Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say

The race leaders battle for position in Montreal

The race leaders battle for position in Montreal

Just how good was Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix? According to F1 Fanatic readers it was the best race since the epic championship showdown at Interlagos two years ago.

Now Bridgestone is looking into what lessons it can learn from the race to help produce more exciting Grands Prix over the rest of the season. But the power to do that doesn’t rest entirely in its hands.

The Canadian Grand Prix received an average score of 8.668 out of ten in our regular ‘rate the race’ poll answered by over 3,000 readers. Since the start of 2008, only the championship finale at that year’s Brazilian Grand Prix received a higher rating.

Three of the top four races as rated since the beginning of 2008 were all from this season:

1. 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix – 8.756
2. 2010 Canadian Grand Prix – 8.668
3. 2010 Australian Grand Prix – 8.638
4. 2010 Chinese Grand Prix – 8.326

Of course, two of those were affected by rain. But the dry Turkish Grand Prix also scored highly and is ranked ninth. This is very encouraging after the poor season opener in Bahrain.

According to Autosport, Bridgestone is now looking into whether they can bring their super-soft tyres to more races this year which they hope will promote more exciting racing without compromising safety.

But the super-soft tyres were also used at the Bahrain Grand Prix – which was as dreary a race I’ve ever seen. They can’t be the only reason why Sunday’s race was so good.

What made Canada a cracker was not just that the tyres didn’t last as long as usual, but that their performance was so unpredictable. The likes of Red Bull, who started the race on the medium tyres, expected them to out-last the super-softs at the start of the race far longer than they did.

Teams have such a wealth of data on tyre performance that, ordinarily, they can predict exactly how a compound is going to perform and degrade. Changes to the track surface at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, overnight rain on Friday and varying temperatures all played a role on turning Sunday strategy into a guessing game.

The same tyres will be used at Valencia for the European Grand Prix next weekend. Will we see as good a race there? Adrian Sutil doesn’t think so, because they believe they understand how the tyres will work there:

Montreal was a fantastic race for everybody, good for everyone to look at it. But Valencia is not such a chaotic race because the tyres work really well there. Montreal was just dominated by the tyres, which was why so much overtaking was possible. It was the situation of the whole weekend.
Adrian Sutil

This is not to say that Bridgestone shouldn’t bring softer tyres whenever it can to future races – they definitely should.

But an unpredictable track surface, and a circuit configuration that both reduced the harmful affects of turbulence on a chasing car and increased the chance of the leaders catching traffic also contributed to the great race we saw on Sunday.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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121 comments on Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th June 2010, 11:58

    I am curious and exited about the next race (looking forward to Valencia, didn’t happen after the first one!). First we might be seeing some changes of the team ranking on speed. Also some potential for suprises during the race with that (Ferrari having better downforce but being harder on the tyres maybe).
    But the tyres will be pretty much behaving according to predictions. Maybe if the race turns out to be a lot colder than the last years, have some really green track to start with, it might offer interesting choices on the tyres.

    I think Keith gets to the point (as well as from the Sutil quote), the tyres themselves are only part of of what makes it interesting.

  2. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 18th June 2010, 12:14

    Why not a bigger gap between the soft and hard tyres?
    Super soft and the hardest compound for a weekend… but probably all teams would have the same strategy :)

    • Robert McKay said on 18th June 2010, 12:40

      I know what you’re gettin at but the interesting thing about Canada was that the harder tyre was also wearing dreadfully quickly.

      On that basis I’d say “bring the super soft and soft”. Although that might be a bit extreme…but would surely generate more than just one tyre stop.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys said on 18th June 2010, 12:45

    But the super-soft tyres were also used at the Bahrain Grand Prix – which was as dreary a race I’ve ever seen. They can’t be the only reason why Sunday’s race was so good.

    They’re not, but Bridgestone figure that if they might help make the races more exciting, they’re worth a try.

    • bosyber said on 18th June 2010, 13:11

      Yes, definitely worth a try, especially if they take those tires to races that are normally on harder compounds, that might make it a bit less clear how they will perform.

      I think Bahrain was so dreary because everyone was being too careful with the tires.

      A bit like almost every 1st match of the FIFA World Cup showed teams that were afraid to lose that 1st match, causing most of those matches to be rather bad. (Sorry for the soccer reference here).

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 18th June 2010, 14:31

        Actually, with the Australia-Germany match in mind, football is the perfect analogy. After Australia did really well in 2006, I think a lot of people were expecting them to actually beat Germany, one of the most disciplined and highest-rated teams in the entire world. We were lucky to get away with a 4-0 loss. Afterwards, there was a lot of public outcry in Australia, with people questioning the coach’s tactics, the team’s commitment and so on.

        In the same way, the 2010 rules were hyped up and people were expecting big things, unaware that the race was at Desertistan and that nothing exciting has ever happened there before. When the race disappointed, there were people questioning the rules and calling for immeiate overhauls to the entire playbook.

        Unlike the Socceroos, though, Formula 1’s rules actually stood a chance.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th June 2010, 15:23

          With those Germans being as good as they are and still lose from Serbia 0:1, what would that compare to?
          Looks a little bit like the way our F1 championship is evolving with turns of form right around the corner!

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 18th June 2010, 13:31

      I think it’s great that after much criticism of Bridgestone wanting a two-compound gap to “make the tyres interesting” and for bringing tyres to races that simply last too long (criticism I myself have engaged in, particularly on the latter), they’re making a push against their current policy to try and improve the racing.

      Hats off to you, Bridgestone (thought not one of the podium caps, not just yet ;-))

  4. John H said on 18th June 2010, 13:24

    “But an unpredictable track surface, and a circuit configuration that both reduced the harmful affects of turbulence on a chasing car and increased the chance of the leaders catching traffic also contributed to the great race we saw on Sunday.”

    Not forgetting the fact that the grandstands were full of F1 fanatics, and not oil-money dignitaries.

  5. Sheraad said on 18th June 2010, 14:05

    Brazilian Grand Prix when BRITISH driver Lewis Hamilton won the championship in the most dramatic way possible. No wonder why the voters on fanatic.co.UK(!!!) voted on that race. Brazilian people think different on their best race (maybe Donington 1993 or Hockenehim 2000???)

    • Robert McKay said on 18th June 2010, 14:10

      But, crucially, none of those races happened since Brazil 2008.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th June 2010, 14:33

      I think “in the most dramatic way possible” has rather more to do with it than “British”.

      The make-up of the site’s readership has nothing to do with the domain suffix. Although the British contingent is the largest single user base, less than a third of F1 Fanatic users over the past month have accessed it from Britain.

      And, as I said to Rod, I don’t agree that just because a person is of a certain nationality they’re necessarily going to vote a certain way:

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/06/18/canadian-grand-prix-was-best-race-since-brazil-2008-f1-fanatic-readers-say/comment-page-1/#comment-387412

      Finally, if you don’t think Brazil 2008 was the most exciting race of the last three seasons, which one was?

      • Sheraad said on 18th June 2010, 14:37

        Australia 2008 or maybe Singapore and Fuji 2008

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th June 2010, 14:38

          Singapore 2008? The one that was fixed? You’re joking, surely?

          • Sheraad said on 18th June 2010, 14:41

            I am :P
            But I still not understand how a driver can be so stupid to put himself to the wall

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th June 2010, 15:26

          I think i was more shocked by Singapore 2008 than thinking about an excellent race.
          It was new, there were spectacular pitstop mistakes and Renaul won, but from the start it was a little bit suspect.

          A very interesting race for sure, but I would not call it the greatest race in years even before the scam came to light.

      • David BR said on 18th June 2010, 15:52

        Spa 2008
        Okay, McLaren/Hamilton/British win! But for me the battle between Kimi and Lewis just outweighed Interlagos in sheer intensity, though the whole of the Brazil 2008 race was on edge and ended thrillingly.

  6. S Hughes said on 18th June 2010, 14:28

    Now, ain’t that the truth!!!

  7. Jelle van der Meer said on 18th June 2010, 14:52

    Again people jumping to hasty conclusions based on 1 race – as Keith mentioned Bahrain had same tyres and was boring. Bridgestone should go back to 2009 concept of bigger difference between the 2 compounds

    Can we just recognize that Canada is an absolutely fantastic track and that Bernie should no longer have the dictator position he has to decide where we race.

    Also amazed that Bernie has a vote in the decision which tyre manufacturer is choosen but the teams do not. The teams need to work with it, pay them => FIA and FOM should stay out of that decision – it should be teams only decision.

    • Jelle van der Meer said on 18th June 2010, 14:54

      Oh, is it just me or is it a little bit suspicious that Bridgestone wants to start using more of softest compound – the compound where their long term partner Ferrari is performing best on?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th June 2010, 15:30

      I suppose that is because in the current deal the FOM is responsible for the tyres and has to pay (he does not have to pay currently, which is one of the reasons for Bridgestone leaving) and make sure the tyres get to the races (currently payed for by Bridgestone as well). So it is pretty normal that FOM is involved.
      I read in a comment from Joe Saward, that Bernie and the teams have actually already signed a letter of intent with Pirelli and now wait only for the FIA to let Todt give up on bringing Michelin in and ratify the deal.

  8. Eastman said on 18th June 2010, 15:28

    Sure tyres played an issue is such a great race, but can we give the Circuit itself some credit here?

    The Gilles Villeneuve track isn’t some convoluted Tilke-drome with excessive chicanes. It’s a proper classic circuit with close barriers and limited run-off space.

    It’s a wonderful track and if some of the other classic circuits (Spa, Silverstone, Monza) lead to as much interesting racing we’re in for an even bigger treat of a season as the summer rolls along.

    • The F Duct (@the-f-duct) said on 18th June 2010, 16:20

      Agreed :)
      If this new Silverstone gets it right it’s going to be magic, we also have Korea GP which could be an excellant Tilke surprise, like Istanbul Park is.

      • Exactly, credit where credit is due. I can’t remember a single race from Montreal that wasn’t exciting or memorable in some way, and that has to be in large part down to the circuit. All the more reason why it must never be dropped off the calendar again.

  9. dragon said on 18th June 2010, 15:59

    If Bridgestone brought their two similar compounds to a race, ie Supersoft/Soft or Medium/Hard, wouldn’t we then see the varied tyre strategies that the rules were originally aiming for?

  10. The F Duct (@the-f-duct) said on 18th June 2010, 16:17

    I don’t understand how China this year is rated so good, Turkey was much better, I mean a classic yet it didn’t go down as well with fellow viewers.

  11. Malcom said on 18th June 2010, 17:12

    Spa 2008 would also for me be next in line, after the title decider in Brazil. The battle between Lewis and Kimi will remain with me for a long time. Those on board shots of Lewis making his move on Kimi, had me yelling and on the edge of my seat, only to be spoiled by a decision made by the FIA’s Alan Donnelly, a henchman for Max Mosley.

    2010 Canadian GP….Sebastian Buemi is to be congratulated for leading his first F1 race in a STR.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th June 2010, 23:55

      If the Spa result had stood without the stewards’ interference I’m sure it would have rated much higher. But giving the win to someone who was never in contention for the lead was never going to go down well, regardless of who had been in which car.

  12. GST said on 18th June 2010, 18:33

    Hmm!

    Brazil 2008?

    Wasn’t that the one where Timo Glock stopped for a tea break half way round the last lap?

  13. RobR (@robr) said on 18th June 2010, 19:36

    Aside from the pro-British bias I feel these ratings might also very much be affected by comparisons to the last race. Like if you have 3 very boring races in a row, one peppered with mild excitement might get a much higher rating than it really deserves.

  14. Andrew White said on 18th June 2010, 21:42

    I don’t think that the high proportion of McLaren wins at the top is much to do with British bias, it’s just that McLaren win in a more interesting way than, say, Red Bull or Ferrari. For example, in 2008, Barcelona, Valencia, France and Malaysia were Ferrari wins and were generally boring with little overtaking. The McLaren wins were in races like Monaco and Britain (wet), Australia (just mad) and Germany (turned around by a safety car, passing for the lead). Exceptions to the rule like China and Brazil that year were starkly represented in the results.

    In 2010 it’s a similar story; McLaren won the two wet races, as well as Turkey and Canada which had action at the front. Monaco and Barcelona were a bit boring (RBR wins), Bahrain was terrible (Ferrari win) and Malaysia was made exciting by McLaren and Ferrari qualifying at the back while Red Bull won from the front.

  15. Jonathan said on 18th June 2010, 23:24

    Canada would have been great if the winner had been decided on track. Just when the Hamilton/Alonso fight was getting really good, however, Hamilton passed Alonso in the pit stops and that was that.

    It’s a sad indictment of F1 when the second best race in 3 seasons didn’t even feature an on-track fight for the lead!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th June 2010, 23:53

      Hamilton passed Webber when he was leading, and it isn’t much of a stretch to call his overtake on Alonso earlier in the race a pass for the lead either. That’s two more passes for the lead than you’ll get in most F1 races!

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