Monday, June 10, 2013

Sebastian Vettel reigns in Montreal

Sebastian Vettel managed a lights to flag victory in authoritative style to finish ahead of a charging Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. The Germans lead never came under threat from any of the cars behind him and it was always his race to lose. A mistake out of turn 4 in the early part of the race saw him whack the wall with his rear wheel without causing any damage and another small mistake in the latter half of the race resulted in a trip through the escape road at turn 2. But apart from these two moments the triple world champion was in scintillating form and was untouchable around Canada, a track where he or Red Bull have never won before.

Fernando Alonso was missing his first lap magic where he has a reputation of making up atleast one or two places. Getting stuck behind Bottas and Webber, it did not take too long for the Spaniard to make up both places. But an undercut from Webber saw him lose the place and some time over the Australian. Alonso then paced himself for a while before unleashing his raw pace and overtaking Rosberg and Webber in quick succession. He then reeled in Lewis Hamilton who made it quite difficult on the Spaniard and almost made the place back when Alonso maybe relaxed and dropped the ball a bit.

Lewis Hamilton drove a quiet race behind Vettel in second place up until 10 laps from the end of the race when he was overtaken by Alonso. Never having the pace to challenge or even keep up with Vettel, Hamilton drove his own race with some help from his team mate who was running in third initially. Rosberg and Hamilton seemed to lack pace on the supersoft compounds and it surprised everyone when the German came in and replaced his Supersofts for a fresh set of the same compound even though the Medium compound was the tyre of choice for the race. He kept Webber and Alonso at bay for some time but eventually finished fifth behind Webber who bagged the fastest lap of the race after shedding bits off his front wing.

Jean Eric Vergne was the highest finishing Toro Rosso in sixth ahead of his more experienced teammate Ricciardo who finished outside the points in fifteenth. Having overtaken a struggling Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas, the teams highest finish since Monza 2008 was hard fought and has vindicated the decision to hire James Key. His input into the car is showing its dividends and the only way for them to move is now further up.

Paul di Resta was the driver of the day after starting P17 and finishing in a strong seventh place having made his one and only stop on lap 56. Two strong drives after mistakes from the pit wall during qualifying have left the driver very unhappy with his team, and there are rumours about his trainer throwing a couple of punches towards a team mechanic after qualifying.

Felipe Massa also had an evening fighting for positions and making a two stop strategy work by being aggressive and proving to Ferrari that the accidents he has had recently are just a flash in the pan, and that his pace is still there. Starting from 16th on the grid he was on the same strategy as everyone else around and in front of him, but with a strong Ferrari under him he made some brilliant moves to finish a fighting eighth place.

Raikkonen had an evening to forget in Canada after he finished a lowly ninth place. Issues with his brakes and a fuel shortage meant that the Finn could not put in a strong performance even though he did manage to equal Michael Schumacher's record of consecutive points finishes in Formula 1.

Adrian Sutil endured a difficult but lucky race after a spin trying to overtake Bottas saw him being narrowly missed by as many as 5 cars right behind the fighting duo. Later on he was tagged from behind by an out of control Maldonado with locked wheels which resulted in rear wing damage, which the German nursed till the end of the race. The final stroke of bad luck came when he was given a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flag when he took about a full lap to get out of the way of Hamilton who was defending from a hard charging Alonso. Sutil managed just a single point for his efforts, but considering he could have come away with no points at all and a huge accident, he shouldn't be complaining for too long.

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