Wednesday, 15 June 2011

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

After 7 years of fabulous race weather, this year was somewhat less than fabulous. I have always said rain races are my favourites, but I never wanted to attend one. This year, we did. It started raining an hour before the race, the race started on a sopping wet track in the rain behind the Safety Car, then after about 15 laps they stopped it for 2 hours as the rain got harder and harder -- and we loyal fans just stood in the rain the whole time. The race re-started when the rain stopped, but an hour after the race was over, the monsoon started again. By the end of the day, all 150,000 people at the track were wet as drowned rats.

In the past, I have split these posts up, but this year I whittled my 350 pictures worth keeping into 35 worth sharing that cover the whole weekend. I will put them in order, and keep commentary to a minimum, generally with photo captions only.

First, Friday practice, which is the best place to get "up close & personal" photos. In posting the best photos, I'm not covering all the drivers. Since Michael Schumacher turned a lot of laps on Friday, I got a bunch of shots of him.

Michael Schumacher 
Jerome d'Ambrosio 
Mr. Schumacher again 
Sebastien Buemi
Mr. Buimi, a little closer
Nico Rosberg

Mr. Schumacher photo #3, being chased
Lewis Hamilton chasing Mr. d'Ambrosio 
Vitaly Petrov chasing Kamui Kobyashi
One of the support races is a historical GP race. This is the 1980 Williams once driven by Alan Jones.
Pretty, and pretty historical 
My guy Jarno Trulli
 One of the features of my camera is a multiple exposure mode. I don't have much use for it except here.
Someone from Force India chasing someone from Marussia Virgin 
Reubens Barichello, in his 319th GP 
Mr. Schumacher. Photos of him are getting repetitive 
Lewis Hamilton 
Narain Karthikeyan 
I find it interesting that there are two Lotus teams, both using the same Lotus insignia.
  • One, that Jarno Trulli drives for, is called Team Lotus. Their car colour is British Racing Green. They are powered by Renault engines. The drivers wear green.
  • The second team is called Lotus Renault. Their car colour is black (after the classic JPS Lotus' of the 1970's and 1980's) but their mechanics wear green. Their logoowear that you can buy calls them "Classic Team Lotus"
Two different Lotus teams leave the pits 
Mark Webber leads a mass pit exit 
To Saturday. The time on the track is less interesting because the drivers have figured the track out and spin out less, plus it's qualifying, and they want to have good clean runs. So we spend more time in our grandstands, and watch a few support races.
Typically crowded Saturday in Grandstand 12
Mr. Webber 
Pastor Maldonado. He didn't have a good race (see below) 
Mass start of the Formula 1600 race, with drivers as young as 15 
Flat spotting the tires
Sunday was monsoon day.
The start behind the pace car 
Why even when going slow, you want to be first 
The pace car leaves. Vettel and Alonso fight for the first corner 
Mr. Hamilton whacks Mr. Webber on the first lap 
Mr. Maldonado on intermediate rain tires 
Paul Di Resta chases Sebastien Buemi 
Weber chases Schumacher as Kobayashi comes out of the pits 
Mr. di Resta spins out, and sits pointing the wrong way, in the way 
Mr. Maldonado hits the wall exiting the pit on cold tires
To this moment, I don't know how Jensen Button managed to be dead f#*&@ing last on lap 30, pit 6 times, get a drive through penalty and still win the race. But he did. The best part of the race was the "who's in 3rd?" three way battle between Webber, Schumacher and Button that went on for about 10 laps.

After the race, we did not run to the podium as we did last year. But we did get to the pit wall to see the cars, up close and personal.
Up close to the Ferrari of Felipe Massa 
A mass of cars at race end scruitineering
We hung out on the track for about an hour then the heavens opened again. We then had to wade through 3" deep rivers of water to find a place to hide from the rain.

There's a great line at the end of Four Weddings and a Funeral, by Carrie standing in the rain:
There comes a point where you can't get any wetter
We were well past that point at least twice on Sunday. As I write this, 3 full days later, my wallet is still wet, as is the inside of my daypack.

But the race was fun.


Amanda said...

The other fun part about NAScar: they don't drive in the rain (or snow)!

RyderDA said...

NASCAR drivers are, therefore, wimps.