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Team-Mate Wars: Canadian GP

Tuesday 10th June 2014

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Team-Mate Wars: Canadian GP

Team-Mate Wars: Canadian GP

In F1, the first person you have to beat is your team-mate.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg 1 - Lewis Hamilton 6

Race: Hamilton
As you all know by now, the rules of Team-Mate Wars are as inflexible as a 2013 Red Bull front wing under an FIA deflection test. When Lewis left the pits after the second stop he was already ahead of Rosberg and then he felt his brake pedal go long. By Turn 10 it was all over and he knew that pumping it wasn't going to get anything back. So, as he was leading his team-mate when he suffered a mechanical failure, it means the TMW points are his.

As noted elsewhere, Rosberg sounded very panicky on the radio, but then again that might be because we're not used to hearing him so much. In comparison, it'd be nice to hear more of Dan Ricciardo. The Red Bull team say that he's astonishingly calm on the radio and that would fit with his reply to the team earlier in the season when they asked him to drop back and save his tyres: "no, if something's going on, I want to be part of it."

Returning to the Mercedes drivers - this race more than anything else has shown that Hamilton and Rosberg are very close in ability. But which one is the better driver is unlikely to be the difference between who wins and who loses the World Championship, that will be down to the season-long reliability of their cars. Had the DNFs gone the other way then Rosberg would be on 97 points not 140. Had Lewis picked up those points then he would be on 161 not 118. So switch those two results round and it could have been Hamilton 161 and Rosberg 97. And very boring.

Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo 5 - Sebastian Vettel 2

Race: Ricciardo
Dan won this one the easy way - but nobody would say he didn't deserve it. He didn't suffer any of the anxiety of thinking he was going to win the race, for much of it he was tooling around in P7 following other cars, with maybe one eye on jumping Vettel at the second pit-stops. Then all of a sudden the opportunity presented itself at the end and he made a very difficult overtaking move on Sergio Perez. Jack Brabham may have gone, but there's a new champion in waiting.

We're beginning to get a different radio relationship between Vettel and his engineer 'Rocky' this year. When he was winning there was rarely a dispute between driver and the pitwall, but now Vettel is questioning every strategic move and Rocky has had to develop a series of answers which basically mean 'shut up and drive the car'.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso 6 - Kimi Raikkonen 1

Race: Alonso
Nobody does overriding gloom as well as Fernando Alonso and you feel it the minute he steps up to the microphone. Button does a very good 'frustrated' and a regular line in 'doh, can you believe it?', but like his driving Fernando's gloom is a cut above everyone else's. Because even when he gets moderate results that's not enough. He wants the main prize and, understandably, he wants to see that there is a route to the main prize, when right now Ferrari are slipping back.

Raikkonen is still struggling with the handling of the F14T and two spins in almost the same place at the casino (one in practice, one in the race) put paid to his chances of finishing right behind Alonso.

McLaren
Jenson Button 5 - Kevin Magnussen 2

Race: Button
This was another of those races where McLaren said they were going to make 'the great leap forward' and didn't. This was evident from FP2 through to FP3 through to Quailfying. Normally at the end of races we're talking about how McLaren promised so much and delivered so little, in Canada they promised so little and delivered an unlikely P4 and P9. However the performance of the McLaren in the third and final stint did look very strong - without the aid of any DRS tows, Jenson was consistently in the 1:18s and the Fastest Lap of the race was a 1:18.5

Williams
Valtteri Bottas 2 - Felipe Massa 5

Race: Massa
Yet another opportunity missed for the Williams team. It would be interesting to know how much life was left on Felipe Massa's tyres when he came in for that late change, surrendering the lead of the race to Rosberg. Had Felipe stayed out and struggled - much as Alonso did a few years ago - then it would have been seen as a catastrophic judgement. Certainly the FW36 has generated a lot of tyre wear this year, so maybe it was only a longshot.

That is the beauty of the 2014 Canadian GP - it could have been one of five drivers who won. Rosberg, Perez, Ricciardo, Massa, or even Vettel who was showing signs of wanting to get past his team-mate when Perez was holding them all up.

Massa recovered strongly from another tyre stop which went wrong. After the last one, Rob Smedley said it wouldn't happen again and that systems were in place to prevent it happening. That didn't seem to be the case for Felipe's first stop.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne 3 - Daniil Kvyat 4

Race: Vergne
Another impressive qualifying performance from JEV and a learning curve for Daniil. Given how close Jean-Eric was to Daniel Ricciardo last year you've got to think that the RBR organisation has four BIG talents on its books

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg 5 - Sergio Perez 2

Race: Hulkenberg
Two DNFs for Sergio in a row, but this one was a fantastic performance. He will only be remembered for the one mistake he made which was moving across on Massa as they braked for Turn 1 which will be a pity. Now if you wanted to take the namby pamby modern view 'we are all victims of something or other', you could say that it was really the fault of so many race stewards who have let Perez get away with that kind of move in the past without sanction. He was only doing what he's done in the past and was trying to wing it. This time it didn't work. Spectacularly.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean 6 - Pastor Maldonado 1

Race: Grosjean
A forgettable race for Lotus with Pastor Maldonado going out in Q1 for the sixth time in seven races. And he could have been in a Williams...

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez 4 - Adrian Sutil 3

Race: Sutil
Gutierrez's weekend was compromised by his FP3 accident that put him out of Qualifying. Sutil was not far off grabbing a point. He was the only 'pointless' car still running at the end.

Caterham
Marcus Ericsson 1 - Kamui Kobayashi 6

Race: Kobayashi
Given that Canada can be a bit like Monaco for car attrition and presents an opportunity to pick up points, this was a dreadful race for the new teams with no finishes between them. In fact all four cars were gone by little over half distance.

Marussia
Max Chilton 3 - Jules Bianchi 4

Race: Bianchi
It's hard to judge the first lap Bianchi vs Chilton accident without seeing a bit more footage and Marussia onboards are not a regular feature of F1 coverage. Given that the stewards will have seen much much more and voted in favour of Max as the major protagonist, then Jules gets the nod.

Star of the race
Lewis Hamilton 3, Sergio Perez 2, Daniel Ricciardo 1, Jules Bianchi 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Daniel Ricciardo 2, Valtteri Bottas 1, Lewis Hamilton 1, Kamui Kobayashi 1, Sebastian Vettel 1, Nico Hulkenberg 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
Pastor Maldonado 3, Max Chilton 2, Christian Horner 1, Kevin Magnussen 1,

Media Watch
In Canada Eddie Jordan was straying into territory reserved for a Channel 4 medical advice programme: "We saw different body movements from Rosberg and from Hamilton as they headed for the parade lap."

Eddie thinks that the noise is really not trying hard enough at races this year. "I think there's a happy medium. We need the noise to up its game."

The Montreal S.T.B.O. Award goes to the BBC's Suzi Perry - who Christian Horner has taken to kissing on camera. Talking to David Coulthard about the Mercedes drivers before the race, she asked: "David, realistically, these two - isn't it going to come down to the fact that it's one or the other...?"

Andrew Davies

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