FormulaY : Canada Debrief

First, I must apologize for skipping the Monaco Debrief. The Indy 500, Monaco, American Memorial Day, and a bunch of other commitments delayed the ability to sit down and get to writing a bit. By the time I had started it, the Canadian free practices were starting and I figured it best to stay in the present. I hope it is the first and last ‘lost’ Debrief of the season.

Now, back to Canada…

The biggest form of tension in the paddock on race day was contained to one garage, Force India’s. With a shot at the podium, both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were on the tail of 3rd place RIC’s Red Bull. Ocon in the back of the train, Perez in the middle. Perez has been FI #1 driver all year and has the resume to back up that distinction. We talked about Perez’s points and finish streak in the Spain Debrief. That type of consistency is what has allowed FI to break out and claim the top of the midfield pack position.

But Ocon is no slouch and though this is only his first season with the team, and one of his firsts in Formula 1, Ocon has progressed remarkably and is a real pusher for Perez. As the (grating) NBC coverage noted, Ocon had the pace and the tires to make a move on Riccardo that Perez had failed to do.

Radio messages highlighted FI reluctance to give team orders, and they merely waited for Perez to look past his competitive spirit and see the data plainly. Why wouldn’t Perez himself want the shot at the podium? Why give it to the younger, new teammate? You can’t blame Perez. But why no team orders? It made little sense to try to beg Perez for something you can order him to do.

Ahhhh, there it is. The notorious owner of Force India, Vijay “Pay your taxes” Mallya devulges a team policy of NO Team Orders. That clears up a lot but certainly won’t do much to alleviate the tension between drivers and their mechanics and pit walls. Ocon, rightfully, feels held back and he knows who did it–Perez by way of team policy.

It will be interesting to see how the policy changes moving forward as podiums and possibly even a race win become more realistic Grand Prix to Grand Prix, as Force India continues to impress. But do not forget, the culture of the team has allowed them to get where they are. It must be with cautious steps that they make changes to it.

KRU

Hockey!

The Canadian GP in Montreal always brings with it a crossover aspect after my own heart, Hockey and F1.

Stupid, sexy Karlsson showing up to support must be nice for Ericsson. They can both talk about being the best part of an underfunded team.

Bottas even got to hit the ice with Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron for some promo fun.

Alonso in the Stands

The Indy 500 experience may be the lifeblood that keeps Alonso racing through this season. Despite a heart wrenching, gut busting DNF while in the points with a few laps to go, Fern took it all in stride, heading into the stands to mingle with the fans. Clearly, the openness of IndyCar was a welcomed change of pace for the Spaniard and he’s doing his best to bring it back to Formula 1– something Liberty Media must be excited about. Alonso on and off the racetrack is only growing his value in F1. What team wouldn’t want this Alonso?

With the amount of engine upgrades elsewhere on the grid and the McLaren-Hondas sans upgrade about 6-8 MPH slower in the speed traps in Canada, Sunday was an impeccable drive from Alonso. The talk of Alonso being at his peak right now might not be all talk. Will a top team see him as a WDC contender next season? So far, that answer leans “Yes.”

Lewis Hamilton Ties Senna’s Pole Mark

Lewis laid down the fastest lap the track has ever seen and he needed all of it to wrestle the pole away from Ferrari. Hamilton called the 1987 Lotus helmet he received from Senna’s family, after tying the Brazilian’s 65 Poles, more treasured than any award or trophy.

The moment was special. For Hamilton it was a step back into his childhood, a connection to what motivated and what motivates him. For newer fans like me, it was a moment I marked in my mental library, ready to break out when a Hamilton artifact is passed on to the next generational driver, someone who will heavily be influenced by the humble beginnings, rock star Brit. Moreover, it was a moment to pause and appreciate how lucky I am to see Hamilton drive. I missed Prost. I missed Senna. I missed The Michael Schumacher cheating in 1994. I missed too many greats that it is important to not miss the ones (add Vettel to the list) right here, right now–even if I do not root for him or his team.

Hamilton will likely pass Schumacher’s pole record this season (he only needs 3 to catch him, 4 to pass) and more history will follow not far after that. Congratulations to Hamilton, a great ambassador to the sport and it’s next generation.

Stroll Lands in the Points

The Lance Stroll we have been hearing about shown through this weekend, enough to land him and Williams two points. In his hometown race on a track that he never raced before this weekend (in any car), Sunday could have gone sideways easily. Stroll managed to avoid collisions–a.k.a. Carlos Sainz– and made some adept passes fighting up the grid after failing to make Q2. This will surely buy him some time away from the damaging narrative that was building up. However, the next race is as important. Two strong finishes in a row helps prove the old narrative wrong and continues to write a new one. A quick exit or poor showing in Baku lets doubt creep in, and the old narrative to continue.

The Verstappen Question

Three DNFs in the last five races for Max Verstappen not only highlights the problems Renault, Christian Horner, and Adrian Newey created and must fix this season for Red Bull Racing but also highlight a growing concern–how long can they expect to keep the young Dutchman if they can’t compete for wins?

The Red Bull driver program has developed great drivers but none in the pipeline compare to the promise Verstappen shows. Sainz, Jr may be the next best bet but… there are questions about his abilities. How quickly would RBR unravel without the promise of a driver who can win WDC for the next ten years?


Formula 1 Standings and Schedule

Formula 1 Drivers' Championship
Place Name Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 141
2 Lewis Hamilton 129
3 Valtteri Bottas 93
4 Kimi Räikkönen 73
5 Daniel Ricciardo 67

 

Formula 1 Constructors' Championship
Place Name Points
1 Mercedes 222
2 Scuderia Ferrari 214
3 Red Bull Racing 112
4 Force India-Mercedes 71
5 Toro Rosso 29

 

Formula 1 on NBC Sports
Round Date Grand Prix Track Winner Team
1 26 March Australian Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
2 9 April Chinese Shanghai International Circuit Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 16 April Bahrain Bahrain International Circuit Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4 30 April Russian Sochi Autodrom Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
5 14 May Spanish Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
6 28 May Monaco Circuit de Monaco Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
7 11 June Canadian Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
8 25 June Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
9 9 July Austrain Red Bull Ring
10 16 July British Silverstone Circuit
11 30 July Hungarian Hungaroring
12 27 August Belgian Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
13 3 September Italian Autodromo Nazionale Monza
14 17 September Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit
15 1 October Malaysian Sepang International Circuit
16 8 October Japanese Suzuka International Racing Course
17 22 October United States Circuit of the Americas
18 29 October Mexican Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
19 12 November Brazilian Autódromo José Carlos Pace
20 26 November Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit

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More Race Schedules

Formula E on Fox Sports
Round Date ePrix Track Winner Team
1 9 October 16 Hong Kong Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
2 12 November 16 Marrakesh Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
3 18 February Buenos Aires Puerto Madero Street Circuit Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
4 1 April Mexico City Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Lucas di Grassi ABT Schaeffler Audi
5 13 May Monaco Circuit de Monaco Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
6 20 May Paris Paris Street Circuit Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
7 10 June Berlin Race 1 Tempelhorf Airport Street Circuit Felix Rosenqvist Mahindra Racing
8 11 June Berlin Race 2 Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit Sébastien Buemi Renault e.Dams
9 15 July New York Race 1 Brooklyn Street Circuit
10 16 July New York Race 2 Brooklyn Street Circuit
11 29 July Montreal Race 1 Montreal Street Circuit
12 30 July Montreal Race 2 Montreal Street Circuit

 

IndyCar on NBC Sports or ABC
Round Date Race Name Track Winner Team
1 March 12 Firestone GP of St Petersburg Streets of St Petersburg Sébastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing (Honda)
2 April 9 Toyota GP of Long Beach Streets of Long Beach James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Honda)
3 April 23 Honda Indy GP of Alabama Barber Motorsports Park Josef Newgarden Team Penske (Chevrolet)
4 April 29 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix GP Phoenix International Raceway Simon Pagenaud Team Penske (Chevrolet)
5 May 13 IndyCar GP Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Will Power Team Penske (Chevrolet)
6 May 28 101st Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport (Honda)
7 June 3 Chevrolet Detroit GP Raceway at Belle Isle Park Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Honda)
8 June 4 Chevrolet Detroit GP Raceway at Belle Isle Park Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Honda)
9 June 10 Rainguard Water Sealer 600 Texas Motor Speedway Will Power Team Penske (Chevrolet)
10 June 25 Kohler GP Road America
11 July 9 Iowa Corn 300 Iowa Speedway
12 July 16 Honda Indy Toronto Exhibition Place
13 July 30 Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
14 August 20 ABC Supply 500 Pocono Raceway
15 August 26 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Gateway Motorsports Park
16 September 3 GP at The Glen Watkins Glen International
17 September 17 GoPro GP of Sonoma Sonoma Raceway

 

FIA World Endurance Championship on WEC website
Round Date Race Track LM P1 LM GTE PRO
1 16 April 6 Hours of Silverstone Silverstone Circuit Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Derani/Priaulx/Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK
2 6 May WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Bird/Rigon Ferrari AF Corse
3 17-18 June 24 Hours of Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe
4 16 July 6 Hours of Nürburgring Nürburgring
5 3 September 6 Hours of Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
6 16 September 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas Circuit of the Americas
7 15 October 6 Hours of Fuji Fuji Speedway
8 5 November 6 Hours of Shanghai Shanghai International Circuit
9 18 November 6 Hours of Bahrain Bahrain International Circuit

 

FIA World RX Championship on World RX website
Round Date Race Track Winner Team
1 31 March World RX of Barcelona Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Mattias Ekstrom EKS RX (Audi)
2 21 April Bompiso World RX of Portugal Montalegre Mattias Ekstrom EKS RX (Audi)
3 5 May World RX of Hockenheim Hockenheimring Mattias Ekstrom EKS RX (Audi)
4 12 May Coyote World RX of Belgium Circuit Jules Tacheny Johan Kistoffersson PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
5 26 May World RX of Great Britain Lydden Hill Petter Solberg PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
6 9 June Team Verksted World RX of Norway Hell Johan Kistoffersson PSRX Volkswagen Sweden
7 30 June World RX of Sweden Holjes Motorstadion
8 4 August World RX of Canada Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres
9 1 September Bretagne World RX of France Loheac Bretagne
10 15 September Neste World RX of Latvia Bikernieki National Sports Base
11 29 September All-Inkl.com World RX of Germany Estering
12 10 November World RX of South Africa Killarney International Raceway

 

DTM on DTM website (US may need VPN), replay on CBS/CBS Sports
Round Race # Date Track Winner Team
1 R1 6 May Hockenheimring Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT
1 R2 7 May Hockenheimring Jamie Green Team Rosberg (Audi)
2 R1 20 May EuroSpeedway Lausitz Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT
2 R2 21 May EuroSpeedway Lausitz Jamie Green Team Rosberg (Audi)
3 R1 17 June Hungaroring
3 R2 18 June Hungaroring
4 R1 1 July Norisring
4 R2 2 July Norisring
5 R1 22 July Moscow Raceway
5 R2 23 July Moscow Raceway
6 R1 19 August Circuit Park Zandvoort
6 R2 20 August Circuit Park Zandvoort
7 R1 9 September Nürburgring
7 R2 10 September Nürburgring
8 R1 23 September Red Bull Ring
8 R2 24 September Red Bull Ring
9 R1 14 October Hockenheimring
9 R2 15 October Hockenheimring
 

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