Formula One returns to business in Montreal after Bahrain farce

Posted on June 10, 2011


With any luck, Formula One is on for a thrilling race weekend to put behind it a week of nonsense and politics.

Time to get back to the important business in Montreal. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

The 2010 Canadian Grand Prix was one of the biggest highlights of last season. The race was an extraordinary mix of strategy and raw pace – helped by disintegrating Bridgestone tyres. It set the mould for what Pirelli were asked to do and look at the racing we have had?

Montreal is also one of those tracks where the driver can really make the difference. The ‘wall of champions’ already claimed Sebastian Vettel in this afternoon’s first practice and Lewis Hamilton always goes well here – something he needs after the debacle of Monaco and its aftermath.

There is no denying out right pace will make Vettel the favourite as usual. It has to. The RB7 has an even greater pace advantage than its predecessor car and the world champion is in the form of his career, as well as riding a wave of fantastic luck.

But Vettel will, hopefully, be run close this weekend. The McLaren is getting quicker and both the Ferrari and Mercedes cars could be up there as well.

Hopefully the two DRS zones won’t make everything too ridiculous on Sunday. I fear we’re going to see cars sailing past each constantly, which will be something of a nonsense. James Allen has already reflected that qualifying will likely be pretty unimportant this weekend, which is a shame. We’ll see some fast racing but will we see close, high quality racing? Who knows.

Sadly, the farcical Bahrain situation will bleed through into everything. The race has, finally, been cancelled. The teams did exactly the right thing in putting their foot down through FOTA.

The Bahrain organisers may bleat about hypocrisy but the reality is the 2011 race should have been cancelled outright in February when protestors were being shot in the street and Saudi tanks rolled in to help put down the opposition. It should never have come to the comedy of errors of the past 10 days. Bernie Ecclestone has ended up looking duplicitous, Jean Todt weak and the sport ridiculous.

It’s a real shame and it was completely avoidable.

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