Time for part 3 of this miniseries – Kimi Raikkonen. It would be fair to say that before the start of 2008 season Kimi Raikkonen was probably the hottest candidate for 2008 title. The Ferrari car looked strong during the winter testing, the 2007 title took lots of pressure from his shoulders and all the woes of being in the new team were things of the past. His start to the season was a bit shaky with quite a lot of mistakes in Australia. Two race wins and two podiums from next 4 races put him to the top of the championship standings and well back into the contest. Two races later however he finds himself out of top three …
Current position: 4th
Points: 35 (7 behind the leader)
Results so far this season: 8 – 1 – 2 – 1 – 3 – 9 – DNF
I finally managed to:
a) Get over my jet lag
b) Sort out the photos
c) Fix the crashed photogallery plugin or better installing a new one
You can view my Canadian GP photos – here is the link to the photogallery.
A year ago Takuma Sato finished 6th and scored 3 points in Canada. His overtaking maneuvre on Fernando Alonso was one of the highlights of the entire 2007 Formula 1 season. Following that race team’s managing director Daniel Audeto was full of confidence predicted a race win for the team in 2008 …
“I am very happy because three points for us is a fantastic result. Now finally people will believe what I said before: that next year we are going to win our first Grand Prix. The team we have are very professional and very motivated. They work in the same direction, with no politics, no bureaucracy and no bullshit. We have had a team principal that really understands our business and we have a really good driver line-up.”
This is all of Super Aguri that I could see in Canada a year later at 2008 Canadian GP:
What a difference a year makes, 365 little days …
About 2 weeks ago I asked a question if Robert Kubica has become a serious title contender. It looks like the Montreal race gave us the answer. Kubica’s maiden F1 win has not only broken the 24 race McLaren/Ferrari Formula 1 race wins monopoly but also propelled him to the top of the championship standings after 7 races. Whoever can achieve that amongst the competition from Ferrari and McLaren drivers simply has to be taken seriously …
Current position: 1st
Points: 42 (4 ahead of 2nd and 3rd)
Results so far this season: DNF – 2 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1
Although his season has began with DNF Kubica made his intentions quite clear right at the start. After a strong qualifying run in Melbourne he barely missed out on pole position at the Australian GP. The maiden pole position came in Bahrain, the maiden win in Canada. Seven races, six top four finishes, 4 podiums, one win, one pole position. This all in a car that at least for now still is only the 3rd best on the grid … The comparison with Alonso and Renault in their 2005 and 2006 title winning seasons comes to mind …
Danica Patrick is making F1 headlines. Rumours about her Formula 1 test with Honda spread much faster than the following Nick Fry’s denial about any contact between Honda F1 and Patrick. Nick Fry however does not seem to be entirely opposed to the idea:
“But if Danica did want to test one of our cars, we would be more than happy to speak to her about it.”
Although we are yet to reach half the season mark I think it is safe to say that the result of Canadian GP reduced the number of 2008 F1 title contenders to four – Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. I do take the liberty to count Kovalainen and Heidfeld out of title fight and it will probably not take too long before their teams do the same… Let’s have a quick look at these four and begin with Felipe Massa.
Current position: shared 2nd
Points: 38 (4 behind the leader)
Results so far this season: DNF – DNF – 1 – 2 – 1 – 3 – 5
Massa’s start to 2008 season was a nightmare. His DNF in Melbourne may have been result of a mechanical trouble but it was the spin on lap 2 followed by similar spin a week later in Malaysia (throwing away 2nd place) that prompted media talks about his immiment departure from Ferrari. He however handled the media pressure well and came back with vengeance in Bahrain. Still the Bahrain win did not help him to silence the critics, it was just another win from pole position without having to overtake anybody … The win in Turkey, although thrid in a row for Massa in Istanbul, did not help him much either. After all, it was just a win on his favourite track …
The race start was little disappointing – all the cars made it and for the first 13 laps the race was rather uneventful. Lewis Hamilton pulled away from Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen. He looked like the man to beat. The only excitement came from Nelson Piquet overtaking every car that got in his way. But then Adrian Sutil spun off and safety car was out on track. Once the pitlane opened pretty much all the cars that were not on one stop strategy dived into pitlane. Raikkonen and Kubica jumped ahead of Hamilton after their pitstops but had to stop at the red light at the pitlane exit. Lewis Hamilton did not look up to check the light, he did not look ahead to check the cars in front him and hit the rear end of Raikkonen’s car. Nico Rosberg joined the party moments later and rammed into Hamilton. Kubica escaped unscathed but Hamilton and Raikkonen were out of the race…
Hamilton’s stupid mistake opened the door for BMW Sauber. It looked first the luck was on Heidfeld’s side. Once the race restarted he pulled away from the field helped by not that quick Barrichello in second place. After his pitstop he still returned ahead of his team mate but the “hint” on team radio about slowing down lighter Kubica made the trick. Kubica passed Heidfeld and never looked back. BMW drivers were definitely helped by misfortune of their main rivals but … they grabbed the opportunity and more importantly made no mistakes in a race that was all about not making any mistakes … Deserved 1-2 finish for BMW and clearly popular win for Kubica just about a year after his scary crash at the same track … Nick Heidfeld now remains the only driver without DNF this season … Did not make him to look too happy on the podium though …
Following the troubles with the track on Saturday parts of the track were resurfaced the night before the race. And it was not only the hairpin but also the first chicane. I took these few photos less than an hour before the race start … Bizzare …
Several people guessed the pole position correctly, few people got Kimi’s fastest lap right but there was only one person here predicting win for Robert Kubica – Arun S – good job ! Still long way to go for the Mumm …
Here are the round 7 results:
16 – Arun S
15 – Queen Bee
13 – brabhamburger, kotenok, stew, zblkhwk, F1Wolf, Rich, draconte
12 – Rob The Flying Dutchman
11 – Klokan, deaddogsmoking, fatfish, daniel
10 – Steve Robertson, Ben, fantoci, Ozzi, blazena, Ram, Arnel, shaun
9 – mcw3, igi, nieuwe
8 – Fisheye
BMW Sauber took full advantage of problems and some silly mistakes of their main rivals and scored impressive 1-2 finish in Canadian GP. Robert Kubica drove almost a perfect race and a year after horrifying crash in Montreal he scored the maiden Formula 1 win for himself and for the BMW Sauber team. Nick Heidfeld finished in strong second place ahead of David Coulthard. It was a also good day for Toyota with Glock in 4th and Trulli in 6th. Felipe Massa in my opinion drove the race of his life. Despite not much going right for him he salvaged 4 points from Canadian GP. Rubens Barrichello will be very happy with another point scoring race. Sebastian Vettel has proven that starting from pitlane does not rule out points finish.
Race to forget for McLaren … I have no idea what Hamilton was doing in the pitlane but it is going to haunt him for one more race with the 10 place grid penalty he and Rosberg were given for that mess …
Robert Kubica now leads the drivers championship four points ahead of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.
2008 Canadian F1 GP race result:
1. R. Kubica – BMW Sauber – 1:36:24.447
2. N. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 16.495
3. D. Coulthard – Red Bull + 23.352
4. T. Glock – Toyota + 42.627
5. F. Massa – Ferrari + 43.934
6. J. Trulli – Toyota + 47.775
7. R. Barrichello – Honda + 53.597
8. S. Vettel – Toro Rosso + 54.120
Join us for live blog following the 2008 Canadian F1 GP.
This live blog has now finished, you can replay it inside this post.
The problems with asphalt surface of the Montreal track are threatening Sunday Canadian Grand Prix. Several drivers had difficulties to keep the cars on track today and almost in unison they all blamed it on the track breaking apart. Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld, David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Bourdais all complained about impossible conditions.