Conclusions From Canada

Date published: June 8 2015

From how not to use an engine token to debating Kimi Raikkonen's greatness…
 
How To Waste A Token (Or Two)

Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix it was all about how Honda had used two of their nine engine tokens to better aid Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button at the high-speed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It then emerged that those tokens were actually used not for performance boost, but rather to improve reliability. Well that's two tokens down the drain.
 
On the back of their first points in Monaco, McLaren failed to score in Montreal as neither driver reached the chequered flag. A frustrated Alonso, who accused his team of leaving him to look like an "amateur", retired due to a loss of power while an exhaust issue put Button, who had to use a fifth MGU-H and turbocharger on Sunday thus incurring a grid penalty, out of the grand prix.

McLaren insist they are learning important issues with every passing race weekend but the only lessons learnt in Canada are that the MP4-30 is a thirsty beast at speed and that Honda's reliability fixes fixed absolutely nothing.
 

Something Is Missing For Kimi
As Kimi Raikkonen lined up on the Montreal grid he must have thought that the stars had aligned to hand him what would have been only his second podium result of this season. A best qualifying position of P3, the second fastest car on the grid and his team-mate starting near the back of the field; it had all the ingredients for a top-three finish. And yet it never happened.
 
This time around it was engine mapping issue that sent Raikkonen into a spin, costing him time and allowing Valtteri Bottas to sneak through for third. However, it makes one wonder what's up with Kimi.
 
He is undoubtedly a really good driver, he has a World title to prove that. But is he a great driver or is something missing? His chilled manner off the track and his fearlessness on it have won the Finn many a fan but even in that one season where he won the World title, one could argue that McLaren with their feuding drivers actually lost it.
 
Outshone by Alonso last year, who is rated as one of the best, and more recently outpaced by Vettel, who even upstaged him on Sunday despite finishing a position behind, Raikkonen's back-stepping from great to good.

 
Formula 1 Can Race
Sebastian Vettel started Sunday's race from 18th on the grid and raced his way to fifth. Felipe Massa started 15th and crossed the line in seventh place. And what brilliant racing it was.
 
Both drivers, starting out of position due to car troubles in Saturday's qualifying, produced some of the best moments of the 70-lap race as they worked their way through the field. Vettel going head-to-head with Alonso (who put up a stern but short fight even though he was in a power-less car) and Massa side-by-side with Marcus Ericsson were two of the highlights of the grand prix.
 
Leaves one to wonder why reverse grids are not used in F1…
 
 
When Mercedes Get It Right, It's Very Right

Avoiding bungling the pit stops, something they failed to do in Monaco, and putting out a car that was bullet-proof out on the track, unlike the year prior, Mercedes raced to their fourth 1-2 of this season with Lewis Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg across the line.
 
The Mercedes drivers were a staggering 40s up the road from third-placed Valtteri Bottas, once again proving that when they "not always idiots" and get it right, it is very right.
 
After seven races Hamilton leads the Championship by 17 points over Rosberg who in turn is 26 ahead of Vettel. Any suggestion that F1 could be in for a three-horse race for the title was firmly quashed in Montreal.
 
 
Ricciardo's Grin Is Fading
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago Daniel Ricciardo had the biggest grin in the paddock as he celebrated the first win of his F1 career in Montreal. Fast forward a year and that smile is fading, and fast. Instead of challenging for the win or even the podium, Ricciardo, who qualified P9, trudged home in a wretched 13th place – from race win to point-less.
 
In the wake of Saturday's qualifying, the usually ever-smiling Aussie used the words "p****d off" before adding that in the "last few races we've had updates, but to be honest they haven't really done anything for us." 24 hours later he said he's "banging my head against the wall, there is nothing good coming out of it."
 
Slipping further behind Williams with every passing race, and with even the unflappable Aussie feeling the strain, it is safe to say that any good will left over from a run of four Championship doubles is as good as over between Red Bull and Renault.
 
 
Even Backmarkers Have Feelings

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to Will. In a world where we so often hear leading drivers complaining about backmarkers, even screaming "blue flags, blue flags", it's good to hear the other side of the story.
 
With his front wing clipped by Romain Grosjean as the Frenchman pulled back into line after lapping Will Stevens, the Manor driver says it "would be nice" to receive a bit of respect for those doing the lapping. And rightly so.
 
 
Sorry Isn't The Hardest Word
The upside to the afore mentioned incident, at least Romain Grosjean said sorry: "It's my fault but I'll learn from that." Take note Max.
 
Michelle Foster