2016 Canadian Grand Prix History Part 1 of 5

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.

Canadian GP. Turn 13 

Canadian GP. Turn 13 

Well, after an eventful Monaco Grand Prix – where Red Bull gifted Justin Bieber’s ‘best friend forever’ his first 2016 win, Felipe Massa demonstrated his formulaic race ability when being chased by a red car from Maranello and the Monaco domiciled German – Nico Rosberg - proved once and for all to be his father’s son - we move over to a country which has given us grizzly bears, Mounties, Maple Syrup and of course the Villeneuve legacy..

As a kid of Italian heritage I grew up supporting Ferrari. My father, uncles and all male members of the immediate family roared with tribal passion whenever the red cars appeared on screen and the adoration of the mythical Prancing Horse stable lent itself perfectly to support of the team’s incumbents.

Throughout history, the fraternity of the Tifosi will desire a driver joins the team to enhance ‘our’ reputation. Without question if Maranello had signed Ayrton Senna to lead the team we would have adored his genius – especially as he was of Italian descent (via his maternal Grandparents).

Turn 2

Turn 2

Yet by the same token we will despise the mundane talents that should never have ensconced their buttocks within the carbon-fibre skin of a Ferrari. I mean what the hell were Ferrari management thinking when they signed Alain Prost. Or Rubens Barrichello, or Felipe Massa or Kimi Raikkonen. Really?!!

The problems began in the Schumacher era. Ask any modern follower of F1 and they’ll claim that Ferrari have always supported a number 1 and 2 driver policy. What utter bull***t. If they don’t use Schumi as the example, they’ll gladly throw in the instruction to Massa – “Alonso is faster than you…”

Enzo Ferrari hated any driver taking credit for the Italian team’s successes. He would play drivers off of each other to demonstrate that the car was the most important ingredient in success. One driver who became a legend within his lifetime - and is woven into the very fabric of the Ferrari story - is Gilles Villeneuve.

Wall of Champions

Wall of Champions

The legacy of this quite breath-taking talent from the late 70’s was almost destroyed when his son wormed his way into F1 in 1996. It seems inconceivable that a multiple F1 World Championship winning team were seemingly coerced into taking on the French-Canadian driver by the aged organ grinder, Mr B. Ecclestone.

So Jacques tested extensively for the Williams team during the summer of 1995. His preparation, before the 1996 season, was possibly the best a driver had ever received - until a young Lewis Hamilton’s career was launched by a proud Ron Dennis and a Mclaren team blessed with 780 pages of secret Ferrari data.

Ok, I got side tracked.

Canada… an absolutely stunning country with a race track that frankly I find boring. Be it watching on TV or playing it on a console race game. You try a new F1 game on a console and the two circuits which demand trial, due to their simple nature, is the Spiritual home of motor-racing – I.e Monza and the Canadian island track. Yet somehow it produces fascinating races in general.

It used to be a challenge with sweeping bends which required balls of steel but now it seems like two drag strips interconnected with hairpins. Just think, if Herman Tilke unveiled this layout as a new track, even Bernie would baulk at the prospect of demanding millions from those nice Canadian folk!

Join us here at www.spannersready.com/articles tomorrow for Canadian GP History.