Formula 1 News

On-Song or Gone Wrong? – Canadian GP Review

A brief review of the highs and lows amongst the lower field positions after the Canadian Grand Prix.
Monday, June 11, 2012

Born in Adelaide during its 11 year long era of hosting Formula One, Jacob Polychronis has admired the sport his whole life. Along with his brother Gabriel, they share their educated opinion via articles and their podcast, F1 News & Views Podcast.

June 11th, 2012 (F1plus / Jacob Polychronis).- On-Song or Gone Wrong? Is a segment that is run on each review edition of F1 News & Views. It is designed to shed light on some performances which may have not received much attention during the live broadcast.

Pastor Maldonado – On-song: Pastor Maldonado will consider his Canadian Grand Prix to have been an unlucky one, however, he can certainly take positives out of the weekend. During qualifying 2, Maldonado seemed to be relatively swift in his FW34 and destined for an appearance in Q3. On a lap which would have set Maldonado comfortably inside the top ten, he excessively applied the throttle exiting the final turn and subsequently lost the rear into the Wall of Champions. Undeservedly, this saw Maldonado qualify a lowly 17th.
In turn, Maldonado’s gearbox was damaged in the incident which forced the Williams mechanics to replace it, thus incurring a 5 spot grid penalty. From narrowly forgoing a top 10 grid position, to starting in P22 was a harsh reality for Maldonado. Nonetheless, he drove expertly during the race to haul his car up 9 positions, finishing in 13th. Had luck been on his side, Maldonado would have been set for a comfortable points finish.

Michael Schumacher’s luck – Gone wrong: While Michael Schumacher’s luck this season has been notoriously poor, on the weekend it managed to take yet another disastrous downturn. Schumacher’s RFA (DRS) comically jammed in the open position which resulted in a dramatic loss in down force, as proved by his excursion at turn 8. Not only was this a problem, however running with the rear wing open is obviously illegal if not within the confines of the DRS zone. Mercedes GP mechanics tried desperately to remedy the situation in pit lane with brute force although this proved to be a loss cause. This resulted in Schumacher’s 5th retirement for the season. Some might say that fate is telling him to retire.

Felipe Massa – On-song: Felipe Massa’s inclusion in the ‘on-song’ category may be seen as controversial considering his early mishap at turn 2. Nonetheless, his recovery has deemed him worthy of the title for this week. Up until Massa’s driver error in the early stages of the race, he was looking particularly quick. The fact that he managed to continue on with the job and bring the car home within the points is a commendable effort. Massa is a man on the charge. Admittedly, he is not on the charge to bring home silverware, however, he is on a far more personal charge to save his career. The F2012 is improving by each race and Massa’s form is receiving a tow from it.

HRT – Gone-wrong: Obviously, expectations at HRT are not sky high, high finishes are just not within the team’s reach. This is why it is crucial for HRT to simply finish as many races as possible. In an industry where sponsorship is everything, cars must run at a maximum amount of time as possible, preferably finishing every race in order for sponsors to receive more air time. HRT are without major sponsor, so this is why the rule especially applies to them. Having both drivers receive the same mechanical failure (brakes) suggests a serious flaw within their set-up for the race. The sight of seeing a car’s brakes on fire is extremely rare these days, however Pedro de la Rosa’s F112 honoured us the privilege of witnessing it during the race.


The "hairpin" at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during the Canadian GP (Charles Coates/LAT)

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