F1 underwhelms at popular Montreal

2016 Canadian Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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Was Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix a top-drawer cracker or one to forget?

The race received an underwhelming average score of 6.5 out of ten from F1 Fanatic readers, who gave very mixed verdicts on the contest:

Loved this race. A real cracker. Best race of the season for me by far.

The contest was close, tighter than we’ve seen in a long time. Sure there wasn’t as much ‘action’ but those who are disappointed with such a contest where the drivers are challenged, and cracks are shown, I don’t think should be watching F1.

An F1 race should not about ‘overtakes per race’ or any other such silliness. The closeness of the contest between the teams, and the drivers, is what makes F1 for me. And this race had that essence of the competition in spades.

It was a good race and it had its moments but it wasn’t a classic, if a race like this had happened at a circuit where I had low or no expectations before the grand prix I probably would have enjoyed it more as there would have been no disappointment on what could have been.

It was a similar start to this year’s Australian Grand Prix, in that Hamilton had a poor start while Vettel made a blistering start, then the two Mercedes went side by side into the first corner, but this time it was Rosberg who was pushed out wide and dropped down the field not Hamilton.

When it became clear that Hamilton was on a one-stopper and Vettel was two stopping I thought that Hamilton would take the victory but when the Red Bulls had to stop again I wondered if Hamilton’s tyres would last and whether we would be in for a dramatic finish, but in the end it seemed as if Hamilton was just managing his car until the finish to make sure of the win.

Another disappointing race. Red Bull never were a real threat and Ferrari once again gifted the victory to Mercedes. With all the expectations that Red Bull were faster and Ferrari’s race pace was good, this race came to nothing in terms of demonstration.

I hope Baku can give us a memorable race.

As is often the case with this race, it left some asking whether F1 really needs its Drag Reduction System:

This one failed to deliver. After the start it seemed like we would have a proper race on our hands, but then nothing really materialised: there was no fight for the lead after Ferrari made a strategic error, DRS was unsurprisingly too powerful (in most cases), and the midfield battle was cars going round. And the TV director/camera men seemed to miss some key events (like Vettel’s lockup into the chicane on the first lap – “oh there’s a puff of smoke, he’s clearly not going to make the corner, let’s show something else”).

We’ve actually had a run of great races in F1, but my god that race sucked. DRS sucked any life or excitement out it, it’s just madness that they still have a double zone from one detection point. Kudos to Verstappen for actually showing that you can still defend in F1, but no one else seems to bother.

Races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have received the highest average ratings from readers since Rate the Race began in 2008. But many fans felt its latest grand prix fell short of those standards, and some suggested race strategy has begun to have too great a bearing on the action:

I’m not sure what’s happened to the Canadian Grand Prix. It used to be the one of the most exciting races on the calendar. But the last two years have been pretty dull, I attended the 2015 race but the atmosphere made up for it. Maybe it’s the tyres or the inability to follow closely behind the car in front.

The downside to me was the tyres were ineffective, I would have liked to have saw three-stoppers charging through the field. There was no benefit to using the softer tyres, may as well used the soft and medium compounds like in the past.
Steven Robertson (@Emu55)

A strategic race, which lacked on-track action.

The lead battle was never really on, for some time it appeared Vettel could catch and pressure Hamilton, but it hadn’t happened, likewise with Bottas and Verstappen. An explosive start promised a thrilling race, however it was pretty much average.
Michal (@Michal2009b)

2016 Rate the Race Results

Race Average score
2016 Spanish Grand Prix 8.706
2016 Chinese Grand Prix 7.853
2016 Australian Grand Prix 7.757
2016 Monaco Grand Prix 7.747
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix 7.382
2016 Canadian Grand Prix 6.583
2016 Russian Grand Prix 5.396

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2016 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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12 comments on “F1 underwhelms at popular Montreal”

  1. That’s strange.

    I thought if this race would have been a novel or a movie, it would classify as a ‘suspense’ – the suspense one felt as the varying strategies of the two frontrunners played out.

    In a sense, it was similar to Russia – there the suspense stemmed from the varying pace of the two frontrunners (Rosberg and Hamilton), but it was the same slow-burner with the aching question of ‘can the guy in second catch the guy in first?’

    It’s pretty strange how people downvote such suspense races despite, for me, them being very peculiar. Perhaps people didn’t like the fact that the second guy never catched the first guy in either Canada or in Russia…

    1. I think the problem is that the suspense did not pan out. And I don’t mean VET overtaking HAM, but at least get to try. As things went, every lap that passed it looked clearer that nothing was going to happen, which is not much suspense.

      About the overpowered DRS I am not so sure, ROS would have liked much more of that to pass VES, so id did not really seem so easy.

  2. Wow, I clearly watched another race because I thought it was a cracker.

    1. Agree. Vettel driving on and over the limit. Cracking start, a few awesome hairpin overtakes. And then Nico vs Max dice.

  3. i think some of these responses highlight a key problem with pirelli’s softer tyres. they degrade quicker than the primes, but they do not deliver significant speed advantages over the course of a race, certainly not a predictable way.

    i can’t see (with the current compounds) how someone could make a 3-stopper work over a 2-stopper because the tyres are not going to deliver consistent speed throughout the stints to make that work. stopping more times should be the fun, risky, aggressive strategy but at present it seems to be trumped by more defensive approaches.

    i know we all used to moan about races being decided in the pits but some of those were absolute thrillers (hungary ’98 being the most obvious example).

    1. I don’t. Strategy will always play a role in Formula 1 and I think that’s a good thing. The early Pirelli years favored aggressive tire strategies, whereas nowadays the more conservative strategies work better, which usually doesn’t improve the racing.
      In the fist races the tires were quite good and we saw a lot of strategic variety, but the races have been underwhelming at tracks without high-speed corners, as tire wear is low, so the drivers who make more pitstops lose out.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    17th June 2016, 12:44

    Surprised it rated that low… it kept my attention all the way through, so it can’t have been bad. But then, we’ve had a lot of great races this year so it probably seemed tame in comparison.

  5. Pirelli’s fault 100% that this race wasn’t up to the usual standards. I’ve defended them for years but I give up. I just want them gone, them and their pathetic rock-hard “ultrasofts” which are the joke of the century

    1. maybe pirelli should have know that there were to be ultra low temperatures on this occasion ? the tyres have to be designed for a normal range of temperatures , not what he had this time

  6. 6.5 is still ever so slightly positive!

    Better than being an absolute bang average race rating of between 5 and 6.

  7. I wonder if it’s low mark of 6.5 is because people have such high expectations of the place? Are they expecting a 9/10?

    1. @ragwort I think a lot of people bias their ratings based on the track, albeit the other way around. So if this race occurred in Sochi it’d probably be 4/10 instead of 6.5, because people have a natural dislike of that track.

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