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F1 Montreal

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Canadian Grand Prix

F1 Montreal

Marvyn H.
June 11, 2007

Well, today we saw a Moto GP race which everyone around the world thought would be impossible to beat. And it just might have been, maybe. The Canadian F1 GP, known for it's entertaining and incident filled races, lived up to and beyond it's reputation. Lewis Hamilton won the race, but that's the end...

In one single race there were four - yes four - safety cars, plenty of people in the "wall of champions" as well as other walls, 2 drivers getting black flagged and a whole lot more. Let's start at the beginning, the starting grid:

1) Lewis Hamilton (Mclaren)
2) Fernando Alonso (Mclaren)
3) Nick Heidfeld (BMW) 4) Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
5) Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 6) Mark Webber (Red Bull)
7) Nico Rosberg (Williams) 8) Robert Kubica (BMW)
9) Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) 10) Jarno Trulli (Toyota)

11) Takuma Sato (Super Aguri) 12) Tonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso)
13) Rubens Barrichello (Honda) 14) David Coulthard (Red Bull)
15) Jenson Button (Honda) 16) Scott Speed (Toro Rosso)

17) Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri) 18) Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)
19) Alex Wurz (Williams) 20) Adrian Sutil (Spyker)
21) Christijan Albers (Spyker) 22) Heikki Kovalainen (Renault)

First incident goes to Mr. Fernando Alonso, all and sundry expected him to keep his head and use his experience to take the race away from his younger partner in crime. But, alas, Alonso took a chance and tried to pass Hamilton on the outside of corner one on lap one and it simply did not work with Fernando going in too hot and having to take hist first trip across the grass at turn one. Alonso managed to run across virtually the same piece of grass four times in the same race, losing position time and again and having to make up additional lost time due to pitting illegally just as the safety car was coming out for an incident. Despite these five incidents Alonso was directly involved which cost him time, not only did he not end up in an accident and retiring from the race but he actually managed to finish in seventh place. There was another amazing incident involving Alonso - he was passed under normal race conditions by Takuma Sato (who finished 6th) in a Super Aguri!

Too many incidents to list in one article, but there is one that definitely needs highlighting. Robert Kubica crashed in a spectacular accident, and by spectacular I am referring to the fact that he left the hospital the next day with nothing more than a sprained ankle and concussion. The accident took place a short time after he had obeyed a red light signal at the end of pit lane and waited for the safety car to pass, coming down the straight at a frightening speed he made contact with a Toyota in the fast left-hander before the Casino hair-pin bend. The accident is basically beyond description, and it is a testament to the safety standards of F1 that he's doing okay now and well on his way to recovery.

One more incident to note is the brain-fade suffered by both Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella. Both seemed to pass Kubica at the exit of the pits while the light was red - the resulting punishment being a straight black flag. Pack your bags and go home boys.

Only twelve drivers made it to the end of the race, and their positions were:

1 - Wonderboy Lewis Hamilton, started in first, kept a cool head when all fell to pieces around him, seeming the most experienced out of the pack of chasing drivers
2 - Nick Heidfeld who also kept his head and stayed calm throughout the havoc
3 - Alex Wurz
4 - Heikki Kovalainen
5 - Kimi Raikkonen with the quietest race of anyone and not doing much at all
6 - Takuma Sato
7 - Fernando Alonso
8 - Ralf Schumacher
9 - Mark Webber
10 - Nico Rosberg
11 - Anthony Davidson
12 - Rubens Barrichello

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