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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Montreal: Formula 1 Exposed

Another fantastic Canadian Grand Prix with brilliant racing and interesting strategies but once again, ultimately, it was all about tyres.

From Qualifying, where Button had to sit in the garage during Q3 because of his lack of option tyres and then went backward in the race to ultimately end up in no-man's land, to Alonso in first place with the end in sight finally finishing up in fifth.

It was all about tyres.

Hamilton's radio message to the pits asking if the crew were sure that Alonso and Vettel were two-stopping summed up the serious question of the day.

It turned out that his crew got the answer wrong, but the strategy right.  Alonso stayed out and Vettel would have if he thought he'd get away with it.

Alonso made the call and Alonso got it wrong.  Great driving, on a one stopper, saw Grosjean and Perez steam past the stricken Ferrari in the way a speedboat passes a canoe.  He didn't even register on the radar.  For the first time in years Ferrari became a mobile chicane.

By the way, Hamilton won the race with a great drive but...

It's all about tyres.

On the grid we saw Adrian Newey drawing pictures of the other cars on the grid - I wonder if they were Lotus and Sauber - How, once again, can Perez get so much out of these tyres?  How did Grosjean manage the same feat?  It's incomprehensible, so incomprehensible that when Ron Dennis was being interviewed by the Sky lass and started talking technical her eyes and ours began to glaze over: So incomprehensible that Brundle said that when he asked Ross Brawn to explain it Ross ended up scribbling pages upon pages of graphs as part of his explanation.  When asked by his co-commentator whether he understood it, Brundle said he did.

How could he? Brawn himself doesn't seem to understand it - certainly Mercedes only seem to work the tyres well in very particular circumstances.

Who understands these tyres?  It's all about the tyres.

Montreal, once again served us up a cracking GP, as it nearly always does; it was night and day to Monaco. I just wish I could actually see car racing rather than tyre management.