Canadian GP judged best race of the year so far

2014 Canadian Grand Prix

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The Canadian Grand Prix went down a storm with F1 Fanatic readers, who gave it the third-highest score since Rate the Race began in 2008.

Daniel Ricciardo’s maiden F1 triumph, the halting of Mercedes’ domination, an uncertain outcome and a dramatic last-lap crash made for a thrilling race.

At a time when Formula One is increasingly concerned with raising its popularity and stemming a decline in viewing figures, the last round was the second race this year to get a higher score than any round of the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 championships.

Canada’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has often been credited with producing some of F1’s best races. All bar one of its last six races received an average rating of 7.8 out of ten or higher. This year’s was the highest so far, scoring 9.190.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the Canadian Grand Prix.

‘Race of the year’

Best race of the year. Canada never fails to provide an exciting race. This is the kind of race I want to see all of the time.

It was the first time this year that everyone in my household was yelling at the television like it was a hockey game!

A real cracker of a race. At first the Rosberg-Hamilton rivalry, then the midfield battles, then the Mercedes problems, then Williams with big gains, then Ricciardo, then Force India resurgent, then all the attrition, and finally the last ten laps with an awesome battle for the top five.

As a Hamilton fan, one out of ten, but as an F1 fan, ten out of ten. Voted ten for sure.
Eddie (@Wackyracer)

Canada’s double DRS zones

Fantastically unpredictable race, plenty of different strategies, unreliability, incidents and drama. I ‘only’ rated it a nine, because the actual wheel-to-wheel stuff wasn’t inspiring, either simple DRS passes or follow the leader with not a whole lot between those extremes – so it was really misfortune that provided the excitement over the racing. Still a great race (though personally I preferred Bahrain).
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

Although the ending was fantastic, the first half of the race was the usual 2014 dullness, and the I hate how the FIA insists on two DRS zones with one detection point on this track.

Then the Mercedes’ developed issues and the race became very exciting. And the excitement only grew from there.
Michael Brown

I didn’t think the racing was quite at the same level as Bahrain (I wasn’t hyperventilating this time). I’m very happy for Ricciardo but had Mercedes not had problems no one else would be close to taking it to them. The racing between Hamilton and Rosberg was momentarily interesting but they were both having difficulties by then and it wasn’t so much racing as capitalising on mistakes and mechanical issues. Still, a very good race.

Television coverage

The TV footage could definitely have been better, there were a few times the director choose to show shots of the crowd or mechanics sitting in the garages when there was action to be seen on the circuit.

Most notably after the second round of stops when Hamilton ran wide at the hairpin with Rosberg retaking the lead the TV then cut to the crowd’s reaction instead of focusing on the cars where Hamilton was trying to get the lead back before ultimately his brakes failed.

We also didn’t get to see how Button managed to get fourth at the end.

Constant excitement, unbelievable developments, nobody could have written a script for that. The only minus point is the excruciatingly awful FOM coverage, showing exactly what we don’t want to see.

Abysmal TV directing again. “Something is happening on the track, let’s show the reaction from the crowd/mechanics. Oh, and it’s over, back to normal shots of cars going round.”

Those who were there – or wished they were

Race of the decade for me so far.

As a Canadian, I’m very proud of our lovely little track on Ile Notre-Dame. At the same time, I’m an idiot for only living an hour from Montreal and not going to the race.

That was the best race. I still can’t believe I got to witness that with my own eyes live at the hairpin.
Fernando Dasilva (@Nando2323)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Canadian GP judged best race of the year so far”

  1. I agree on the statement regarding the wheel-to-wheel racing: without DRS passing is still very difficult.

    1. But DRS doesn’t provide wheel to wheel racing, It just produced a series of utterly boring & unexciting highway passes.

      DRS is also flawed in that when you have 2-3+ cars lined up all using DRS nobody is able to do anything & there all just driving along on the limiter.
      This was most obvious at Korea the past few years, Great slipstreaming battles down the long straght with a lot of overtaking over the 1st few laps, Then as soon as DRS was enabled all that stopped & there was either no passing or the passing was too easy.

      DRS should be banned!

      1. In the 2-3 car lined up statement, technically, it would be the same without DRS except maybe they hit the limited faster but the 2nd car in the group is now more able to overtake the car leading the group with DRS, which does, indeed provide more wheel-to-wheel battles.

        1. DRS reduces drag & takes away a big chunk of the slipstream effect. Its something Jenson Button spoke about back in 2011 when asked about it by Martin brundle.

          And how does DRS provide more wheel to wheel battles?
          90% of the time DRS just allows the car using it to just drive past before the braking zone so there is no wheel to wheel battle, Just 1 car easily driving clean past another half way down the straght.

          Senna/Mansell at Spain in 1991 is wheel to wheel battling, A DRS car cruising past another down the straght is not, Its just a boringly dull, Stupidly easy highway pass.

          Its no wonder worldwide tv ratings have been in decline since drs was introduced, thats clearly not the sort of non-racing that racing fans want to watch.

          1. DRS introduction in 2011 is the sole reason that since then I no longer watch all the races live & why I have turned off many races mid-race or before the past 3 years.

            If I see easy DRS passes early on, I turn off the race because I don’t consider that sort of non-racing to be interesting or even remotely exciting, I find it dead boring.

            DRS = Dumb Racing Solution & needs to be banned before it kills the racing completely.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th June 2014, 10:14

    Honestly I thought Bahrain was slightly better.
    But I was only half awake for the Candian GP as it was like 2 am for me lol.

    1. Do you live somewhere in Asia or Australia?

    2. soundscape (@)
      18th June 2014, 21:53

      @tophercheese21 Australian here. I had the same thought, but I was having trouble staying awake for other reasons. :P

  3. It’s races like this that make we wish I was an impartial F1 fan. The best race of the season, and I couldn’t really enjoy it because the outcome depressed me.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      18th June 2014, 10:59

      @adrianmorse – I assume you are a Hamilton fan. Here are some bullet points to cheer you up…

      1. Hamilton has already recovered a 25 pt disadvantage this season.
      2. A number of the coming tracks (Silverstone, Hockenheim, Hungary, Spa) are Hamilton tracks.
      3. Hamilton was faster than Rosberg throughout the weekend at Montreal…other than Q3.
      4. He could still win the championship if he arrives in Abu Dhabi with a 14 pt deficit to Rosberg by simply winning the race.

      Personally I think the deficit Hamilton has is a good thing, ensuring that we will have a exciting championship and meaning that Lewis won’t simply stride away in the championship…something he would be doing had he not retired in Melbourne or Montreal.

      1. On number 2) – isn’t Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve a Hamilton track too though? I actually think it’s encouraging for Rosberg fans that he outqualified Hamilton at maybe his best track. Agree for the most part with the rest of your comments, although I think Nico would push Lewis quite hard in the championship even without the DNFs (remains to be seen if he can maintain his current form through the season though).

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          18th June 2014, 11:43

          @keithedin – Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a Hamilton track, and he would have most likely have won…had his brakes not failed (on the basis that Rosberg’s salvage operation only just failed in the dying laps and that Hamilton appeared substantially faster in the opening half of the race). This weekend will be interesting: I can envisage Rosberg putting the car on pole, due to the track’s similarities with Bahrain, but with Hamilton coming back at Nico on a track a) good for overtaking and b) hard on fuel consumption.

          1. Well, but Rosberg has seemed to be faster several races this year as well, but it was Hamilton leading, I wouldn’t say its most likely Hamilton would have won it @william-brierty

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            18th June 2014, 15:08

            @bascb – I would say that Hamilton’s race performances have been mega this year, and apart from seemingly Bahrain Lewis has had the speed on Nico on higher fuel, with the picture in Spain rather skewed by the poor car balance Hamilton suffered relative to Rosberg that weekend (the marked discrepancy in stability between the two W05s that weekend made Lewis’ race pace, and particularly his pole lap, quite miraculous). In Canada like at Monaco, although to a far greater extent, Lewis had the speed on Nico in the race, and having just jumped Nico before his brakes failed, I’m sure, with reference to how well Rosberg fared and the pace Lewis demonstrated in the opening stages, that without a brake failure Hamilton would have (just) managed to beat Ricciardo.

          3. The thing is, you can’t say “what if Hamiltons brakes hadn’t failed” because it was to do with his driving, with running behind for a long time etc too. And Rosberg was having critical brakes as well on top of the engine thing. Not to mention the engine thing alone would have likely already been of significance by the time Hamilton got by too.

      2. I agree with this; on a similar note, while I don’t have anything against Rosberg, I was glad he fell to 2nd so that the points gap between himself and HAM was not as large as it could have been. Also, I was very happy Ricciardo won; I thought he was going to break his face from smiling that wide. It’s contagious, and I love that positive, upbeat personality. He just seems happy to be racing in F1 at all, let alone getting podiums and race wins. A good change from the contiuous doom and gloom coming from Ferrari (understandably so, 3 WDCs between the drivers and a car that doesn’t really let them compete at the front).

    2. I feel the same. Really gutted about Ham’s retirement and couldn’t really appreciate the entertainment value.

    3. Exactly, it was difficult to enjoy it from the retirement onwards. Nevertheless as a neutral the last 15 laps were incredible.

    4. @adrianmorse This is very interesting because this is the same reason I didn’t enjoy the Bahrain race, being a Ferrari fan both of our cars finished 9th and 10th place if I remember correctly. I thought it was a good race but I didn’t get anything near the feeling I did with Canada (even though Ferrari’s results still wasn’t great). Canada had everything a race could have other than rain, so no wonder it scored higher.

  4. Looking at the all time top 10, I just realized how spoiled we were with great, wonderful races towards the end of 2012 – the last three GPs of that season all feature on the list.

    1. Michael Brown
      18th June 2014, 16:46

      As a trade-off, 2013 brought us nothing.

  5. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    18th June 2014, 10:50

    What a race indeed. Perhaps it didn’t have as much of the side-by-side action of Bahrain, but it a) gave Rosberg the head start over Hamilton he will perhaps need in coming tracks, and b) arguably had more drama and was perhaps even more significant. I say that because Daniel Ricciardo, who for many people, was promoted over Raikkonen mainly to fulfil Red Bull’s immense financial obligations to their driver programme, won the Canadian Grand Prix, having been trounced at that very same track by JEV just twelve months prior; the same race that saw his now teammate dominate the field. Every rational prediction, every seasoned automotive brain would see Ricciardo challenge the four-time champion only on occasional Saturdays in 2014, and yet, he has often beaten the champion in most competitive sessions this year. He has been a true revelation, easily the best performer of the year so far, and it begs the question, if Ricciardo was not overtly stronger than Vergne in 2012/3, will we now have to revaluate the job being done by the perhaps more anonymous midfield faces relative to the sport’s megastars? In a top car what could Hulkenberg do? Or Bottas? Or Grosjean? Or Bianchi? Whilst I would suggest that the breadth of talent on offer in 2014 is perhaps not what it was in say 2012, the Ricciardo versus Vettel dynamic beautifully illustrates the true star quality of most on the grid (most on the grid are GP[insert applicable] or Formula [insert applicable] champions). To recapitulate, in the space of twelve months Vettel has won his fourth world championship, won nine races in row and found himself playing second fiddle, for now, to his new teammate, who has just won at the same track where he was steam-rolled by his former teammate last year who in turn is now under intense pressure for his seat. That is why Formula 1 is the best sport in the world.

  6. “Race of the decade for me so far.” – too much hyperbole. But race of the season so far, probably yes.

  7. I still think the Canadian GP of 2011 was the best Canadian GP ever

    1. Yes, I think so too, when Vettel made that mistake on the last lap, that was probably the greatest moment in my F1 watching career (although Hamilton overtaking Glock on the final corner of the 2008 Interlagos race was also one of the best). But I think the interruptions were a bit much, small interruptions work to heighten tension, I think the length of that delay may have put a few off.

  8. Surprised that the score wasn’t a few tenths higher to be entirely honest.

    Also, I remember the comments after the Bahrain rating results. ‘And it will remain at the top for the rest of the season now’. How incorrect!

    But what on Earth was so special about China 2011? I watched all of that race, and all I really remember was Button going into the wrong pit box, and Hamilton charging at the end, with a good overtake on Button. The rest was nothing special.

    1. It was the first ‘crazy’ race of the Pirelli era. Up until then we weren’t used to the chaos and so many overtakes and pitstops. Webber went from 18th to 3rd in that race IIRC.
      Nowadays that race wouldn’t get such a good score but at the time it was something new and different.

    2. Yeah, looking back it does seem like the most overated race, but I guess it’s just a sign of how F1 was back then, before tyres, DRS, etc came into play.

  9. I really liked also the race but with some thoughts that i had expressed them here..

  10. Certainly the race of the year for me- the result great as a Daniel fan but I would have voted it race of the year even he was 2nd or 3rd. Its always great to see the top 5 within a few seconds at the end, Nico a struggle, Sergio holding his ground and Massa storming home made it a great finish – the big shunt at the end was huge and lucky they both walked away.

    When the Mercs were ahead they gave some great racing to us as well!! As mention to se Button P4 at the end confused me, some of the camera action may have been better!

  11. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    18th June 2014, 12:45

    I don’t know how this ranks above the 2011 Canadian GP. I also don’t get how Malaysia 2012 is not on the list.

    1. This ranks above 2011 for one reason: We have had 3 years of dull Red Bull wins, so it makes a really refreshing change.

      But I agree 2011 was better, but I guess the 2 hour wait and safety car start may have annoyed some people.

  12. Mercedes not dominating made it interesting – maybe the FIA will notice the correlation, if one team does not dominate then we have interesting races. get rid of the stupid engine homologation.

  13. Heath (@lotus4thewin)
    18th June 2014, 14:17

    Yeah, what was with the camera director for this race? I wanna see the overtaking and action, not the crowd’s reaction to racing I can’t see because I’m watching the crowd.

  14. I don’t think this race was anywhere close to been as good as Bahrain from a racing point of view.

    It had more drama as the Mercedes hit problems but the actual racing wasn’t as good as Bahrain as there was a lot less close battles, Significantly less overtaking & the passing that we did see often wasn’t that exciting due to DRS making passing a bit too easy once again.

    Bahrain had good scraps, A Good amount of non-DRS overtaking, Some very good wheel to wheel battles down the Non-DRS straights, A good competitive fight for the win over a dozen laps & just a lot better racing in general.

    I gave Bahrain a 9, I gave Montreal an 8 as I rate races based purely off the quality of the racing which is what I most enjoy about any race.
    Its also why most my scores have been low the past 3 years, DRS took away most of what I used to love about F1….The racing.

  15. Two of this year’s races are in the TOP5. And they say F1 is getting worse…

  16. Is this article serious!? People must have not remembered Bahrain when they voted. Absolutely no way this surpassed Bahrain. Not on pure racing and definitely not on drama!

  17. Great race but better than Bahrain? The prospect of the Mercedes battle part 2 was mouth watering and we were robbed of that.

    True, seeing Ricciardo’s first win was a real joy to behold but only happened because of the aforementioned loss.

    I gave Montreal a solid 8 (Bahrain was a 10 for me.)

    A race long battle for the lead without any attrition is hard to top…

  18. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    18th June 2014, 22:57

    “F1 2014 is really boring” Yeah right, it has been a thrilling season so far, we’ve only had one bad race so far this year! However I am surprised this race got a higher rating than Bahrain as Bahrain was better IMO

    1. I’d call it 3 boring against 4 good. But when they are good they really are good! Equally when they are boring they are really quite dull.

  19. There are quite a few surprises in the stats, quite a few tracks that traditionally host dull races (Adu Dhabi, Bahrain, Valencia) feature. Were those races really that good, or did the fans just rate them higher because it wasn’t the usual snore-fest produced by those tracks? I guess we’ll never know.

    Certainly Bahrain and Canada have been the stand out races this season for me. IIRC I rated Canada higher, probably laregly because of the Daniel-factor, but that takes nothing away form Bahrain. And Canada 2011 was absolutely epic (rain delay notwithstanding). One race I would’ve thought featured high on the list was Melbourne 2008, but then given that was the first time Keith opened up this poll, we were probably all a bit wary of voting too high to begin with. Out of interests sake, perhaps Keith (in his oodles of spare time) could do a poll on races that are largely agreed to have been fantastic over the last 20 or 30 years or so for a consensus of what is the most epic of all time? Spa 1998 would get my vote.

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