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Team-Mate Wars: Montreal

Wednesday 12th June 2013

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Team-Mate Wars: Montreal

Team-Mate Wars: Montreal

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 6 - Mark Webber 1
The most pressure Sebastian Vettel came under in Montreal was on Saturday rather than Sunday (or maybe even the podium after the race). The big job was securing pole in front of the Mercedes cars, while leaving his major title contenders the other side of the wide-elbowed silver arrows. That done, on Sunday he could scamper off into the distance - creating a 2.8 second gap by Lap 2 -and rely on the W04s not to give up places easily. Seb's biggest threat wasn't his team-mate, but a combination of the Safety Car and Fernando Alonso. Because it looked from the gap that Fernando was juggling behind Mark Webber, that he was saving fuel and saving tyres ready for such an event. Webbo also had a strong result and was unlucky to find Giedo van der Garde with his brain parked up at the Casino hairpin.

McLaren
Race: Perez
Season: Jenson Button 4 - Sergio Perez 3
This season is turning into another Honda Earth Dream for Jenson Button. That was 2008, the year when Honda got everything wrong and began concentrating on the 2009 car from well before mid-season as Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button scratched around for the odd point here and there. At the end of the season Honda withdrew from F1 and the outfit became Brawn GP for 2009 and from an ugly duckling emerged a swan. Already McLaren are talking about the 2014 car and their ambition is probably limited to passing Force India in the constructors' championship and keeping Checo from being punched too much. In Montreal Perez outqualified Button and finished in front of him to take the TMW points, although Jenson did pick up the Stating-the-bleedin'-obvious prize for his observation in the McLaren press release: "This wasn't the best race for us."

Mercedes
Race: Hamilton
Season: Lewis Hamilton 4 - Nico Rosberg 3
It's quite interesting to hear the two Mercedes drivers after they've lost out to the other. Whereas Hamilton is quite straightforward and says he needs to get better - Rosberg is very keen to draw attention to bits of the car that went wrong. As he did after qualifying. Lewis drove a superb race and kept Alonso at bay as long as you can feasibly keep a borg at bay when he wants your place. Rosberg was similarly firm but fair in his defence against Webber and the borg. Ultimately the double DRS did for them both, but Mercedes will be cheered by the length of time the tyre lasted even if they were getting much higher rear temperatures than anybody else.

Ferrari
Race: Alonso
Season: Fernando Alonso 6 - Felipe Massa 1
Qualifying conditions clearly didn't suit Ferrari - Massa put his F138 in the tyre barriers and Alonso had a spin that so nearly sent him nose first into the barriers at Turn 2. Usually Fernando can count on a long run and a few places gained at the start of the race but he had to work very hard to get past Bottas, by which time the difficult squad were well and truly up the road. He eventually got past all but one of them - and some of his post-Webber laps showed the phenomenal pace of the car in clear air. Massa had his own struggles thanks to poor qualifying, which included a heroic avoidance of Pastor Maldonado on the first lap as he tried to make up places quickly.

Lotus
Race: Raikkonen
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 6 - Romain Grosjean 1
There were a few laps in the Canadian GP when Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez were together on track and you thought, "Oooh, hello." However there was so much going on up and down the field that there wasn't time for the TV cameras to home in on the new-found-friends. There will surely be other occasions this season. Kimi suffered from a lack of brakes on his Lotus, which along with good traction, is what you need in Canada. He'd already conclusively bagged the TMW points after Grsojean's well-earned grid penalty in Monaco, amplified by Romain going out in Q1.Both will hope for a more abrasive Silverstone - preferably very cold too.

Force India
Race: DiResta
Season: Paul Di Resta 4 - Adrian Sutil 3
Not wishing to debase the high aesthetic of this column, but maybe if Paul DiResta could make other things last as long as a set of medium Pirellis then everyone would be happier. Especially girlfriend Morag. Paul's 56-lap run on the tyre - constantly setting PBs throughout - was the revelation of the weekend. In contrast, Adrian Sutil executed a 360-degree spin to drop from P8 to P14 but hauled his way up again, only to collect a needless drive-through. The degree of barrier avoidance was supreme in Montreal. There's a feeling that there are more pay-drivers in the sport than ever, yet their collective ability not to bring out the Safety Car during the race was astonishing. And the one car that actually made it into the barriers was exiting the pitlane...

Sauber
Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 6 - Esteban Gutierrez 1
This really wasn't what Nico Hulkenberg signed up for - a distant view of his former team scoring double points finishes. The conditions on Saturday were perfect for a Hulkenberg charge into Q1, but it was Bottas who grabbed the script. Gutierrez must be counting the size of his sponsorship

Williams
Race: Bottas
Season: Maldonado 4 - Bottas 3
Bottas
Valtteri announced himself on the F1 stage on Saturday but couldn't hold back the floodgates for very long on Sunday. It was surprising not to see Pastor up there in Qualy as well, because he's fast in Monaco and has no fear of barriers. Or Adrian Sutil's rear wing.

Torro Rosso
Race: Vergne
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 3 - Jean-Eric Vergne 4
Vergne followed up his great Monaco performance with an even better drive in Canada - qualifying high up the grid and finishing there. Now it may be that the other teams' lack of preparation on Friday and the shortened running on Saturday made set-up more of a lottery, hence Lotus's inability to get their brakes right and McLaren's inability to get anything right, but it is still a significant shift forward for Toro Rosso.

Marussia
Race: Bianchi
Season: Jules Bianchi 7 - Max Chilton 0
Max's big chance is coming up next race.

Caterham
Race: Pic
Season: Giedo van der Garde 2 - Charles Pic 5
If Tony Fernandez can pay £12m for a slightly-above-average central defender for QPR then you've got to think he could invest a little money in Heikki Kovalainen. Van der Garde didn't exactly cover himself in glory in Canada and it will have been a relief to the Red Bull team that he didn't cover the track with his front wing.

The Kimi is Disappointed File: "Most of my race was just following the cars in front and defending from those behind, so not the most enjoyable day nor the most enjoyable result. It's been a bad weekend."

Star of the Race
Alonso 2, Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Perez 1, Rosberg 1, Vettel 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Vettel 2, Raikkonen 1, Grosjean 1, Alonso 1, Button 1, Bottas 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Incandescent 2 -Exciting 4 - Dull 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
, Van der Garde 2, Maldonado 1, Vettel 1, Gutierrez 1, Hulkenberg 1, Grosjean 1

Media Watch
Eddie Jordan wasn't convinced that Romain Grosjean's printer was working properly after Monaco, or maybe it was his external hard drive: "To tell you the truth...I think there's something up with his peripheral," confided EJ.

Suzie Perry made the slightest of mistakes in Montreal, as anyone would do broadcasting so many minutes 'live'. It wasn't the fact that she made a small slip of the tongue, it was the picture it conjured up. If you can imagine an F1 team run from a railway arches lock-up in Tamworth by an oily mechanic in his 50s, wearing a set of overalls he's had 25 years. Walking purposefully across the paddock she turned to DC and said, "Come on DC, let's go over and see Reg Bull."

Andrew Davies

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