The Canadian Grand Prix of 2012 held a promise of more surprises, more interesting mix-up of drivers in un-usual places and definitely more uncertainty in the drivers championship.
The race has always been one of my favourite circuits, I can´t remember the last time I was disappointed. Remember last year, when the race was a little bit static – I didn´t say boring! – and then half a lap before the chequered flag and Sebastian Vettel lost it to Jenson Button? Or When Robert Kubica crashed his BMW, only to win the event the following year? There has been so many memorable moments from Canada, that I was sure this was another one.
It wasn´t. Well, for some time it didn´t have the “Oh look at that, is so close” moments I was looking for, but then I realised that I was turning into one of those fans, who always complain when things are going great for the rival, but then makes fun of said rival when my own driver starts winning. Or when someone complains that ‘this is the most boring season ever’ and I once again have to tell the idiot that the overtakings have actually increased 3,000%.
I don´t want to be that guy. That guy, for lack of better word, sucks. What we have instead, is the best season in probably the last 15 years, at least, with very close fights, drivers who are actually risking it, compared to 2011, when everyone kinda gave up if Vettel was on pole. We have overtakings, so much action on the track it´s really difficult to keep track of it and plenty of smashes, and run-ins and incidents and accidents. Absolutely brilliant.
And so was Canada. A brilliant race, where tyre management was absolute key. And the best part was, that that part didn´t get boring. There were those who gambled and won, like Lewis Hamilton who had an extra pitstop so he had fresh tyres. Those tyres were so much faster, that he could pass Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso and take the win, his third in Canada, thus becoming the seventh winner in as many races.
And there were the loser. Alonso´s tyres were shot and he fell back, losing ground to Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez, until they, un-dramatically, overtook the Spaniard for 2nd and 3rd respectively. He knew he had old tyres, but just like Vettel, Alonso could gamble. He could pit, get fresh tyres and perhaps end up in 3rd or 4th or stay out and hope that the others weren´t that fast. They were, Fernando, but what great driving you showed us.
Driver of the Day: Lewis Hamilton
Lewis seemed to be in full control of the situation, even when he spoke on the radio, his voice was calm and almost meditative. And what a great radio call to get, that you are leading, just do this some more. Hamilton seems to be settled very nicely in his role now, after a 2011 he wants to put the lid on. he is back and he is going to win some more races. Absolutely brilliant performance.
What the Hell Moment of the Day: Michael Schumacher
When Michael Schumacher qualified just 9th on the grid, we knew it was going to be very hard for the no 7 man to win the race, It would have been awesome, right? Car number 7, 7 titles in the seventh race of the year. But alas, the old shoemaker had to pit and eventually retire because his DRS got stuck in the ‘open’-position. It´s going from bad to worse for Schumacher, who really looked like he could lift the Mercedes team up to at least a top three position.
Most Anonymous drivers of the Day: Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne
The Toro Rosso drivers came, saw and basically just drove around the circuit de Gilles Villeneuve without anyone noticing. They are not bad drivers, in fact they are pretty good. It looks to me like the car is just not in the right ballpark when it comes to performance. I really don´t know, but I think so. I am not saying Toro Rosso is going to hell in a handbasket, but instead of everyone blaming the drivers, who have only collected half the points as their predecessors did last year after seven races, perhaps it´s time to look at the car. It´s not fast enough!
Driver I Did Not Expect To See Up There: Sergio Perez
Actually, this one could be split in two and rewarded to Romain Grosjean as well. I honestly did not see that Grosjean and Perez should end in 2nd and 3rd. I mean I expected them to do well, but looking at how everyone else managed their tyres, I thought at least Perez´ strategy would fail and he needed one more pit stop. But I must hand it to those guys, they really kept their cool and fully deserves their positions. Perez haven´t scored points since Malaysia, but when he does score points, he really does it! Now it´s just up to the rest of the teams to understand, that when Perez is on a one-stop strategy, copy and paste!
Worst Driver of the Day: No one
No really! I don´t think that there is one driver who just did a really crappy job, everyone did very well and got the most out of what they had. Sure, Massa´s pace in the race didn´t fully live up to what we saw in qualifying, but I feel it´s time to get off his back for a while. Pedro de la Rosa retired for HRT, but hey it´s Pedro de la Rosa driving a HRT, what did you expect? Same goes for Narain Karthikeyan, I just don´t understand why he is still in F1, when you have at least five drivers from GP2 or other series doing a helluva lot better.
As always the Day After report is simply a way for me to vent some ideas, thoughts or frustrations. 2012 has so far been one of the best seasons in recent memory and as I am getting older, closing in on the big 4-0, my memory will fail and I will hopefully remember every season as the best there ever was.
Thanks for reading.