Auto Manifesto

June 8, 2008

F1: Canadian Grand Prix

Qualifying

The rule that does not allow teams to have spare cars needs to be changed. As Steve Matchett on Speed TV says, it doesn't save the teams any money and just prevents teams from going on track if there is trouble with a driver's primary car.

Jarno Trulli spun a whole bunch of times. The track is falling apart but.... he's spinning more than everyone else.

The pole lap was really amazing at the very last minute. Lewis Hamilton was really on it. Hamilton's driving reminds me of Michael Schumacher's driving circa 1994. He can pull off a fast lap when it counts, though he still stuffs it off the road more often.

Just thumbing through the April 1991 issue of Automobile Magazine (I have an extensive collection). There was a list of the F1 teams competing in 1990. There were 19! Only six of those teams are still with us in one form or another (Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Benetton, Minardi, Tyrrell). Now there are only 10 teams total. Sure the sport's grown tremendously, but there needs to be more teams and cars on the grid.

Race

Wow. This race is nuts, and still going on. Felipe Massa has just made an awesome pass at the hairpin where we went by both a Honda and the McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen.

Anyway, the start was good and clean. The track has been falling apart this weekend, but so far so good. Nelson Piquet still making mistakes but looking a little more competitive. Don't know what happened to Alonso. Maybe he made a mistake, maybe his gearbox broke while chasing Nick Heidfeld.

Bonehead move of the race goes to Lewis Hamilton who took himself and Kimi Raikkonen out when he rearended him at the end of the pitlane. Lewis is fast (really fast) but he still makes a lot of mistakes. This one is being investigated by the race officials. He deserves a penalty for this.

But also, the rule should be changed or the FIA should come up with a better alternative than stopping race cars at the end of the pitlane during the safety car period.

Next, it seems to me Nick Heidfeld might have let Robert Kubica by at turn 1 because he had already made all his pitstops and Kubica needed to make another stop (thus was faster because of his lighter fuel load). If I were making the call, I'd have used team orders to let Kubica by.

Heikki Kovalanen not doing so well. He's been about as low key lately as Nick Heidfeld, and that is the last thing he needs considering his team mate Hamilton is leading the championship.

Hard to believe Massa didn't get his full fuel load during his first stop and had to make a second one. Sheesh. And then Kazuki Nakajima had awful bump into the pitwall when his broken front wing went under a front wheel and he lost steering.

Well, between Hamilton and Raikkonen the two of them look to be making this championship a matter of who survives their mistakes the best. Maybe Kubica will take his first win, take the points lead and not look back. BMW is definitely coming on strong. Maybe not the pace just yet, but the total package seems to have the potential to do so.

In the closing laps Kovalainen's right front wing looked a little flimsy through one of the chicanes. Kubica wins his first race and BMW's first as a constructor. And Heidfeld was second with David Coulthard 3rd! Never thought he'd ever get there again. This was a great race!

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