Montreal 2011 will go down as a classic Formula One race. You would not have dared submit a (credible) script which included the hour-and-a-half break for torrential rain, the crashes, the collisions, the inter-team over-proximity, the broken front wings, the red flag, the return of an Old Master, enough laps from the Safety Car to warrant its own tire changes and enough indiscretions for the stewards to pull a night-shift.
But, the final twist was a slight Seb slip which cost him the top step of the podium.
Red Bull Racing's last podium in Montreal was DC’s last back in 2008 – so you would expect it to be undiluted jubilation in the garage. And, there was: for Mark’s commanding drive from a brush with Lewis on the first lap to finish on the podium -- another display of that infamous Aussie grit -- and for Vettel's second place. But there was disappointment as Sebastian only failed to lead the race once, and that was at the checkered flag.
There are of course silver linings to the many clouds which hung over Île Notre-Dame. The next best thing to a one-two is a two-three and the other was that Alonso and Hamilton’s DNFs were good for both Red Bull Racing drivers’ championship fights.
“Formula One provided tremendous entertainment this afternoon.”
It was a long afternoon for everyone, not least the boys in the garage. Not only did they have the pitstops to contend with -- those are a given -- but an hour and a half in the kind of heavy rain which soaks right through to the bone made the day even more challenging. And that’s even with the umbrellas, the raincoats and the cups of tea.
So what had looked at one stage like a wash-out turned out to be a thrilling example of how Formula One manages to encompass drama, danger and -- for some -- disappointment all in one race. As Team Principal Christian Horner said: “Formula One provided tremendous entertainment this afternoon.”
Despite not winning today, Seb actually increases his lead over his nearest rival. He’s now 60 points ahead of Jenson, while he was 58 points ahead of Lewis before the race. The team now sits 69 points ahead of McLaren and 154 ahead of Ferrari.
There’s still plenty more of this season’s script to be written.
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