This has been one hell of a week for motorsports, what with Le Mans, Moto GP at Silverstone, the Isle of Man TT, and the Canadian Grand Prix all offering plenty of entertainment and excitement value.
Perhaps the most exciting, from our point of view, had to be the Formula 1. Wet track races are always exciting and unpredictable, and from the moment that torrential downpour started in wet old Canada we knew we were likely to be in for quite a ride. What we hadn’t anticipated, however, was for the race to be quite so dominated by lap after lap led by safety cars, nor for the race to be postponded for what might have felt like the longest 2 hours in history.
Still, let it not be said that an exciting race has to be exciting from the start. The frequency of the safety car may have hinted at a potentially dull race, but it certainly made up for any hesitations in the crowd (and annoyance of the commentators) by wholeheartedly delivering one of the most exciting Grand Prix’ in recent years.
The action really started picking up with a disappointing early exit for Button’s McLaren teammate, Hamilton, who’s trip down the outside on the first corner was cut painfully short when he collided with Button taking the normal line. Button has since taken the blame for the incident, citing a complete lack of visibility in his mirrors, which led him to a pit stop for a repairs and Hamilton into retirement.
Alonso started 2nd, and was going ok, but that the team didn’t seem to make the right calls. Then on his out lap Button caught him and tried to make a move which would only have worked without contact if Alonso had yielded and given him the place, but he didn’t and was very unlucky to beach the car on the kurb.
After a few rounds of Button working his way back from the 16th place induced by his penalty under the safety car, the excitement of the inters and the changing positions was duly cut short, as yet more rain finally forced the race to be red flagged. Cue, strangely enjoyably, rather a lot of camera shots of birds and boats, and some very bored commentators attempting to make anything they could scintillating and fascinating.
Once the race was back on things started picking up again. Predicatably Vettel was in a comfortable lead, whilst Button was still sunk far back in the middle, experience a few more bumps and bruises that could have implied a win was a long way off coming., especially as he pulled in for his 6th pit-stop of the race. The action from lap 41 onwards was all about Schumacher, whose wet weather expertise despite the inferior car meant there was quite a chance at one point of a well-deserved spot on the podium. Setting fastest lap records that really would have made a third place spot very desirable, Schumacher was well up in the fight going on between Massa and Kobayahsi, at one point impressively taking second place.
Unfortunately Schumacher came under increasing pressure as the next restart finally happened, as the enabled DRS meant his car simply couldn’t stand up to the pressure of the crowd. Webber too was having issues, with the Red Bull’s apparent lack of grip out of low speed corners meant it wasn’t close enough to make passing at the next braking zone easy or even possible, and it was at this point that Button started to look particularly exciting again, taking advantage of Webber’s slide and making short work of Schumacher. Suddenly what had seemed like a one man race from the beginning came down to an epic battle between Vettel and Button for the win.
It was in the final lap that the crack started appearing in the Germans normally ice-cool exterior, and Vettel slid wide half way into the lap, and off ran the circuit, giving Button the opportunity he needed to take the lead in amazing style, and maintain that position right through to the finish, and the rapturous applause of the crowd.
What a race!
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