingly, there was no safety car at Montreal, although Williams driver Pastor Maldonado gave us half a point early on when he tagged the back of Adrian Sutil\'s Force India as they negotiated the hairpin. \"I think the decision was wrong because he didn\'t lose a position, but I lost a place,\" Maldonado said later on. \"It was not a mistake. It was a normal racing contact--I didn\'t push him off the track or whatever.\" The stewards are bound to be harder on him, however, given his being incident-prone.
The swipe club also gets a new member in Caterham rookie Giedo van der Garde, who first earned a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for colliding with Mark Webber as the Red Bull man was lapping him at the hairpin. He then picked up a five-place grid penalty for the next race when he made contact with Sauber\'s Nico Hulkenberg, again while being lapped.
Ferrari wingman Felipe Massa probably deserves membership, too, having crashed in qualifying for the second race in a row. Still, he got himself from 16th to 8th in 70 laps, so we\'ll give him an honorary position for now.
2. Favorites to finish above their starting positions: Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil. The rain did not materialize, which meant the McLaren\'s odious pace was revealed in full lack of glory. Jenson Button did finish higher than his starting position--14th to 12th--but this feels kind of like a cheap half-point. With teammate Sergio Perez finishing 11th, it was the first time in 65 races that McLaren didn\'t score in a grand prix.
Sutil, meanwhile, had quite some misadventures: spun around while trying to get past Valtteri Bottas (who\'d qualified an impressive P3, even if it was partly down to Saturday\'s on-and-off drizzle), rear-ended by Maldonado, and penalized with a drive-through for ignoring blue flags. He went backward from his P8 grid spot, finishing 10th. Smarter money would have been on his teammate Paul di Resta, who overcame another Q3 exit and finished 7th.
3. Mercedes on pole, Alonso for the win. Zero. Yours truly\'s face was as long as Lewis Hamilton\'s right after qualifying, because the Montreal specialist missed out on pole by just 0.087sec despite still having trouble with his Merc\'s brakes.
Instead, it was Sebastian Vettel who took the top spot on Saturday, then went on to cross the line on Sunday some 14sec clear of Fernando Alonso, failing to lap just four other cars. He got a bit familiar with the circuit\'s walls and the escape road at turn one along the way, but it was a dominant performance from the defending champion, who now has 132 points.
4. A former champion will finish second, and another will finish third. Ironically, the two guys we had counted on for the previous point conspired to give us this one instead. Alonso was able to overtake Webber and Hamilton to get from 6th to 2nd. His pass on Hamilton, in particular, was good stuff--banging-wheels close, but with a lot of respect between the two.
5. Kimi will continue his points-finish streak, but Alonso will take second place from him in the standings. Yes, the Iceman is still at it, enduring a Sunday that wasn\'t exactly trouble-free and bringing his Lotus home in 9th place. And yes, Alonso has leapfrogged him in the standings, eight points clear with 96 versus 88. The championship chase resumes at Silverstone Circuit in three weeks\' time. For now, we\'ll catch up on some sleep.
Total score: 3 out of 5
Photos from Infiniti Red Bull Racing
|CAN||Starting grid||Race results|
|Pos||Driver (Team)||Quali (Start tire)||Driver (Team)||Time/Gap|
|1||S. Vettel (Red Bull)||1:25.425 (SS)||S. Vettel (Red Bull)||1hr 32:09.143|
|2||L. Hamilton (Mercedes)||1:25.512, +0.087 (SS)||F. Alonso (Ferrari)||+14.400|
|3||V. Bottas (Williams)||1:25.897, +0.472 (SS)||L. Hamilton (Mercedes)||+15.900|
|4||N. Rosberg (Mercedes)||1:26.008, +0.583 (SS)||M. Webber (Red Bull)||+25.700|
|5||M. Webber (Red Bull)||1:26.208, +0.783 (SS)||N. Rosberg||+1:09.700|
|6||F. Alonso (Ferrari)||1:26.504, +1.079 (SS)||J. Vergne (Toro Rosso)||+1 lap|
|7||J. Vergne (Toro Rosso)||1:26.543, +1.118 (SS)||P. di Resta (Force India)||+1 lap|
|8||A. Sutil (Force India)||1:27.348, +1.923 (SS)||F. Massa (Ferrari)||+1 lap|
|9||N. Hulkenberg (Sauber)||1:29.435 (SS)||K. Raikkonen (Lotus)||+1 lap|
|10||K. Raikkonen (Lotus)||1:27.432, +2.007 (SS)||A. Sutil (Force India)||+1 lap|
|11||D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)||1:27.946, +2.521 (SS)||S. Perez (McLaren)||+1 lap|
|12||S. Perez (McLaren)||1:29.761 (SS)||J. Button (McLaren)||+1 lap|
|13||P. Maldonado (Williams)||1:29.917 (SS)||R. Grosjean (Lotus)||+1 lap|
|14||J. Button (McLaren)||1:30.068 (SS)||V. Bottas (Williams)||+1 lap|
|15||E. Gutierrez (Sauber)||1:30.315 (SS)||D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)||+2 laps|
|16||F. Massa (Ferrari)||1:30.354 (SS)||P. Maldonado (Williams)||+2 laps|
|17||P. di Resta (Force India)||1:24.908 (M)||J. Bianchi (Marussia)||+2 laps|
|18||C. Pic (Caterham)||1:25.626 (SS)||C. Pic (Caterham)||+3 laps|
|19||J. Bianchi (Marussia)||1:26.508 (M)||M. Chilton (Marussia)||+3 laps|
|20||M. Chilton (Marussia)||1:27.062 (M)||E. Gutierrez (Sauber)||retired|
|21||G. van der Garde (Caterham)||1:27.110 (SS)||N. Hulkenberg (Sauber)||retired|
|22||R. Grosjean (Lotus)||1:25.716 (M)||G. van der Garde||retired|
Legend: M—medium compound; SS—supersoft compound.
Notes: Listed qualifying laps 17-20 set in Q1; 9 and 12-16 in Q2; and 1-8 and 10-11 in Q3. Only Q3 gaps were included because of the changeable conditions in the different sessions. K. Raikkonen and D. Ricciardo qualified P9 and P10, respectively, but were each given a two-place grid penalty for not exiting the pit lane from the fast lane during Q2. R. Grosjean qualified P19 but was given a 10-place grid penalty for causing a collision in the Monaco GP. Drivers had a free choice of starting tire because qualifying was run on intermediates.
|1||S. Vettel||132||Red Bull||201|
|5||M. Webber||69||Force India||51|
|7||F. Massa||49||Toro Rosso||20|
|8||P. di Resta||34||Sauber||5|
|22||G. van der Garde||0|