As is so often the case, Montreal served up a thrilling race. The Alonso tip did not come off, but it did get matched at evens, so no real harm done in the race, but overall the weekend was a bit disappointing.
The start was clean (or dull, as you like) with everyone staying as they were. However, the top three were soon a good distance ahead of the rest and there were big enough gaps to stop DRS being used early on. Massa was going well but spun and ended up around 12th.
Then Vettel started to struggle with his tyres and Hamilton put his foot down, catching and passing him. After the first pit stops (Vettel then Hamilton then Alonso) Alonso emerged in the lead, followed by Hamilton and then Vettel. Hamilton passed Alonso and then started to pull away.
Further down the field everyone was pitting except the Lotuses (Raikkonen was fourth) and Perez, in fifth.
Perez held on all the way to lap 42, and managed the one-stop perfectly.
Hamilton pitted a second time and Alonso and Vettel gambled on a one-stopper. Hamilton was a second a lap faster than his rivals and easily caught and passed them. Vettel pitted very late on and Alonso stayed out.
This proved a bungle by Ferrari as his tyres fell to pieces and he was passed by Grosjean, Perez and Vettel, ending up a lowly 5th. If he'd pitted a lap after Hamilton he would've gotten first or second, but it's easy to be wise in hindsight.
Hamilton drove the perfect race. He was aggressive and fast but never destroyed his tyres. He absolutely deserved the victory and became the seventh winner in seven races.
A word for the slightly neglected Grosjean and Perez (understandable given how exciting and tight the battle for the win was). They both managed to pull off a one-stopper because they made the first stint last for ages. Alonso and Vettel tried to have the best of both worlds but pitted too early and ended up off the podium which should've been theirs easily. Although McLaren's pit stops were a little slow their strategy was spot on and Hamilton drove very well indeed.
Button finished a rather paltry 16th, having suffered with a bad set of tyres and being unable to make any real headway. What's happened? The car clearly has the pace but Button's lost his.
Massa got tenth, which is disappointing given his pace, and Kobayashi's ninth made it a double points result for Sauber.
Schumacher's run of abysmal luck continued. His DRS was jammed opened, he managed to reach the pits but it couldn't be rectified and he had his fourth retirement of the season (the others being due to a gearbox failure, a wheel not being attached at a pit stop and attempting to occupy the same co-ordinates in space and time as Bruno Senna's Williams).
Obviously I'm disappointed with the overall betting result, but at least one of the hedges got matched. I'd initially thought to hedge all at evens instead of splitting with 2 and 1.5, but that was (another) misjudgement. If I had done that then the result would've been evens for the weekend instead of down, but there we are.
The race was thrilling, and, as well as enduring Legard on the BBC's radio commentary, I watched http://www.newsonf1.com/continuous_f1_coverage.asp, which often posted info faster than the radio reported it.
I think the Alonso bet was a valid one, although it didn't come off it did get matched for a hedge. It's a shame as it ends a run of three positive results, but all good things come to an end.
For the title race, I'm pretty happy now to be green for Hamilton and Alonso. The result means that there is sod all difference, really, between the top three, who many also regard as the chaps likely to be competing for titles for the next five years or so.
I decided to back Vettel at 4.4, on the basis that that would make me green on the top three drivers. Not hugely so, as I've been betting with smaller stakes, but still. Alonso's odds are the same but Hamilton's around 2.6, which is too low for one man in very much a three horse race.
However, if Button can't get himself in shape then Hamilton will effectively become the team leader by default, giving him the same advantage Alonso has.
On pace in the race, I'd say the Ferrari was either equal to or a hair's breadth faster than the McLaren with the Red Bull in third. In qualifying, the Red Bull was miles faster but the McLaren and Ferrari were (again) practically identical.
Every race and qualifying session this season has been difficult to predict but if that trend continues then it might help make things a bit easier to foresee.
Hedging is a little better than not hedging, but either way the season's close to being flat so far. Unfortunately the next race is at arguably the worst circuit on the calendar, in Valencia, which happens in a fortnight.