The Canadian Grand Prix seems to provide plenty of thrills and spills and this year’s edition didn’t disappoint – how many of them made the Badgerometer top five? Read on to find out! 

Vettel Fights Back

Sebastian Vettel vs. Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari vs. Mercedes. We’re now seven round into the 2017 heavyweight duel and it shows no sign of letting up, despite the two challengers having off weekends since the tussle in Spain.

Lewis was unlucky in Monaco but managed to rescue some points, and bounced back with pure and utter domination in Montreal. For Seb, it was a case of being close on Saturday and then experiencing the same small slice of bad luck that needed a recovery drive. And what a recovery drive it was.

It’s probably a sign that the pace in the Ferrari is strong, but to come from last to fourth by the chequered flag, in a drive that meant stopping once more than all of the cars around him, really was a great comeback and a limitation of damage in the title race.

25 points has been reduced to 12, and Lewis is in imperious form once again, but don’t rule Vettel and Ferrari out when things don’t go their way. And that’s great for everyone watching.

Fernando Goes Walkabout

Two weeks on from competing on the same continent and it was the same result for Fernando Alonso and his almost farcical relationship with a Honda power unit. While it robbed him of attempting to claim the Indy 500 a fortnight ago, this weekend it stole away the most precious of things for the Spaniard, McLaren and Honda – world championship points.

Fernando was a great ambassador for F1 in his time at Indianapolis, being incredibly media savvy and giving as much to the fans as possible. He kept this up in Canada, by wading into the grandstand near where his McLaren stood smoking, and being mobbed by the enthusiastic crowd.

Keep it up Fernando, we love you!

Patrick Shoe-wart, amirite?

Ever hear the collective groans when a celebrity takes to the podium for the interviews? You should by now, especially after the performances of Placido Flamingo (who got Max Verstappen’s name wrong) and George Lucas (who looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but up there). On Sunday we were told Sir Patrick Stewart would be conducting the post race grilling, and there was a collective sigh.

Only, Stewart delivered. And then some. Not only did he get in some key questions with the drivers, and they actually responded without any awkwardness, but he also got involved in what’s now, in his words, becoming a ritual. He got shoey-ed.

Now, you may either be for or against the drinking of foot bacteria flavoured sparkling wine/champagne, but Sir Pat did it with aplomb, even countering Hamilton’s “why’d you do that?” with a robust “I’m on the podium for the first time, I’ll drink champagne from anyone’s shoe!”.

Patrick Stewart, we salute you!

Force In-denial

Sergio Perez is a very fast, very consistent racing driver, but there’s a ruthless streak in him that undermined what should have been a tremendous performance for Force India in Montreal. Refusing to allow teammate Esteban Ocon through to attempt a pass on Daniel Ricciardo robbed the team of a podium and a fifth or sixth place finish, and instead, they walked away with a fifth and sixth place.

It can be argued that from the team’s perspective it doesn’t really matter, as they are now well clear of the rest of the field and out of touch to Red Bull. But the principle of it all rankles some, and rightly so. Ocon was on it, could have challenged Ricciardo, and could have pulled it off. He seemed chipper post-race than many others would have been, however.

Perez’s ruthlessness might just tarnish the momentum that’s been building for the Mexican to get a top race seat in the future. In fact, representatives for Perez were spotted in the Ferrari motorhome in Canada. But couple this race’s exploits with his Monaco outburst of not caring if his engine blew up and he could prove to be more of a handful than first thought.

F1 is bloody, bloody brilliant this year

Liberty Media’s acquisition of F1 brought a lot of speculation of what they could actually deliver in terms of promotion – after all, CVC spouted the same kind of “fans come first” spiel that ultimately led to them doing nothing but make a profit from, what is, the lifeblood of the sport.

But Liberty are different. They know marketing, especially when it comes to promoting events, but now they’ve touched into the heart and history of F1 too.

For example, bringing back the Raft Race. The traditional building and racing of sturdy craft across the Montreal River fell by the wayside as teams workloads became heavier, yet Liberty reintroduced it, and not only that, got F1 bigwigs Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches into lifejackets and out onto the rafts themselves!

The other brilliant, and emotional, part of the weekend was Lewis Hamilton’s equalling of his idol Ayrton Senna’s record of 65 pole positions. No matter where you stand on the Brit, it was a great achievement, made even more poignant by the Senna family honouring the achievement by awarding Lewis with a race worn helmet by the great Brazilian himself.

Two standout moments wouldn’t you agree?

But here’s the final thought on Liberty’s evolving of the fan experience. Look back on all of the tweets featured in this article. Notice any pattern? That’s right; all were sent from the official F1 account, one that was dormant for many years. No scratchy YouTube videos that turn to broken links, no third party adverts, just content from the sport delivered to the fans. It makes all the difference, and long may Liberty keep it up.

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