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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

Browse all 2010 Canadian Grand Prix articles

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

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  1. Now, ain’t that the truth!!!

  2. Jelle van der Meer
    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.

    1. Jelle van der Meer
      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?

    2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. The F Duct (@)
      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.

      1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. I think we’d be more likely to, under the refuelling ban, yes. And more so if they dropped some of the other restrictions on tyre use.

  5. The F Duct (@)
    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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. Hmm!

    Brazil 2008?

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

  8. 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.

  9. Andrew White
    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.

  10. 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!

    1. 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!

  11. This was an amazing race on all accounts… I was fortunate enough for this to be my first GP I was able to attend.. where do I go from there?… lol… I was overlooking Senna Corner and it was thrilling watching the over takes… seeing Alonzo and Hamilton leaving the pits side by side coming right at me was amazing… I’m just glad that Alonzo had the inside line.. :) I’ve been an F1 fan for many years and now the bug to see it live is the size of a sand beetle!!
    I plan of it being a yearly adventure for sure.. :)

  12. Resurface all the tracks w/ the Canadian compound! That might go some way to make tire performance more marginal.

  13. Since we’ve moved on to bias, I think its worth noting a simple reason why so many of the great races involved L. Hamilton and his team. He has an astonishing podium strike-rate (31 out of 60 races). The odds of him being in the middle of a great scrap since then are much higher than for other current greats like Alonso, Button, Massa. He also tends to generate a healthy frisson through brilliant driving, cringe-worthy mistakes, and sometimes both. Look at Hockenheim or Brazil—he makes it interesting even when its not necessary.

    Anyway, why is it so important that Keith constantly show that he has no bias? Different views are what the comments are for; Keith has his own view. If it’s pro-English, and it may be, then bully for him. This is not public media.

    Re: Canada, let me say I was not too amused by the fact that tires determined the race. The tires were not “unpredictable” to me. It was obvious how long options would last, it was obvious that there would be two stops becuase the primes were also too soft. The fact that certain teams, RBR and Mercedes, didn’t get it, made it interesting, yes. But the way the tires made the race was that the drivers had to preserve them like, wait for it, fuel. This reminded me of one of those old CART oval races where the racing is done as much with the mixture knob as the steering wheel. Or more like a Group C race where there was a maximum volume of fuel allowed. There was not great division of skill in regards to maintaining the tires; they had to pussy-foot around most of the time to make the schedule. I want to see the drivers going all out at some point in the race. Refueling ban racing is much like the old way, but with quicker pit stops.

    It still gets a 9 because when have you seen 3 WDCs dicing during a race?

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