June 11, 2018

F1 Update!: Canada 2018

A warm, partly cloudy day greeted the F1 Circus as they pulled up to the starting grid on the Ile Notre-Dame's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  Ferrari's Seb Vettel was on pole, but the Merc of Valterri Bottas and the surprisingly quick Red Bull of DH Verstappen were clearly about to go hard at him from the start, hoping to steal a march on the red car.  So what happened and how did it happen?  THIS is your F1Update! for the 2018 Grand Prix of Canada!

*THE START WAS INTERESTING: When the red lights extinguished Vettel got away clean, but Bottas had Verstappen all over him for the first few turns.  It took the oomph of the Merc power unit to get the Finn clear, but the Red Bull stuck all over his diffuser.  Until the safety car was called out a few seconds later when Pleasant Stroll got a touch squirrelly and bumped into the Toro Rosso of Brendan Hartley.  

Just for the record, this is not an angle you want to be seeing from this camera.  Unsurprisingly, both cars were out of the race and Berndt Maylander was roused from his ancient slumber to take the safety car for a spin.  He was out for four laps before he was sent back to whence he came.  Seb Vettel handled the restart pretty much flawlessly and the race continued on.

*THE MIDDLE NOT SO MUCH:  Tires.  Everybody was protecting their tires and hoping for another safety car because it's just too damn hard to pass in F1 right now.  You need a massive speed advantage, more than just the DRS, to make a pass and have it work.  So in lieu of that, everybody protects their tires, trying to stretch them as far as possible and hope for a break somewhere.  The drivers hate it, of course, and so do the fans.  This went on for lap after lap after lap, until the race was almost done.

*THE END WAS... INTERESTING: The laps counted down, and Seb Vettel was never challenged.  On Lap 69, he came through the final chicane and onto the pit straight to take the checkered flag.  Which is fine and good, but for one thing: the race is 70 laps long.  As a result of this gaffe, per regulations the standings devolve back two laps, so the 2018 Grand Prix of Canada was actually 68 laps long officially.  Oy.  Vettel led the entire race, and it never looked like he was ever concerned.

*WHAT NEXT?:  What's next is the 2018 24 Hours of LeMans, featuring Fernando Alonso driving for the LMP1 favorite, Toyota.  Gunning for the triple crown (LeMans, Indy 500, Monaco) no doubt.  For the first time ever in the US, the entire race will be shown on ONE channel, Velocity.  Look for it on your satellite feed!  It starts at 9am Central on Saturday.

*NO REALLY... WHAT'S NEXT?:  Still France.  F1 returns to France for the first time since Mangy-Curs went away, heading off to Paul Ricard Circuit.  While it's been a long time, F1 has raced there before and it's often been a testing location as well.  Should be fun, I guess!  See ya then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:57 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 France is also the start of this season's tripleheader...

What do you think about the Red Bull next-year's-engine situation? I'm beginning to suspect they've already decided to go with Honda and are just deliberately jerking Renault around.

Posted by: Mrs. Will (Kathryn) at June 12, 2018 06:31 AM (JPRju)

2 My guess, and it's only a guess, is that they'll move to Honda.  There's just too much bad blood between Red Bull and Renault, no matter how friendly they're being right now.
...and if you're smart, you'll put a huge bet on RB staying with Renault right now.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 12, 2018 06:47 AM (bwFiK)

3 That's a helluva freeze-frame. At that precise moment, Mr. Hartley is thinking, "Welp. That's that then."

Posted by: GreyDuck at June 12, 2018 07:38 AM (rKFiU)

4 At that stage, it's at least possible he's still rethinking his life's choices and finding religion quickly, but yes, I'd say he was concurrently aware that at least his race was over.

WD, I'm not sure what happened at the end there from your description.  Did the officials wave the checkered flag one lap early?

Posted by: Thomas at June 12, 2018 12:19 PM (mSIXR)

5 Saw a rumor in motorsport.com comments that it is decided, in favor of Honda, and Red Bull will announce at the Austrian GP. Developing...

Thomas, the celebrity flag waver was told by someone (apparently not race control; it sounds like local officials are delegated to this task) to wave the flag a lap early. So, it's a good thing after all that Max did not pass Bottas at the end (he finished a tenth behind him over 70 laps. I think he was half a second behind on lap 68? Something like that), because his second place would have been stripped, which would be brutal. (As it was, Daniel lost fastest lap to Max, because Daniel set it on lap 69. He was annoyed.)

Posted by: Mrs. Will (Kathryn) at June 12, 2018 02:08 PM (JMPmu)

6 Thank you Mrs. Will, much appreciated.

Posted by: Thomas at June 13, 2018 03:06 PM (mSIXR)

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