Sebastian Vettel (Q1, R1)
Sebastian Vettel secured another textbook victory, bringing his RB9 home 14 seconds ahead of late-charger Alonso. The German capitalised on his one opportunity in Q3 to set a quick lap and was unchallenged from there once Saturday’s rain began to fall once again. The opening laps were all too familiar, with Sebastian pushing a handful of seconds ahead of second place before DRS was made available to the pack.
He looked to be struggling for grip before his final stop – an off-track excursion was a surprise feature in the German’s race, though it failed to damage his confidence as he pushed to secure the fastest lap of the race. But his best efforts weren’t enough and he was beaten first by Fernando Alonso and then by Mark Webber. Pole, victory and the third-fastest lap isn’t anything to be disappointed about, though. He obviously wanted the record because he set the fastest first sector of the race on lap 70 before hitting traffic.
For anybody wishing for a close championship battle in 2013, Canada was a dagger in the heart. With weekends completed as flawlessly as these, it’s stunning to think Sebastian Vettel might not yet be at his peak.
Paul di Resta (Q17, R7)
Despite a disappointing qualifying result, di Resta fought back to seventh by the end of the race and crucially put himself ahead of his team-mate. Paul’s 56 laps before his first stop was the longest seen in 2013, though don’t expect these types of stints to appear in the coming races; Montreal’s cooler climate and new, less-abrasive surface did wonders for the Pirelli rubber.
Paul is putting himself in a position to deliver an impressive result any race now. Force India look to be the fastest they’ve ever been (save for a couple of races in 2009) and could easily cause an upset given the right circumstances.
Races like his in Montreal won’t have hurt his quest to prove he should’ve been given the 2013 Mercedes seat.
Jean-Eric Vergne (Q7, R6)
Mr Vergne! First a beautiful performance around the streets of Monaco and now sixth place two weeks later.
The Frenchman has really come to the fore in the past two rounds, putting team-mate Ricciardo well and truly on the back foot. His career-best qualifying position was followed by his career best race result and with the STR8 getting faster every weekend, Jean-Eric has put himself forward as the stronger of the Toro Rosso pair in line to succeed Mark Webber at the end of the season. Vergne is known to be particularly handy in wet conditions and if the car stays as strong as it is now, a wet race in the coming weeks could really provide him with an opportunity to surprise.
He’s now put Ricciardo under serious pressure.
Adrian Sutil (Q8, R10)
Despite qualifying well ahead of his team-mate, Adrian was unable to capitalise on his advantage. The racing Gods were merciful towards Adrian and an early-race spin left him with only a damaged ego. The German fought back from his self-inflicted disadvantage but was later penalised for failing to give way to Lewis Hamilton while being lapped.
Monaco was a brilliant race for the German and Montreal had the opportunity to be another. Silverstone is his team-mate’s, and Force India’s second (after the Indian Grand Prix), home-race and he’ll do well to come home ahead of Paul in Britain. The Scott is making Adrian look a tad silly at the moment and his one chance to save face will be to show the workers at the factory he’s able to get one up on the local boy.
Daniel Ricciardo (Q11, R15)
Ricciardo looked uncharacteristically out-of-place in qualifying and admitted he didn’t fully expect to get through Q1. He did and benefitted from the late-session red flag in Q2 to get himself into the top-10. But that’s as high as Daniel would manage and a penalty for infringing on pit-lane exit regulations sent him back a place to 11th.
A solid start saw him rise to 9th, but the Australian began to lose contact with his rear tyres after his first stop and never recovered. He drifted slowly back to 15th while his team-mate shone in the mid-points.
The golden boy of the Red Bull Junior Team suffered a major defeat in Canada. Until now he’d held a strong buffer to Vergne. With the pressure on, will Ricciardo continue to be all smiles or will the more aggressive Australian who scored countless victories in his junior career reveal himself?
I’ve been saying the STR team battle could be interesting as the season progresses.
It’s about to get heated in the this garage.
Pastor Maldonado (Q13, R16)
Pastor Maldonado was nowhere in Canada. A poor qualifying effort saw him 10 places below his team-mate and an equally disappointing race left him 16th at the chequered flag.
The FW35 is an awful car and neither Maldonado or Bottas can be criticised for failing to make it into the top-10 yet, but the least Pastor should be managing is beating his rookie team-mate. Lucky for the Venezuelan, Williams needs the money he brings and won’t be looking to replace him any time soon.