Badger’s Formula One Top Five after each Grand Prix continues with our Canadian chart…

At number 1, somewhat controversially, it’s the Canadian grand prix itself.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that’s certainly true of the Gilles Villeneuve circuit on the stunning man-made island in Montreal.

After a year’s absence from the Formula 1 calendar, the Canadian grand prix returned and we were treated to yet another exciting wheel-to-wheel race.

Gone are the days when we would enthusiastically cheer one measly overtaking move per race.  On Sunday it was, at times, hard to follow what on earth was going on with all the pit stops, overtakes, drag races, scraps, pit lane racing … but it was brilliant.  Who needs rain?  Who needs a safety car?  The 2010 season is fast turning into an F1 classic already…

World © Sutton

At number 2 it’s Jenson Button, much like his result in the race.  But that’s not why he deserves a place in the Badgerometer Hall of Fame, it’s because of his maturity, sportsmanship and graciousness in defeat.  Either he’s a really really good actor, or there genuinely is mutual respect between the McLaren drivers.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that they both possess World Championship titles, or that McLaren learnt the hard way after the disastrous (but entertaining) Hamilton-Alonso pairing that saw them BOTH lose the championship in 2007.  Regardless, Button deserves a good old slap on the back for such a refreshing attitude.  Your time will come Jenson.

At number 3 it’s got to be the surprisingly fast Force India team!  Ok, so 9th and 10th isn’t stellar, but they did have their fair share of bashes and bumps during the race.  Liuzzi seemed like a write-off after his 1st lap dodgem-style collision(s) with Felipe Massa sent him spinning.  A battle with Kubica left Sutil with a puncture, and he dropped down to 13th after another pit stop, but managed to ‘force’ his way up to 10th.

Still, with both drivers in the points (something only Red Bull and McLaren can also boast) it’s a damn fine performance.

The headphones go in your ears, Vettel, not your actual head! World © Sutton

At 4, it’s the greatest invention since the dawn of Formula 1: the team radio.  Personally I think they should spend a bit more money harnessing the supreme power and hilariousness of team radios.  There should be a red button channel on the TV purely for team radio broadcasts, and another separate radio stream just for the Felipe Massa-Rob Smedley (his Ferrari race engineer) exchanges.  Who knows how many pet names Smedders has for his ‘Felipe baby’?

And perhaps Vettel might re-think his blatant sarcasm over the radio after having it broadcast to millions around the world during the race.  The Red Bull team asked him to nurse the car to the finish, due to a gear box problem, and then the following lap told him to get a move on and overtake!  Naturally Vettel was unimpressed, and confused.

At 5, it’s Nico Rosberg.  How someone can finish up in 6th without once being caught by the TV cameras in an impressive feat of ingenuity and sheer skill.  Did he take part in the race at all?  Was he sitting in his garage having a hot dog, before rejoining around lap 60 to see the chequered flag?  Who knows, but Petronas, Mercedes GP’s major sponsor are undoubtedly on the phone complaining to Bernie Ecclestone as we speak.

A typical F1 Steward?

This week I’m miffed with The Stewards.  Those mythical adjudicating creatures of Formula 1, much like the sand people of Star Wars fame, who seem to delight in making completely arbitrary and sometimes contradictory judgements and penalties.

I suppose it isn’t their fault.  Hamilton’s cheeky fumed-powered flying lap in qualifying left him pushing the car back to the pits to preserve enough fuel for steward testing – which isn’t strictly against the rules, but isn’t really fair either.  So what was the penalty?  £10,000… aka peanuts to McLaren.  Charlie Whiting, F1 race director, has said this of the tactic:

“Any team whose car stops on the slowing down lap after the race will be asked by the stewards to explain why this happened, ” Whiting said.

“If they are not satisfied that the reasons were beyond the control of the driver or team, and feel that this has been done deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, appropriate action will be taken.”

I bet the teams are quivering in their fire-proof boots at the thought of having to … “explain” their actions.  Scary stuff indeed.

The Badgerometer handy round-up of all the post-race rulings!

  1. Michael Schumacher escaped penalty for double crossing on the straight to defend against former team-mate Felipe Massa.
  2. Whereas Massa was handed a 20-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane!  It doesn’t make any difference though, as he was an entire lap ahead of 16th place Kovalainen in a Lotus.
  3. Jaime Alguersuari was “reprimanded”, whatever that actually means, for an early collision with Rubens “The Plough” Barrichello.
  4. Robert Kubica, or Bobby K as we like to call him, was also “reprimanded” for his supremely dangerous dive into the pit lane which nearly took out Adrian Sutil.  Doesn’t Bobby K remember that he nearly DIED at the Canadian grand prix in 2007?

It’s also pretty annoying to have to wait until the end of the race to have everything investigated – sort it out sand people!