By The Fat Hippo
Written in association with Missed Apex Podcast. Listen in the player below the article and don't forget to comment.
No Pressure, none at all…
Back in the olden days when I was a lad, and we still had to walk to school, fifty miles uphill in both directions, things were different. Nobody ate muesli for breakfast, or weeds. We usually ate something that was formerly part of a farm animal and we fed the seeds and the weeds to the birds outside, except for when we ate said birds. Nobody had a Playstation either, endlessly twiddling with the buttons on a controller. The only buttons we were pushing belonged to what was growing on a beautiful girl’s chest, but I digress…
Back then saying that there were still fifteen Grand Prix to go meant that it was March and we had just seen the first race or the season hadn’t even begun yet. These days we’ve already seen six of them and one thing we keep hearing is: “There are still so many races to go.” While semantically correct, the fact of the matter is that, although we still have before us what in the olden days was called ‘a whole season’, for many people the Canadian Grand Prix will be make-or-break time already.
Not counting that they still have by far the most superior car, the Mercs have been showing signs of vulnerability this year. If Nico and Lewis can keep themselves from crashing into each other, my prediction is: Lewis 1st, Nico 3rd, as Merc is expected to bring an aero update in addition to engine tweaks. Had Nico anything in his pants that identifies him as a male of the species, I would have predicted a one-two, but by accepting that ridiculous team order at Monaco he has resumed his role as the resident doormat and I’m afraid the result will reflect that.
The much needed turbo fix is coming in Canada, which is a power track. However, the Ferraris have struggled to get the tyres up to temperature. What might help on a hot day is a trifle impractical on a weekend where temperatures are forecast never to exceed 20 degrees centigrade. The expected rain on Sunday might help them. My prediction: Seb second, Kimi 6th. Vivian will hate me for that, but Ferrari have been a bit dodgy with their strategy this year, and it’s Kimi’s turn this time. Seb was already shafted in Melbourne and Barcelona. On top of that Kimi has a bit of a history there, trying to navigate the hairpin with his car’s rear-end pointing to where he was supposed to be going.
They have been turning up the heat on Ferrari and now both cars will have the new B-Spec Renault Tag-Heuer engines. Max will have to prove after the largely embarrassing Monaco weekend that he is really ready to play with the big boys. My prediction: Daniel 4th, Max 5th. Hopefully Red Bull can let Danny have a normal race this time or he might start to look for exit clauses in his contract soon.
For someone who has a Le Mans win to his name, Hulk’s season has been remarkably unremarkable so far. Granted, had the team not shafted him so badly at Monaco, he would finally have scored his first podium, but ‘nearly’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This year’s car is surprisingly good, especially compared to the Williams. In a year where most teams will concentrate on the new design early, they could spring a surprise or two. My prediction: Checo 7th, Hulk 9th.
To complete the top 10 I predict Alonso on eighth and the final point for Kvyat, if he somehow manages to keep himself from clattering into someone else.
You might miss the Williams cars in that, which is because I don’t expect them to be very high up the order. Their car lacks aerodynamic downforce and that’s not very helpful on a track where the others run small wings themselves. Red Bull ran their cars in Monza specification two years ago. 11th and 12th for the Williamses.
Bernd Mayländer will probably get his fair share of track time as well, as the Canada GP is always good for jolly ol’ pile-up.
‘Till then, greetings from the waterhole.
(Editor- Is Hippo right? Comment below)