Sunday, July 14, 2024


Second best race of the week

Clearly, the gods of Formula 1 have access to my computer, because this column was imagined to be about something completely different.

I had a clever idea and told the editor how I used to be going to implement it. You see, I recently returned from watching the Isle of Man motorcycle races, the very best spectator sporting event I even have ever attended. In the back Monaco GP (sponsored by the insomnia industry), I expected to put in writing a witty column concerning the Canadian GP as follows: I'll tell the story of Isle of Man 2024 with its 57-mile course and the sensation of utter bewilderment you’re feeling as a motorbike flies past a faculty at 170 miles for an hour. I’d showcase the TT and tell the F1 fans what they missed. The last line of the column might be the just one containing any F1 content. “And there was a Formula 1 race in Canada and Max Verstappen won.”

- Advertisement -

Conceit comes before a fall, and I used to be content. Formula 1 is an unpredictable child that has a habit of delivering the unexpected. The weather radar in Montreal was going crazy all weekend, and the race reminded us why we love this sport. The column idea is gaining momentum – for now.

Qualifying for the Canadian GP was great. George Russell took pole position, although Max achieved the same time and took second place only because he was second on the course. McLaren looked very strong with the second row covered, and Daniel Ricciardo's disagreement with a furious Jacques Villeneuve was rewarded with a sensational high five!

(Side note: I feel we were all relatively surprised Villeneuve said he cannot understand how Ricciardo continues to be in F1. I definitely was. And then I thought of it for some time and got here to the conclusion that JV might be right about this. I don't really understand the entire Ricciardo thing – like Gunther Steiner, he’s the unintended star of a Netflix series that sees his profession decline with each recent season. (It's like presenting Top Gear, as a few of you could notice.) And yet, even after a season out of the game and a lackluster comeback, Ricciardo has made a great deal of money smiling across the paddock, seemingly loved by everyone – and sometimes so he tells us, still hungry wins. If I were the team manager, I’d happily drink just a few cold beers with Ricciardo. But he's certainly one of the last players I'd wish to hire as a driver.)

Other runners and riders you understand. Ferrari didn’t make Q3; Albon managed to do it. He's really good in qualifying. And poor old Checo Perez? He signs a two-year contract after which drops out of the primary quarter. You just wish to hug the guy.

Charles Leclerc and his terrible, terrible, no good, very bad day

Charles Leclerc and his terrible, terrible, no good, very bad day

Photo: Zak Mauger / Motorsport images

We were lucky that this race began in any respect. New paving was installed in Montreal this 12 months, but we saw longer delays and fewer standing water. I like watching races in these conditions, not due to some macabre fascination with crashes and safety cars, but because real rain signifies that in a few of the few moments you're prone to see lots of drivers making lots of mistakes. Rain has such a big impact on the Grand Prix that it may well make Monaco unwatchable. Rain means overtaking and divergent strategies and K-MAG in full wet conditions while everyone else (except his teammate) is on intermediates! Early on, the leaders did an excellent job of keeping him out of the bin, however the Danish sensation made it to fifth place… before the standing water disappeared along together with his superpower. Hulkenburg enjoyed similar success.

Ferrari was already hating Montreal when Leclerc radioed that his engine was a bit crap. “We know the engine is good,” got here the helpful reply from the Scuderia. Racing has a habit of reminding winning drivers of their mortality, but there have been few more cruel incentives than Leclerc, who opted for slick tires later within the race, losing 30 seconds a lap, actually being lapped, after which retiring. Sainz, ever the team player, threw the ball towards the top of the match and demolished Albon in the method. Ferrari has every reason to hate this race track for a few years to return.

McLaren doesn't. Norris really must have won this race. Commentators love to inform us about possible and probable overshoots and undercuts. But from my viewpoint, McLaren simply screwed up this pit stop. On the newest restart, Verstappen reminded us why he’s the very best driver in Formula 1 – he absolutely delivers on the sector when the team needs him. Piastri was strangely quiet for many of the nearly two-hour show, but like all of those characters, I’ll at all times be in awe of driving a 1,000-horsepower vehicle with terrible visibility in what looked like a shallow lake for boats. Perez must avoid Helmut for several days.

George Russell could watch the race now and see the millimeter of brilliance within the short distance between his current form and becoming world champion in the longer term. After the performance, he blamed himself for making so many mistakes, but he ran an aggressive and exciting race. His move within the Piastri case was daring, but Senna's opinion on such situations still holds true.

Davey Todd on his way to one of his three Isle of Man TT wins

Davey Todd on his strategy to certainly one of his three Isle of Man TT wins


Meanwhile, on the Isle of Man, a young boy called Davey Todd took three senior TT wins. His fastest lap averaged 135 miles per hour; its top speed was over 200 miles per hour. One of his primary rivals, Peter Hickman, at a low point at a spot called Ginger Hall, narrowly missed the wall at 80 miles per hour. Before commentators confirmed he was alive and moving, Hickman limped into a close-by pub and drank a pint. As Todd was about to cross the finish line, the identical commentators wondered concerning the exact day the TT winner last sported the rider's distinctive mullet and mustache combination. “Eddie Laycock in 1989” – got here the confident response from my friend.

Even the nice F1 race is overshadowed by the amazing Isle of Man TT.

Picture above: Ralph Hermens

Read more