Saturday, 7 June 2014

Canadian Qualifying: Martini's all round, for a great performance.

Well, I can't help but admit that I'm feeling slightly smug, whilst feeling very surprised at the same time. A couple of blog posts back, I made a bit of wild claim, that Williams were the team to challenge Mercedes. They've looked stronger and stronger at each race and looked like the top team at times, during qualifying in Canada. I genuinely thought that, as we progressed through the 2014 season, I would be tenuously scraping the barrel for justification for my rash prediction about Williams beating Mercedes.

However, during Q1, they were the pace setters and looked like there was a chance they might just run away with the entire session. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, as the usual suspects slammed in their characteristically supreme laps. The actual order of the Silver Arrows was interesting though, as Nico Rosberg took pole, and without spinning off or locking up, to "unintentionally" stop anybody else from putting in a faster lap. Vettel put in a stirling final lap to split the Mercedes cars from the Williams cars and put himself third on the grid.

There were two big incidents, involving Force India and then Caterham. It seemed that some of the drivers were really struggling with the chicanes, during the session. Perez had his rookie head on in Q1, when he tried to plant his front left tyre in the mud, under braking, and understandably lost control of his Force India race car. Fortunately, for him, the spin was in open space and didn't take him in to a barrier or wall. Ericsson wasn't quite so lucky with his spin, and even more frustrating was the fact that he wasn't even on a fast lap, as he slammed in to the barrier at the end of Q1.

Only time will tell if Williams can make the Canadian Grand Prix and then future races, a bit more of a spectacle right at the front. As I've said in previous posts, its feasible. After all, they have the same engine as the dominant best friends, turned bitter rivals, who currently lead the championship.

The Grid:
16Nico RosbergMercedes1:16.4711:15.2891:14.87419
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:15.7501:15.0541:14.95320
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:17.4701:16.1091:15.54818
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:16.7721:15.8061:15.55021
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:16.6661:15.7731:15.57821
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:17.1131:15.8971:15.58920
714Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:17.0101:16.1311:15.81417
825Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:17.1781:16.2551:16.16224
922Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:16.6311:16.2141:16.18220
107Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:17.0131:16.2451:16.21417
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:16.8971:16.30021
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:16.4461:16.31015
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:18.2351:16.47219
148Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:17.7321:16.68719
1526Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:16.9381:16.71319
1699Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:17.5191:17.31416
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:18.32810
184Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:18.3486
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:18.3595
2010Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:19.2788
219Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:19.82010
DNS21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari