So that’s 7 races and only the 7 different winners. You know, as you do. Quite unbelievably, that’s the stage we’re now at this season which is still continuing to be a total rollercoaster ride as Lewis Hamilton finally picked his first win up for the season. It’s easy to see why he got that win – the McLaren driver was assured, confident and the Lewis we all know as he produced an excellent drive to claim his win. Behind him though we were still treated to an intriguing race, a blend of a quiet opening that kind of dragged soon followed up by an exhilarating ending. I’m not sure if it was a classic like last year’s Grand Prix but it still was still an enjoyable watch.
- GP2 Infinity and Beyond! -You know, this weekend we saw three GP2 champions on the podium? It’s a strong sign to how good the feeder series is in bringing talent to the sport and quite frankly there’s no disputing the end result too. As stated, Hamilton’s drive was very impressive but I was even more impressed with the maturity and strategic excellent of Grosjean and Perez. How good are these guys proving to be this season? Grosjean’s second chance in the sport is really proving to be fruitful and after a few early season race woes he’s found himself with a few podiums and a growing reputation. The same can be said for Perez too, continuing to take that Sauber to new heights and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if we got an eight winner out of these guys. Well, if Maldonado can…
- Bring on the Sticky Chicken Wings - Poor Michael Schumacher. I’m starting to feel a little sorry for him now as he just has no luck this season. And after typing that sentence, I don’t feel sorry for him anymore. That’s how quickly my pity last I’m afraid! He had another race retirement to add to the collection following his DRS wing getting stuck open, which he stated was impossible before the season. Oops. On the topic of luck, Jenson Button’s luck continues to be lacking as he ended up in an ever so woeful 15th. No one can work out what’s happening with Jenson this year, in particular the man himself, but with Lewis winning it’ll only increase the level of confusion at his under performance. I’m assuming we’ll find out towards the end of the season he’s been driving a Honda for most of the season because it sure does feel that way. Poor Jenson.
- That’s What I’m Talking Aboot - It was a strange race really I thought. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t terrible either – there were doses of excitement and doses of boredom following by a brilliant last section to the race with the lead constantly changing and positions for the podium flying about too. This is what I enjoy about 2012 so much – the position aren’t guaranteed. I seem to see people complaining at too easy overtaking, or DRS being rubbish, or the tyres making it a lottery, or whatever nonsense is being said but it’s producing unpredictably brilliant races. You can’t please F1 fans and even in a race that was still great I felt like there was still a mood of negativity towards what was happening. I’m not sure why. If it was a really bad race then why not? It was another example of what makes 2012 such a fascinating adventure and I’m absolutely loving going into a race not knowing who could win or what shocks could occur.
- No Safety Dance For You - It was very odd to have a Canadian GP without a Safety Car, wasn’t it? I found that incredibly odd. It felt like something was a bit missing with that. But I suppose everyone kept it out the walls and did what they do. The first corner on lap 1 was completely uneventful and everyone got away fine. There were spins amongst the pack – Massa continues to poke at the potential of his old self then he seems to hide back into this frustratingly slow and spinny version of him - and a few little incidents along the way with Vettel brushing the wall and Karthikeyan… well, HRT just generally giving up but it was mostly about the racing which was nice. Again, unsure how it led to complaints in this aspect.
- It’s Not Exactly a Game of Chess - What I found interesting about the Canadian GP too was the fact that strategies seemed to roam all over the place and it was clear how strong some drivers were with their strategy compared to others. Alonso’s one stop strategy didn’t pay off whatsoever as he struggled horrifically towards the end of the race yet the likes of Grosjean and Perez were on the ball with their one stop strategies. I also liked the almost ‘retro’ feel to Vettel popping into the pits with a few laps to go as if it were a splash and dash for tyres – he got the time back as well eventually getting Alonso so it ultimately paid off in getting the most points possible. Di Resta completely fell off the cliff with his strategy after a really strong start too, ultimately finishing outside the points. It was a very clear example in my eyes as to how good of a strategy you need to succeed in 2012′s climate, as well as being able to manage that strategy well.
So how about an eighth winner in Valencia, people? I’m thinking Raikkonen if he picks up the pace, Grosjean if he carries on his run of form, who knows if Massa could shock the world? It’s brilliant fun though watching this season and even though Montreal wasn’t a classic it still provided an interesting race full of talking points. It just needed more Safety Cars damnit! Let’s just hope that Valencia produces a race worth watching, or that our 8th winner of the season is Pedro De la Rosa. You decide which is more likely.