2008 Canadian Grand Prix: Pit Stops & Potholes (and Spoilers -- Beware)

Collisions are a common occurrence on Montreal streets. If you don't run into another erratically-driving motorist running a red light, you're likely to experience a near-crash thanks to the crater-sized potholes blemishing the city's tarmac. Although motor racing events carry some of the charm and character of the venue in which they're held, we wouldn't have expected Montreal's treacherous street driving to translate onto the race track. But then the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a road course of sorts. So the hundred-thousand-plus racing fans who turned up at the track for the 30th running of the Canadian Grand Prix, the driving was a familiar site.

As we reported previously, the race officials didn't deem our readership worthy of in-depth, up-close coverage of the race, but we think otherwise and have a breakdown of the race results after the jump, so click on to read on. (If you've TiVo'd the race and don't want to spoil the results, go no further.) Click on the image or on the thumbnails below to view our images from Friday's practice session in our high-resolution image gallery.

Photos Copyright ©2008 Noah Joseph / Weblogs, Inc.

Those who tuned in to see Hamilton and Raikkonen duke it out for victory in Canada and the lead in the championship were disappointed. Well, duke it out they did, but while they were trading bodywork the championship slipped away to a third contender that the insiders tipped would play a major role in this year's title fight. And right they were, as Robert Kubica took his maiden victory at the same track he crashed so dramatically on last year. With his teammate Nick Heidfeld in tow, Kubica took his own as well as his team's first checkered flag, catapulting him into the lead in the 2008 drivers' championship.

Where were the McLarens and Ferraris in all of this while the BMW Saubers were sailing to the finish line? Hamilton started on pole and after gaining a strong lead, came in to the pit lane under the safety car and yellow flag. On exiting, he evidently missed the red light at the end of the pit lane and slammed right into the back of his rival Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, taking the two out of the race. (Those were hardly the only early retirements, however, as Alonso, Fisichella, Nakajima, Piquet and Sutil were all taken out of the race prematurely.) Father back on the grid, Kimi's and Lewis' teammates battled it out for a few points, but ultimately failed to make much of a dent. After having to pit three times with repeated difficulties, Felipe Massa regained his form in the second half of the race and pulled off some brilliant passing maneuvers – including two cars at a time in one move – but couldn't get farther than fifth place. Massa was sandwiched by Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli in their Toyotas, the pair taking fourth and sixth respectively in a strong showing for the Japanese team. David Coulthard, the Scottish elder statesman of grand prix racing, held his own quite admirably to take the third step on the podium alongside the BMW Sauber boys, while further down the line Barrichello came in seventh after some embarrassing mistakes. Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel, McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, Williams' Nico Rosberg, Honda's Jenson Button, Red Bull's Mark Webber and STR's Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the rest of the finishers.

This surprising rise of the underdogs shakes up the standings, leaving Kubica with a commanding lead at 42 points over Hamilton and Massa who emerge tied at 38. Kimi Raikkonen trails close behind with 35 points with seven rounds of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship in the books, and the teams now go on to prepare for the French Grand Prix on June 22. Check out the full stats from Montreal below.

2008 Canadian Grand Prix

1. Kubica BMW Sauber
2. Heidfeld BMW Sauber
3. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault
4. Glock Toyota
5. Massa Ferrari
6. Trulli Toyota
7. Barrichello Honda
8. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari
9. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota
11. Button Honda
12. Webber Red Bull-Renault
13. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:17.387

Not classified/retirements:
Fisichella Force India-Ferrari
Nakajima Williams-Toyota
Alonso Renault
Piquet Renault
Raikkonen Ferrari
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
Sutil Force India-Ferrari

World Championship standings
(after 7 rounds)


1. Kubica 42
2. Hamilton 38
3. Massa 38
4. Raikkonen 35
5. Heidfeld 28
6. Kovalainen 15
7. Webber 15
8. Trulli 12
9. Alonso 9
10. Rosberg 8
11. Nakajima 7
12. Coulthard 6
13. Vettel 5
14. Barrichello 5
15. Glock 5
16. Button 3
17. Bourdais 2

1. Ferrari 73
2. BMW Sauber 70
3. McLaren-Mercedes 53
4. Red Bull-Renault 21
5. Toyota 17
6. Williams-Toyota 15
7. Renault 9
8. Honda 8
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7

Share This Photo X