A look back at Canadian GP History by Carlo Carluccio in association with MISSED APEX PODCAST. Listen in the player below after you've enjoyed the article.
I wonder who is going to challenge the juggernaut that is the Ross Brawn inspired Mercedes team. Personally, I believe no-one.
With F1 the way it is now, engine development is neutralised by a ridiculous token system and whatever aerodynamic progress is made by the following pack - its benefit is marginal in relation to challenging Lewis Hamilton and well, Rosberg, I guess…
I can’t make up my mind about young Nico. Is he, at his peak, as good as Lewis or is he flattered by a Mercedes that is so far ahead of meaningful competition that if Hamilton slips up it can only be Rosberg that benefits?
Maybe it’s a Nic’ type thing but when I think of drivers that ‘flatter to deceive’ there’s two that remain entrenched in my mind – Nico Hulkenburg and Nick Heidfeld.
People suggest that the ‘Hulk’ should be pedalling an Italian chariot but for the life of me I haven’t tripped upon the reasoning. In his first season, an aging Barrichello generally bested him and his career has maintained a momentum that would have appeared normal on the topography of the Himalayas.
In 2014 Hulk joined Force India to partner Sergio Perez, yet in their time together the Mexican has made him look, frankly, ordinary. Remember, Serg was a guy that Ferrari didn’t pluck from their academy and Mclaren disposed of after a season.
As to the other quick Nick? Heidfeld had been part of the Mclaren Junior team when he was partnered with Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber in 2001. Yet the Finn would be signed for the Woking concern in 2002.
Heidfeld spent his career in freefall and suffered appalling luck throughout - which astonishingly continued in Formula E. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think he was World Champion material but he held his own against some sparkling talent – none more so than Robert Kubica.
Kubica. A name spoken with hushed tones during his tenure in the sport but with much shaking of the head after his unfortunate accident in 2011. The Polish driver was genuinely feared by his contemporaries such as Hamilton and Alonso and would score one victory in his F1 career - at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. This came almost a year after one of the most astonishing testaments to human endurance and F1 safety technology.
In 2007 as he approached the final hairpin Kubica tagged the rear of Jarno Trulli’s Toyota which caused a loss of control onto the grass before a bump launched the car into the concrete wall. The car disintegrated during its uncontrolled flight whilst it shed wheels and ancillaries across the Canadian landscape.
Concussion and bruising were the only ailments that affected the robust man but the medical delegate at the following United States Grand Prix decided that the risk of a second impact with the walls was best avoided; therefore a 19 year old Sebastian Vettel took his place with the BMW team for the one race…
Fast forward a year and the Pole had qualified second to Lewis Hamilton. After the first round of pit stops he emerged ahead of Hamilton’s Mclaren; due to taking on less fuel at the stop. With obstructions on track, the pit exit light shone red and both Kubica and Raikkonen stopped at the end of the pit-lane.
In another of those ‘top 10 retirement excuses’, Hamilton ran into the back of Kimi’s car which eliminated both on the spot and secured Kubica the victory. The Finn vaulted from the car in enraged fury… no, hang on, that’s the Italian way.
Kimi sauntered from the car, pointed out the traffic light system to the young Briton and went in search of…
Join us here at www.spannersready.com/articles Next week for another series. This time on the European GP.