Canada GP: The penalty that took all the focus from the race
An amazing race on many fronts, but overshadowed by a mistake
First, Let’s talk about the elephant in the room
To be clear, I do not care that it was Hamilton that benefited from this penalty, and it is not important that it was Vettel that incurred it. I would feel the same way regardless of who were the drivers, and I just loath and still cringe while I write this that a great race like this was decided by a penalty.
With that said, after reviewing the video replays, and the slow-motion ones many times over. I am now convinced that Vettel did not have control of his car when he went off the track and did not have the intent to block Hamilton. However, he did unintentionally blockHamilton and thus deserve the penalty.
I know, I know, you may disagree with me. And honestly, I do not like this, and I really wanted Ferrari/Vettel to win just for a change of a winner for the sake of change and interest in the sport. It is just Vettel made a mistake, that drove him to a bigger one and he had to pay the price. Seems fair to me, but what a crappy way to determine the winner of the race.
One more thing, I do not agree with the way Vettel behaved. By not parking at Parc Ferme, or changing the race position posts, or skipping the post-race interviews; he did not show the maturity that you would expect from a 4-time world champion. I did like the post-race news conference and what he said, but he should have showed more restraint. Of course, it is easy for me to say this, I might have done worse.
Is Renault on the proper path of resurgence?
Wow, both drivers in the points 6th and 7th.This is definitely the best result of the season for the French team, and the perfect segue to the French GP in 14 days.
The team is fired up and have their eyes set on their home race, and with the news that new upgrades will be in place for the race, it will definitely have the eyes of F1 fandom on them to see if they will resurge to their form of last year and start to challenge for third in the championship.
I would like to see more of the tussle between old teammates, Verstappen and Riccardo. I have to admit that with the current state of the cars, those tussles will be short lived with the victor being Verstappen. Sorry, but the Red Bull is a faster car.
It just gets worse for Haas
I always select an underdog team and watch them closely, and my heart goes out for the Haas team. Small outfit, small budget and a passion that sometimes is missing with the bigger teams.
Most importantly, and luckily Magnussen was unhurt and came out of that horrible accident able to race. Also, respect to the team of engineers who were able to put/rebuild the car overnight for him to race. It is unfortunate that Grosjean suffered from his team mate’s accident.
But I have to hand it to the team, they give us the best radio chatter in F1 nowadays. With teams and drivers being cryptic, I have admiration of Guenther Steiner, with him laying it down hard on his drivers. I really like him and I love what he did with the team.
I have a strong feeling they will turn the season around for them soon. I think that by either the French or the Austrian GPs they will pull it together and get back to their form last year.
Do not be fooled by Ferrari’s results
If you thought that Ferrari are back to winning ways, then think again and look very closely at their performance.
In Canada, a track with long straights that should have favored their power unit, we saw that Hamilton was not just able to put pressure on Vettel but build enough gap between him and Leclerc of 14 seconds at some points during the race. This was even true when Hamilton was on hard tyres.
I realize that Leclerc closed that gap in the last 6 laps to4.69 seconds, but why didn’t he do that before? Also, why was he not able to overtake Hamilton on the first corner and having a gap of 3.8 seconds by lap 3.
Ferrari have been vocal about their inability to generate the heat required in the tyres that they need to give them the grip they desire. And as it seems only Mercedes can. In conclusion, Ferrari still suffer from the same problems, and Mercedes are just getting better at each race.
I won’t dwell on the penalty, and it was a wonderful race by all measures and surprising results down the field.
However, as it stands today, I am building a sense that this season is almost over and we still did not reach the half-way point.
Bottas 2.0 was not his usual self in the race, is that signs of burn-out. Time will tell.
France, the F1 circus comes to you next. Will Renault bring theirA game?
Till then, drive safe.