F1: Canadian Grand Prix live blog

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSunday, June 8th, 2008

 
 

It’s hot, it might rain, the track surface is a time bomb waiting to go off, and the grid’s been shaken up a little – it could be an unpredictable afternoon at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as Lewis Hamilton attempts to win for the second straight year.

Can he follow up his Monaco victory with another win? Can Heikki Kovalainen reverse his recent run of bad luck? Will the Ferraris move forward and will Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg slip back? Stick with us as we cover the action, lap-by-lap.

As ever, the oldest updates are at the bottom of the post and the newest just below the line. Keep hitting refresh to make sure you’re looking at the latest news…

_________________________________

Postscript: We are so laughing in the McLaren Grand Prix league!

Press conference: some words from Kubica, but the scheduling means that we’re done and dusted and away before we hear from Nick or DC. Ah well.

Podium: So, the racing world gets to find out what the Polish national anthem sounds like. But we do also get that blasted German dirge that we got to hear so very often during the Schumacher years.

There’s none of the silliness that accompanied DC’s Monaco podium a few years ago – instead of a Superman cape he wears a face-splitting grin. Mario Theissen hasn’t got this winning thing figured out yet – he tries to leave the podium after the presentations, only to be dragged back by his drivers for the obligatory champagne drenching.

It transpires after the race how fine DC has cut things – he arrives at the podium on foot and at a fast jog after his car cruised to a halt in the pit lane.

– – – – –

Points:

  1. Robert Kubica, BMW: 10 points
  2. Nick Heidfeld, BMW: 8 points
  3. David Coulthard, Red Bull: 6 points
  4. Timo Glock, Toyota: 5 points
  5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 4 points
  6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 3 points
  7. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 2 points
  8. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1 point

Countback between Hamilton and Massa is incredibly complicated because they are extremely evenly matched. We reckon that Hamilton’s 13th place in Bahrain is the difference between them, and he is in second in the championship because of it. As far as we can see, they each have two wins, a second place, a third and a fifth. The difference is that Massa also has two retirements while Hamilton has one retirement and that 13th.

Drivers’ championship:

  1. Robert Kubica, BMW: 42 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 38 points
  3. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 38 points
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 35 points
  5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW: 28 points
  6. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 15 points
  7. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 15 points
  8. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 12 points

Constructors’ championship:

  1. Ferrari: 73 points
  2. BMW: 70 points
  3. McLaren: 53 points
  4. Red Bull: 21 points
  5. Toyota: 19 points
  6. Williams: 15 points
  7. Renault: 9 points
  8. Honda: 8 points
  9. Toro Rosso: 7 points

– – – – –

Lap 70: A year after an accident that Kubica was lucky to survive he wins his first GP. He wasn’t joking when he said he wasn’t affected, was he? Heidfeld shuts down speculation about his future with a second place. And DC IS ON THE PODIUM! “One very, very happy Scotsman,” according to the commentators. Let’s see what silly stunt Red Bull can come up with. Glock is fourth, Massa fifth, Trulli sixth, Barrichello, Vettel, Kovalainen, Rosberg, Button, Webber, Bourdais.

– – – – –

Lap 69: Dare we hope that the incredibly cautious David Coulthard, who is 8.9 seconds behind Heidfeld, is going to get on the podium? Kubica will be the first Pole to win a GP. With one lap left we see a spinning Red Bull – it’s Webber.

– – – – –

Lap 68: Vettel is irritating people by cutting chicanes. Massa has risked the marbles to overtake Trulli and made it stick thanks to an error from Glock at the front of all this. How to make yourself popular in the locker room. All this has implications for the drivers’ championship.

– – – – –

Lap 66: Fernando Alonso interviewed and (with heavy encouragement from Louise Goodman) blames the track for his misfortunes, managing to swear on air as he does so.

– – – – –

Lap 65: Kovalainen tries to take Vettel but can’t make it stick and has to take avoiding action to avoid a crash.

– – – – –

Lap 64: Barrichello is now under pressure from Vettel who’s hoping to boost his points tally. The track is now in a fairly nasty state – this is the old marbles problem catching anyone straying off the racing line, rather than the disintegrating track. However, we think nothing should be taken for granted in this race.

– – – – –

Lap 63: Trulli is the latest driver reporting brake trouble. If Coulthard gets a podium that’s six constructors’ points for Red Bull and a fourth place in the championship. On the team radio DC is being begged to look after his engine and brakes: “short-shift if you need to.”

– – – – –

Lap 62: Massa has taken Barrichello and is consequently moving up the points. Button has pitted. Order is Kubica, Heidfeld, DC, Glock, Trulli, Massa, Barrichello, Vettel, Kovalainen, Rosberg, Webber, Button, Bourdais.

– – – – –

Lap 61: Kovalainen up to ninth (doubtless peeved by being called a muppet) Rosberg tried to take Vettel, had to ease off to avoid hitting him, allowing the McLaren driver through.

– – – – –

Lap 60: Barrichello has run wide and let both Toyotas past, which might up the pressure on DC a bit – but not nearly so much as if he’d had Massa and Beaker the Muppet pressuring him. As James Allen points out, that won’t play well in the Honda boardroom.

– – – – –

Lap 59: Oh shit, there’s a problem with DC’s brakes. 11 laps to go and he’s being told to guard them. He currently has around 15 seconds on Barrichello and is in his own race, under no pressure.

– – – – –

Lap 58: James Allen reckons Kubica would lead the drivers’ championship if it ends like this – we think Massa might have done enough. DC pictured taking the hairpin like he’s driving on ice.

– – – – –

Lap 55: Thirteen men left standing. Order is Kubica, Heidfeld, DC (hurrah!), Barrichello, Glock, Trulli, Massa, Vettel, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Button, Webber, Bourdais.

– – – – –

Lap 54: Safety car is still parked up and the Force India’s been craned off which means Ferrari might have royally bollixed their race in a manner that they would never have done under Ross Brawn. (Fair play, McLaren did make the same call, but it’s hardly their afternoon either, is it?)

– – – – –

Lap 53: Massa catching DC at 1.5 secs per lap. Fisi’s crashed and the safety car’s expected which is very bad for Coulthard. Fisi appears to have lost the back and spun quite gently into the barrier but his car’s catching fire in the identical way to Sutil’s (remember that?) Every-one and their team-mates are going into the pits. Only the top three have stayed out – Kubica, Heidfeld and DC. Massa emerges in seventh.

– – – – –

Lap 51: Barrichello still holding up Kovalainen and Massa and protecting DC’s podium. Until, wow! Massa manages the overtake of the season and gets past both, driving straight round the inside of the hairpin. DC will have a battle royal on his hands now. Order is Kubica, Heidfeld, DC, Massa, Kovalainen, Barrichello, Button.

– – – – –

Lap 50: Heidfeld goes through, but Kubica has come out ahead fuelled to the finish. One-two for the Beemers plus DC for third would be a great result but will Kovalainen and Massa really let this happen? Alonso was reportedly radioing Renault to warn his brakes were going but was told to push on and try to win.

– – – – –

Lap 49: Kubica pits. Edge of seat stuff. 7.5 sec pitstop.

– – – – –

Lap 48: Order is Kubica, Heidfeld, Coulthard, Barrichello, Kovalainen, Massa, Button (so that’s what happened to him), Webber, Glock. Now Nakajima’s out which suggests to us the track is going. Kubica’s lead now up to 23 seconds. Nakajima has done something appalling in the pit lane and could obstruct future pit stops.

– – – – –

Lap 45: Alonso’s off the track! Not sure where, but it’s not called the Wall of Champions for nothing, is it? It appears he was a victim of the marbles. We are rooting very hard for a DC podium, as it’s an ill wind that blows no Brit any good.

– – – – –

Lap 44: Alonso has another shot on the hairpin and once again fails. Heidfeld is being told on the team radio that he is being slowed down by defending and should let the Spaniard by. Whut? Kubica’s current lead 16 secs – not enough by some 10 secs.

– – – – –

Lap 43: Bourdais’ pit stop has been messed up and we are treated to the edifying spectacle of him flipping off his pit crew. Kubica two seconds a lap faster now he’s free of Glock.

– – – – –

Lap 42: Glock finally pits, Kubica told to push but his main rival is his team-mate Heidfeld who is currently really rather busy fending off Alonso. Kubica’s lead is not currently enough to accomodate his pit stop and, if the race continues without incident (a big ask) Heidfeld, Alonso and either Kubica or (wait for it) Coulthard will get on the podium.

– – – – –

Lap 41: A shocked Hamilton is interviewed, claiming not to have seen the red light in time to act on it. The possibility is raised by Louise Goodman that McLaren weren’t feeding the correct information through on the team radio. While this is going on Alonso tries to take Heidfeld on the hairpin and can’t, nearly loses the car, and does very well to avoid spinning. Piquet’s brakes have disintegrated and he’s had to retire. Not, repeat not, driver error and there are fears that Alonso’s could go the same way.

– – – – –

Lap 40: Trulli pits, leaving Glock at the front. Stop that pigeon, stop that pigeon now… All kinds of jockeying for position at the back, caused largely by Nakajima, as you were at the front. Every second Kubica stays behind Glock compromises his race further.

– – – – –

Lap 39: Kubica, we learn, will have to stop again. Heidfeld won’t, which is good news for both him and for Lewis Hamilton.

– – – – –

Lap 37: And DC finally pits, leaving Trulli at the front. It’s veterans’ hour at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this afternoon. Currently the Toyotas are one-two, which is not a sight you’ll see too often. DC comes out ahead of Heidfeld but tyre temperature has cost him a couple of places. Another question we are asking ourselves: while the sun shines down on Rubens Barrichello, where the f*** is Jenson Button?

– – – – –

Lap 36: Barrichello pits to leave DC leading! Go DC, it’s been too long, and this is a nice contrast to Monaco. However, he’ll have to pit soon and spoil it all…

– – – – –

Lap 34: Massa has lost the car trying to overtake a Toro Rosso at the back – but recovers without mishap. We learn Kovalainen is fuelled to the end. DC currently second. Nakajima emerges 12th after a pit stop.

– – – – –

Lap 32: Trulli, Glock and Vettel fourth, fifth and sixth because they all are still to pit. Then Kubica and Heidfeld, Alonso and Kovalainen, all of whom have pitted.

– – – – –

Lap 31: Kubica has sorted this out empirically by overtaking Heidfeld fair and square – at least, we assume so, since Alonso was able to take a look too. Couldn’t make it stick, however. Confirmed that Heidfeld is fuelled to the end so Kubica’s overtake may yet be strategic. What we want to know is, shouldn’t Kovalainen in 10th be capitalising on this?

– – – – –

Lap 30: Heidfeld has pitted and has beaten Kubica, despite nearly losing the car on his way back into the race. He appears to have been fuelled very long and could therefore theoretically finish the race without pitting (tyre strategy notwithstanding). Kubica is behind him. What will BMW do now? In other news, Barrichello still leads from Nakajima and Coulthard because Webber has pitted. As everyone is saying, lovely to see Rubinho at the front.

– – – – –

Lap 28: Nelson A Piquet has lost the back of his car in turn 3. He spins and then reverses across the course in a highly risky manoeuvre that takes him across the path of Massa to get the car going again. He’s still in the race. Nick Heidfeld has defied his pit board to stay out and is running on the fumes of fumes but he has a 26-second lead and may be able to beat his team-mate as a consequence. No team orders at BMW!

– – – – –

Lap 26: Vettel is monstering Fisi, trying to get past him. Heidfeld now leads by 9.6 seconds from Barrichello. You do realise that Kubica, who we are told is not fighting for the driver’s championship could come out of this leading it? The only fly in that particular ointment is Fernando Alonso and we would counsel watching that young man very closely now.

– – – – –

Lap 24: 17 cars running – Heidfeld, Barrichello, Nakajima, Webber, DC, Trulli, Glock, Fisi, Vettel (none of these have pitted), Kubica, Alonso, Piquet, Kovalainen, Button, Bourdais, Rosberg, Massa. Whatever happens, it looks like we’ll be having a first-time winner this week. Heidfeld has built himself up a seven-second lead, Kubica hopelessly hamstrung by traffic at this point. And no-one needs the boost more than the German driver right now.

– – – – –

Lap 22: We’re racing again and we’ll have a driver rundown ASAP. Heidfeld, Barrichello, Nakajima are in the top three places with Webber and DC behind them. None of those have pitted. Massa, you might think, would be the beneficiary of all this but no – he’s had to pit twice in the middle of all that and is 17th. We speculate that he had to go through the pit lane the first time because the garage was dealing with Kimi. A reasonably friendly exchange between Hamilton and Raikkonen following the incident shows no rancour – but Hamilton looks like a dog that’s been caught peeing on the leg of an antique piece of furniture.

– – – – –

Lap 21: The accident looks to be squarely Hamilton’s fault for shunting Kimi while he and Kubica waited for the pit lane indicator to turn green. Kubica has got away from this untouched so he’s now leading the race after pit-stops are taken into account (actual leader is Nick Heidfeld). Like father like son, anyone? McLaren reportedly stunned and unsure WTF has happened.

– – – – –

Lap 20: Hamilton back out and is thought to have fuelled heavily. Then whoa! Hamilton hits Raikkonen in the pit lane. Race-ending carnage. Hamilton looks to be out, Raikkonen has moved off the line to let others past, so he must be out too. Rosberg is running but with no nose-cone. Did we say dull? Silly us.

– – – – –

Lap 19: Sutil’s car remains untouched and team radio confirms Button will get a penalty for coming in while the pit lane was closed. Having said that, the pit lane is now open, and speculation that Hamilton and Kubica are running on fumes while Raikkonen in his very fast car is thought to have a bit more fuel. A camera shows an internal shot of the safety car driver and his mate trolling round. Whoops! The first five drivers pit and things are suddenly very lively.

– – – – –

Lap 18: Just when you thought it was safe to preserve your fuel strategy… the safety car comes out! This could be a killer for Hamilton whose 6.8 second lead has been wiped out. Ferrari reportedly are prepared for one of their drivers to come in. Button pits for Honda and could face a penalty as a result.

– – – – –

Lap 17: We’d vote this the dullest race of the season so far if we didn’t fear the consequences of so doing. Just accept a nod and a wink in that direction for now.

– – – – –

Lap 16: Looks like we’ll get away with no safety car as Sutil has parked up his car rather neatly. Hamilton seven seconds clear of Kubica.

– – – – –

Lap 15: And the wall claims its first victim – Adrian Sutil (actually, the possibility is that it’s mechanical failure but that sounded good). Will we see the safety car? Raikkonen’s car is absolutely bedded down, he’s flying, and he’s harassing Kubica severely for second place. Sutil’s car now definitively on fire.

– – – – –

Lap 14: Kovalainen 22 secs behind Hamilton, leading to speculation that he’s on a different strategy to his team-mate. DC in 12th being warned that Piquet is behind him, and lighter. Up in front are Webber, Nakajima and the Barrichello caravan.

– – – – –

Lap 13: McLaren’s biggest fear is not seeing Lewis in the wall, but stymied by the safety car, apparently. So it’s likely his pit stop will be earlier rather than later to avoid him getting stuck and either running out of fuel or facing a penalty, as happened to Heidfeld recently. Piquet tries to take Trulli, gets whacked by the Toyota driver in retaliation, and both manage to keep their cars on track with Piquet getting the place. Somehow they have both managed to stay ahead of Glock. Raikkonen putting in the fastest first sector.

– – – – –

Lap 11: At the back, Piquet has taken Glock and is now eyeing Trulli. Meanwhile Jenson Button appears to be in the process of getting dropped by Sebastian Vettel.

– – – – –

Lap 9: Brundle making dire predictions about Hamilton’s hairs-breadth proximity to the Wall of Champions – let’s hope he’s not pushing things too far and demonstrating a lack of respect for that very tight corner.

– – – – –

Lap 8: With all the predictions about rain and crumbling tracks, you wouldn’t expect a dull, processional race, but that’s what we have right now. Don’t get us wrong – we don’t want to watch horrible smashes. But the drivers are definitely taking it very cautiously right now. Hamilton’s lead 3.6 seconds, Massa in sixth has clearly been delayed by Alonso in front of him and is keen to take a look at the Spaniard.

– – – – –

Lap 5: Some evidence that the epoxy resin used to repair the track is already lifting. A small convoy forming behind that heavily-fuelled Barrichello in the manner of impatient motorists behind a caravanner on a single-carriageway country road. Heidfeld takes a look and makes a move but Nakajima is still stuck.

– – – – –

Lap 3: Speculation that Heidfeld is being held up behind a fuel-heavy Honda in a way that will seriously impede his race.

– – – – –

Lap 2: Kovalainen takes Barrichello for seventh, Webber down to 11th after Nakajima passes him on the first lap. DC 12th. A replay of the start shows Kubica lucky to avoid shunting Hamilton and Alonso going very wide to lose a place to Heidfeld.

– – – – –

Lap 1: An extremely tentative start with Hamilton and Kubica holding their places, then Raikkonen. Rosberg’s got himself into fourth, Alonso manages to stay ahead of Massa. Barrichello has picked up two places for seventh, then Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Nakajima. Everyone makes it round the hairpin on lap one.

– – – – –

Parade lap: We hear that Hamilton is on the soft tyre option while most of his immediate competitors aren’t. Some talk of it starting to spit with rain but nothing very definite. Vettel and Button, you will recall, are starting from the pit lane after their adventures during qualifying. The formation lap is uncharacteristically slow and cautious and an official announcement tells us no rain is expected during the race. Good, because we already have a nasty feeling about this, and a wet track would just be one thing too many.

– – – – –

Grid: Ron Dennis appears to be haranguing Bernie on the grid about the state of the track. Bernie’s response, if his conversation with Brundle is anything to go by: “La la la… am I bovvered? Do I look bovvered?”

During his grid walk Brundle says: “Two weeks ago we had a wet track in Monaco; today we have a disposable one.” He says the safety car may have to come out if the track needs sweeping or cleaning. Drivers have been told not to use the apexes on corners two, seven and 10 during the parade lap. Alonso is not on the grid at this late stage.

Brundle is very nearly out for a duck on his grid walk today and can’t get the information he’s desperate for – a first-hand account of what the track is like. Eventually Massa takes pity and says instinct is the only thing he’ll be able to rely on. Brundle finds Bernie and says: “There are some pikeys putting some tarmac down on turn 10 – do you think they’ll be gone by the time the race starts?” That’s our BBC Sport quote of the week entry sorted. Brundle suggests that things will be difficult. Bernie asks: “For who?” Brundle: “Er… the drivers.” Bernie’s constructive response: “It’s the same for everyone.” But he does say he’s backing Hamilton to win.

– – – – –

Pre-race: Lewis Hamilton interviewed after qualifying: “I’m still living the dream for everyone out there.” Nice lad, needs a new scriptwriter. Then Steve Rider addresses the subject we’re all keenest to know about: dad Anthony’s recent off-road adventures in a Porsche Carrera GT that was most emphatically not designed to go off-road. Lewis says: “I’ve just been laughing, it’s bad of me, I know. I asked him: ‘Dad, how do you crash a car at 30mph?'” ITV1: unafraid to tackle the hard questions.

Please, we beg you Nick Heidfeld, have a shave! What on earth are the aerodynamic implications of that beard? No wonder you’re having trouble scoring points. Actually, we can exclusively inform you that Kubica has a secret weapon – a specially-devised speed-inducing nosecone ;- ))

Bernie is interviewed but we don’t feel we came away any more enlightened than we were beforehand.

Shots on ITV1 of epoxy resin being sprayed on the track to try to stabilise it. Jarno Trulli interviewed on the subject – laconic but extremely sceptical would be the best way to characterise his response. Mark Blundell is saying that the track has already taken a battering today during the support races and there’s no clear indication how it’s going to hold up.

Mark Blundell, talking about Hamilton: “I think psychologically he’s already beaten them.” Oops. Was that a wise thing to say?

Comments are closed.

 
  • McLaren eshop

    McLaren store

  • F1 gear (and more) at OnPole.com

    2012 F1 Merchandise from OnPole.com