Well, four tips, four bad calls, and all but one such that no laying was possible. Not a great weekend. On the other hand, Vettel was tipped to win at 5.7, fell to 4 immediately pre-race due to Webber’s five place grid penalty promoting Vettel to 2nd from 3rd, and layable in-race at 1.8 or even lower. So, if you’re the laying sort it was easy to finish all green for the race, though the fact remains that my Delphic powers were rather on a par with Stevie Wonder’s skills on a shooting range.
The 2.8 tip for McLaren to win the Constructors’ looks mildly better, but that’s a long way off.
The race itself was dramatic, exciting, unexpectedly devoid of safety cars and a fascinating spectacle. Best race this season? Possibly.
One thing made the race brilliant, and that was the tyre. Both soft and hard degraded rapidly, soft especially, but improved later in the race. Red Bull (and Kubica) opted, for the first time this season, to go for hard tyres in qualifying. Most people, including me, reckoned that this would be a big advantage without a safety car (one was expected but it never appeared). Despite that, the soft-starters had the advantage, and took all three podium spots.
There were plenty of crashes, a Liuzzi-Massa feud [glad to see Liuzzi’s best ever qualifying followed up with some points] and Schumacher driving like an absolute cock. It was also interesting to see, as Button pointed out post-race, that different cars were fastest at different times. A notable example is Alonso, who was first, I think, at one point but got passed by both McLarens as his tyres gave way.
Red Bull once again got hit by reliability. Webber got demoted before the race began, but did well to claim 5th. Vettel’s car suffered some sort of in-race issue, and he got 4th.
I’m glad F1’s back in Canada. Some tracks have great facilities for swanky spectators, but rubbish circuits (yes, Bahrain, I’m talking to you). This track produced a fantastic race, as Turkey did last time (incidentally, the Turkish GP may be under threat, and it’d be a real shame if it went).
So, let’s have a look at the Constructors’. Prior to Canada McLaren led Red Bull 172 to 171. Afterwards, it looks like this:
Red Bull 193
That gap isn’t all that big, as 25 points now goes to the winner. However, the next circuit, Valencia, should also suit the McLaren, so it may well be stretched. Interesting how Ferrari aren’t miles behind either, despite not being in the hunt, really, since Bahrain. Presently McLaren are 1.96 for the title, with Red Bull 2.16. I think McLaren’s strength in development will see them win this. Red Bull had a huge performance advantage early on, but their shoddy reliability has cost them enormously, most especially Vettel.
Now, the Drivers’. Here’s how things stand:
Staggering to see Vettel, who should’ve won all three of the first races (which would’ve netted him 75 points) behind Alonso. The top three are too close to separate. Three points equates to the difference between two high-ranking places (except 1st, which gives 7 points more than 2nd).
Hamilton’s 3, Vettel 4.8, Webber 5.6, Button 7.4. Of those, Button is best value, and I suspect both Red Bulls will see their odds lengthen after Valencia. I’m a bit exposed on Hamilton and Vettel, though the latter doesn’t concern me presently. I still don’t see why, with a three point difference, Button is more than 6/1 and Hamilton’s 2/1. My early season tip for Massa looks quite comical, but the Webber and Button tips (at something like 9 each, I think) were sounder.
Odd weekend. I got all my tips wrong, but finished ahead due to laying.
Well. After getting everything right at Turkey, this was a much less successful race. Let’s hope Valencia sees a better return.