Grand Prix 2012 Canadian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Going into the 7th race of the season we are now hitting new territory as far as different race winners are concerned as for the first time in history 6 different drivers have won the first 6 races with 5 different constructors as Red Bull are the only team to have had more than one driver win a race with victories in Bahrain and Monaco, the way things are going there could easily be 10 winners from 10 races with people like Hamilton, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Schumacher yet to win this season, and with Canada pretty much being Hamilton's best track, it could easily be 7 winners from 7 even though McLaren have been floundering in recent weeks.

Despite this downturn in form, Lewis Hamilton lies just 13 points off Fernando Alonso who no-one would have predicted to have been leading the championship after 6 races going into the opening race where Ferrari had a car which struggled to even get near the top 10 let alone fight for wins and podiums, but improvements with the car allied with supreme driving and consistency from Alonso has seen him top the table from Vettel who's clever strategy in Monaco nearly get him onto the podium despite starting from 10th on the grid.

While Ferrari have made the biggest improvements (even Massa has been better, even though one race a season does not make) it seems McLaren have surprisingly made the biggest backwards step. In Melbourne they had the quickest car and they romped to a comfortable 1-2 and many wondered if they were going to have a Red Bull type domination season, but Button hasn't won since that race and Hamilton hasn't won at all even though he has 3 pole positions so far (2 if you discount the one in Spain) but while Hamilton has made the best of a bad job on the Sunday it has gone even worse for Button who is struggling to even make the points and his performances are a shadow of his 2011 form. Hamilton has improved considerably but surely the pit stop problems and other issues will be getting to him if it costs him a shot at the title, it'll be 5 years since he won the title if the 2012 title slips away and with contracts soon to be under negotiation it could play a part in what he decides to do.

If the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix is even half as good as the 2011 race we are in for a treat, I dont think there will be a race like the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix ever again and ranks up there as one of the best I have ever watched and the 4 hour marathon was certainly worth the 2 hour rain delay in the middle. But even in the dry Canada serves up great racing with recent years being a testament to that and with the unpredictable nature of 2012 so far this seasons race will not be an exception and while overtakes in Monaco were only just in the teens, there could be nearly 10 times that in Montreal. Some say that this seasons unpredictability can be a bad thing, but really, it's so much better than the Schumacher years of the early 2000s and even better than 2011 as while there was very exciting racing in 2011, for a lot of races so far this year that action has been extended to the very front as well which is where the casual viewer could determine the entertainment value of a certain race.

For Galahad 's superb circuit write up -
I'm looking forward to this one. It has been difficult to pick out many performance patterns from the races so far. I keep reading that McLaren's strength is in the fast corners, while the Ferrari struggles with traction; well, certainly no sign of the latter on Sunday in Monaco, was there? If temperatures are cool, as seems likely, then Williams, Sauber and Ferrari may benefit, based on the unexpectedly cool Catalunya race. On the other hand, Mercedes' so-called Double DRS may be particularly beneficial in qualifying - though Rosberg and Schumacher may struggle to keep faster cars at bay in the race. Meanwhile, Grosjean and Senna hit the wall at the chicane?

Or you could just throw your predictions in the bin, sit back and enjoy it!
Was Canada the first double DRS last year? If so, will it be the same this year?
As has been mentioned 6 winners from 6 races and surprisingly Lewis hasn't been one of them will he win this time? I believe he has been the predicted winner for every race this season.

At the moment I'm not concerned about who the next winner will be my question is who will be the first double winner this year? Who will break from the pack and stamp his authority on the season? At the moment it feels like a long distance run where nobody wants to be the pace setter.

At the rate it is going a driver could win the WDC without actually winning a race Mike Hawthorn won the championship with only winning 1 race in 1958 (Ferrari.), And Keke Rosberg did the same thing in 1982 (Williams) will this season go one better or worse depending on your point of view...
Galahad, actually it looked to me as though the Ferrari's reported weakness in traction coming out of slow corners was still in evidence at Monaco. Alonso still appeared to lose ground on the car in front coming out of Anthony Nogues and at Le Portier, as well as In Barcelona in the corner immediately before the long straight. Maybe they're compensating elsewhere or maybe it was masked by the train of cars appearing everywhere but in any case, predictions are a bit impossible to get right these days aren't they?

I think it was Ross Brawn a couple of weeks ago who said he expected teams to finally start understanding the tyres a bit better and get to grip with them. I think he said he expected the order to start settling a bit after Silverstone, when things would get a bit more "normal".
Always a great race at Canada... three races ago I would have been marking a dry Canada GP down as a McLaren 65% chance of a win... Lewis 75%, Jenson 25%... but I think the Mercedes will be more than capable of eating their lunch in the dry... it will be a fascinating race... might even get to see some tell tale thin streams of blue smoke trailing a left or right bank of cylinders...

I will also be watching out for Maldonado's performance in the Williams... see if they have consolidated some of their recent gains... the Toro Rosso's like straight line performance... this might be a track when they get themselves into the midfield mix... and the Lotus at Bahrain ran a low downforce set up and handled the field pretty damn well...

Oh.....CANADA.... hurry up and get here...
I reckon a lotus win at Canada and that Romain runs into Michael again how many times is it now I know he did it in Malaysia and Monaco, this could turn into a Massa / Hamilton farce.
Mentor that the Canadian Grand Prix this year starts at 19:00 our time, instead of 17:00 last year. This is because Bernie wanted to avoid Italy vs Spain in the Euros, which is scheduled to finish ten minutes before the race start. BBC highlights are a 22:30; so theoretically the highlights could be on while the race is still happening!
The only reason I want Canada to get here quickly is so that I can get that god awful Monaco race out of my mind, If I never have to suffer a race like that again it will be too soon....
Can't see past Schumacher for this one, his best race last year, and historically a good result for him. Coupled with his confidence from Monaco he is worth a punt so long as his car doesn't break again.
Wouldn't it be fantastic to see Schumi on the top step again? And with all his crap luck lately he really deserves it...

I would love to see if he still has a victory jump in him...
Canada is exciting because its never dull whether its wet or dry and there is always a safety car although 2010 race was famous for when the Bridgestone tyres simply did not work and threw the race wide open
Incubus Traction was still an issue at Monaco, Ferrari said as much, but they have further upgrades for Canada which they hope will improve traction and their single lap time for qualifying.
I reckon a lotus win at Canada and that Romain runs into Michael again how many times is it now I know he did it in Malaysia and Monaco, this could turn into a Massa / Hamilton farce.
I doubt it, people aren't quite so fanatic about one of the drivers, apart from a distinct dislike of Schumacher from some quarters. ;)

I would like to see Schumacher on the top step for this one, but also hope Button sorts his tyre issues out.
I'm tipping Grosjean for this one. He has the measure of Kimi all weekend at Monaco and I think the Lotus will be in good shape. As long as the boy avoids a first lap incident then he always seems to get his head down and do well and would love to see another new winner stir up the mix. Kimi will come back and win at Spa of course. Oh and Schumie will take Silverstone because he is so adorded by the British Fans. ;)

Back to Canada - Sauber have historically always got good results here so I'm tipping Kobi for his first podium! I would say Perez but I think the wall of champions is going to have him as a quick snack.

The Wall Of Champions Meal for the Weekend:

Starter: Steaming Pastor Maldonado with a side of slow cooked Bruno Senna

Main Course: Sebastian Vettel drenched in a Mark Webber sauce with a huge portion of Lewis Hamilton

Desert: A lightly whipped Sergio Perez with a serving of ice cold Vitaly Petrov
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