The three fastest laps for the Canadian Grand Prix make fascinating
reading: Kimi Raikkonen 1m 15.841s; Fernando Alonso 1m 15.911s; Michael
Schumacher 1m 15.993s. Then add in the respective laps: 22, 22, and 68. And the
pit-stop strategies: stops on laps 25 and 53; laps 23 and 50; and 32 and 57.
加拿大大奖赛三个最快的圈速：基米-雷克南 1分15秒841、费尔南多-阿隆索 1分15秒911、迈克尔-舒马赫
What does that all mean? Well, for a start, that McLaren were very
competitive in Canada. Raikkonen was able to fight every inch with Alonso in the
first stint, and had two laps’ worth more fuel. In the past when he’s run the
Renault close this year, it’s been the other way around.
It was thus bitterly disappointing for the Silver Arrows that a clutch
problem hurt both of Raikkonen’s pit stops - in the first it made it difficult
for the mechanics to change the rear wheels as they were still trying to rotate;
in the second it stalled the engine. Without that, Raikkonen should have been
able to give Alonso a run for his money on Sunday afternoon. Instead, Jacques
Villeneuve’s accident on lap 59 set up the play that saw Michael Schumacher
snatch second place from the Finn on the penultimate lap.
McLaren’s loss was thus Ferrari’s gain, and if we are honest about it
Ferrari were way off second place until Villeneuve crashed. On the 59th lap
Alonso had a lead of 20.9s over Raikkonen, and Schumacher was a further 18.2s
What this tells us is that Ferrari paid a heavy price in qualifying, when
Schumacher and Felipe Massa struggled for grip on the first lap on new tyres and
were also, of course, running a higher fuel load (Massa actually went through on
one stop, on the 36th lap). That meant the red car was slow in the early stages,
when Schumacher lost a lot of ground behind Jarno Trulli’s Toyota. The fact that
its race pace was good enough to challenge Renault and McLaren became an
academic factor - until the second safety car came out.
While McLaren and Ferrari thus had good news and bad, so did Renault.
Alonso, of course, did all that was required of him in winning his sixth
race of the season and his fourth on the trot. Clearly, the R26 on its Michelins
was a very strong package, and at last Renault were able to lay their Montreal
ghost to rest. The fly in their ointment was the jump start that Giancarlo
Fisichella was adjudged to have made. The Italian tried to make amends, by
lifting off, and indeed lagged sufficiently off the start line to let Raikkonen
jump into second place. But then he got his drive-through penalty and, though
that only dropped him from third place to fifth on the seventh lap, it was
enough to compromise his race. He eventually brought is car home fourth for five
points, where Renault could use him finishing second to Alonso to take points
away from Schumacher. The Italian’s fastest lap was also a second off his team
Nevertheless, in the constructors’ championship stakes, Renault continue to
look strong, with 121 points to Ferrari’s 87 and McLaren’s 65.
Fourth place is still clearly up for grabs. Honda had yet another
disappointing day. Rubens Barrichello was an early retirement with an engine
that was steadily losing power, while Jenson Button rued a complete lack of
grip, front or rear, which was exacerbated whenever the car slid on to the
marbles and picked up even more dirt on the tyres.
While they failed to score and thus to add to their 29 points, thanks to
David Coulthard depriving Button of eighth place with four laps to go, BMW
Sauber grabbed another two courtesy of Nick Heidfeld’s seventh place. But this
could have been more. Villenueve had been in feisty form all weekend and looked
set at least for eighth place after a late second pit stop on lap 55, but it all
went wrong when he slid wide on the marbles in Turn 7 after having to go off
line to pass a slow Ralf Schumacher. Nevertheless, BMW Sauber continue to hold
fifth overall, now with 19 points.
Toyota were the other team to score well, with Jarno Trulli fighting hard
all weekend for his eventual sixth place and his first three points of a
troubled season. As a result, Toyota move ahead of Williams and into sixth place
Where the Italian found grip, team mate Ralf Schumacher could not. The
German had an appalling race after admitting he had made the wrong choice in
opting for Bridgestone’s hard-compound tyre.
Red Bull boosted their tally by a point thanks to some opportunistic
driving by David Coulthard in the closing laps. The Scot started from the back
of the grid after a precautionary engine change after qualifying, and then
fought the balance of his Red Bull RB2 all through the race. But he was
delighted with the strategy planned by race engineer Mark Hutcheson and was able
to jump Button for the final point on lap 66. Team mate Christian Klien
suspected that he broke first gear in the hairpin at that stage, which was why
he ran wide and surrendered a place to Coulthard.
The sister Toro Rosso team were less happy. Vitantonio Liuzzi was running
an excellent 11th from the third lap onwards, until he had contact with Mark
Webber after he alleged that the Australian moved over twice on him on the back
straight. That necessitated a pit stop for a new front wing, so his race was
ruined. Team-mate Scott Speed was in the hunt for a top 10 finish thereafter,
despite struggling with his STR01 on the poor surface and losing time in his
first pit stop when the left rear wheel proved reluctant to come off.
Mark Webber’s miserable weekend at Williams continued, the Australian
another driver to suffer from choosing the ‘wrong’ Bridgestone tyre compound.
After starting 16th, he eventually came home 12th, which was at least more than
team mate Nico Rosberg managed. The German’s promising qualifying outing all
came to nothing when he crashed out on lap 2 after coming off worse in an early
duel with Montoya.
At Midland, Tiago Monteiro committed the cardinal sin of taking off his
team mate, Christijan Albers, in the hairpin on the opening lap. Monteiro locked
his brakes and ran into the back of Albers. Monteiro continued to finish 14th
after a pit stop for a new nose, but Albers’ day was over there and then.
At Super Aguri the disappointment also came early when Franck Montagny
suffered an engine failure on the second lap. Team mate Takuma Sato drove a
feisty race. He had been obliged to pit for a new nose after a brush with David
Coulthard just after the first deployment of the safety car, but then kept ahead
of Tiago Monteiro’s similarly delayed Midland until the final lap of the race
(his 65th), when he creamed it into the wall in Turn 9 after getting on to the