Sunday, 9 June 2013

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

The indicators from practice had pointed to an advantage for Red Bull in race conditions, but all the same the manner of Sebastian Vettel's victory will appear ominous and even demoralizing to the competition. It may be an exaggeration to describe this win as the one which "broke the back" of the championship, but not much of an exaggeration.

The challenge being offered by the other supposed contenders is looking a touch brittle and fragile.  Fernando Alonso salvaged something from what had been a mediocre weekend, in his patented style, and Ferrari are somehow still not totally convincing in 2013, despite the air of confidence still emanating from the team..

The consistent and even performance now coming from the Mercedes is encouraging, tempered by an honest acknowledgement that the car is not quite fully "there" yet. Lewis Hamilton's comments afterwards were relatively upbeat, but the racer in him must be a little frustrated at the team's inability to traverse that gap.

The one front-running team who will be truly disappointed by events in Canada will be Lotus.  They were never really "at the races" all weekend.  It is to be hoped that his constitutes just a blip, a bad day at the office if you will, and that it does not presage a tailing off in fortunes. There is still enough flair and determination in their ranks to make a mark in the remaining races.

The less said about McLaren's weekend the better!  Even Jenson Button struggled to conceal his pessimism in his post-race assessment, although expressing hopes that Silverstone may be better.

Other drives are worthy of mention. Paul di Resta's spirited drive was very timely, particularly vis-a-vis his team-mate. Another unobtrusive but impressive display too from Jean-Eric Vergne.  Perhaps unsurprisingly Valtteri Bottas did not translate his praiseworthy qualifying slot into a tangible race result, but there is something to build on there.

So what of hopes for a competitive second half to the season?  It is hard to predict with any degree of certainty which team, if any, will make inroads into the lead of Vettel and Red Bull, with their numbing consistency and efficiency.  Silverstone should offer additional clues and evidence.