Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2019

Canadian Grand Prix 2019

We are seven races into the F1 season and we’ve had 7 Mercedes victories, and this one should not have been. In my opinion, the only real talking point of the Canadian Grand Prix is the 5 second time penalty for Sebastian Vettel for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and forcing another driver off the track.

The only question to be asked is “did Vettel intentionally drive back onto the racing line to block Hamilton?” Having watched multiple, onboard and trackside replays, I believe that Vettel was struggling to control his car after his turn 3 error doing all he could to avoid contact with Hamilton or the wall.

But first, the start, which was nothing to write home about, no change of position in the top five, Valtteri Bottas did lose out to Nico Hulkenberg, who had a traction advantage starting the race on the red marked soft compound, whereas Bottas started the race on the yellow marked medium tires. Max Verstappen, who started lower than normal due to a red flag in qualifying compromising his Q2 lap, also lost out to Lando Norris on the long straight from the hairpin to the final chicane, due to the same tire advantage.

Norris, later on lap 9 had an overheating brake problem, which caused his McLaren’s right rear suspension to melt and fail, forcing the Briton to pull off the track at the end of the pitlane and out of the race. This was after McLaren pitted Norris for an early precautionary stop to try to avoid this very issue.

Nothing to do with racing, but Kevin Magnussen was being a massive dick to his team complaining about his car saying “this is the worse experience I have ever had in any race car ever”, over the team radio, for everyone to hear, after his HAAS team worked late into the night to give him a car to drive after he smashed up his car in qualifying. Magnussen is not that good a driver to be pissing off his employer, there are plenty of other drivers that would be chomping at the bit to replace the Dane at HAAS F1.

So, back to the main talking point, Vettel’s penalty for what I would class as a racing incident. It destroyed the grandstand finish that we F1 neutrals were hoping for. Once Hamilton knew he only had to finish within five seconds of Vettel to ‘win’ the race, the race was over, as is the drivers and constructors championship with Mercedes claiming seven victories from seven races. I think the FIA scored an own goal with this penalty for what I consider to have been a Vettel mistake, not a deliberate attempt to block.

If it was a clear action with the intention to block or push Hamilton off track, then I would say that the penalty was justified, but you can clearly see in the onboard replays that Vettel was sawing at the wheel as he came off the grass, indicating he was struggling for control of his car at more than 100mph.

There has been a lot of talk of the FIA being in bed with Mercedes, which I had dismissed, but I’m starting to wonder about that now. There always used to be the meme about FIA standing for Ferrari International Assistance, and I think there was some truth to that, and I really disliked it. Now, it seems to be the same with Mercedes, a hell of a lot of marginal decisions have gone the way of the German team, including the thinner thread tires, that benefitted Mercedes last year, being used all season in 2019.

I would say that Vettel’s behavior after the race was somewhat petulant, but it’s understandable and I might have done the same myself if I was put in the same situation. However, I did like when Vettel switched the position marker boards in Parc Ferme to make a statement. I have been reading many people online labeling Vettel ‘cry baby’, but all F1 drivers are like that these days, Hamilton included. Let’s kill team radio and get back to racing instead of the constant crying over the radio, woe is me.

Ultimately, the FIA had the opportunity to rejuvenate interest in the 2019 F1 season as we move into the second third of the season, but now with only one team winning in the first third of the season, fans will be losing interest as the season result is a foregone conclusion. The FIA overregulation is killing the sport, the governing body needs to have a more hands-off mentality and let drivers race, instead of penalizing drivers, often inconsistently, ruining the first true battle between Mercedes and Ferrari of the season.

Canadian Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:29:07.084
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +3.658
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +4.696
4. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +51.043
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +57.655
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +1 LAP
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1 LAP
8. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +1 LAP
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1 LAP
10. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP

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