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Join Paul and me as we review the Canadian Grand Prix. We cover each team as they finished and share our opinion on the race as well as qualifying. We even mention DRS and tires briefly.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the track marshal who was killed at this weekend’s race.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Rapierman

    1. I guess I’m living my life at about 50% capacity….but it’s working anyway, so why should I worry?

    2. Unless, of course, you go to Hawaii…or any of the Pacific US Territories.

    3. Shocking to hear that a marshall got killed in a crane accident after the race. My condolences.

    4. Qualifying was a real scrambled-egg random number generator. There were people qualifying where they don’t normally start.

    5. That was a thoroughly dominant performance by Vettel. Could not argue with it.

    6. Well, as a counterpoint, you do have to figure out when to pull out and make that pass. It just wasn’t working out for Webber.

    7. It was Sutil, and it was “6”, “7”, “Accept” for some procedure they never explained.

    8. Yeah, I was following that duel, and then I saw that one car go into the pits and my mind was going “Oh, hell, he’s nearly into the wall.”

    9. That was a good effort by Massa.

    10. That was a great pass by Alonso to get into 2nd.

    11. That Massa-Sutil battle went quite a ways down the race.

    12. Hamilton might have been a little overly-aggressive; however, in the grand scheme of things, when you see that it’s just teeny-tiny bits and pieces that fly off and nobody was affected, you might as well say “no harm, no foul” and move on.

    13. So, could that mean that the Merc guys had different setups?

    14. Yep, Merc’s getting a better result this time.

    15. That was a real shocker for Toro Rosso. Who knew that Vergne had it in him?

    16. Well, let’s see how Ricciardo responds before we anoint Vergne the next RBR partner.

    17. Force India has been a surprise.

    18. Sutil just had a bit of bad luck, but the flags were an issue.

    19. For a while, I thought Vettel was going to lap the entire field.

    20. Yeah, that was a bad race for Lotus.

    21. Well, I guess we’ll have to say bye to Lotus at this point.

    22. I think McLaren’s kinda screwed at this point.

    23. Wasn’t it mentioned that if Button’s not happy, his year goes down the tubes?

    24. But would either Button or Perez have the patience for that?

    25. So maybe the “pull-rod” isn’t the right idea.

    26. Bottas was probably not where he should have been, but Maldo was still Maldo

    27. So, if Bottas could be in another car, where would you put him?

    28. …and the Marussia-Caterham battle continues.

    29. Van der Garde had a race to forget, and I think we may end up forgetting him.

    30. Gustuban was a bit weird that day.

    31. Pass goes to Alonso over Hamilton. That was well timed and well-skilled.

    32. Donkey: Van der Garde, easily.

    33. Drive: Kinda hard to argue with Vergne, but Vettel, Alonso and Massa get honorable mentions.

  • pear-shaped pete

    Thanks for another enjoyable podcast, it would rate as your best ” off location” sound wise.

    And my Condolences to the Marshall’s family & friends. Track marshalls are such an integral part of motor racing, and as Paul says – volunteers. Agree on the recovery efforts late in races, the danger is unnecessariily increased in my humble view.

    I wonder if someone can help with my question – the reason for Red Bull’s being slowest in the speed traps,

    I’m thinking –
    1/ Renault horse power disadvadvantage? maybe a little but they are the Renault “works team – preferred supplee (I know it’s not a word)
    2/ Car set up for cornering down force means more drag on straights?
    3/ Car set up for acceleration – shorter gearing – getting to (lower) top speed sooner?
    4/ other

    Just curious

    cheers

    pear-shaped pete

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      I agree on your logic:
      1/ yes (however slight hp the disadvantage may be, despite Redbull’s history of protestation on the relative hp of homologated Renault engine compared to Merc and Ferrari donks)
      2/ yes. Fits the AN set-up/design philosophy.
      3/ yes. Fits the AN set-up/design philiosophy.
      4/ Other… nothing else I can think of. JF

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      Well, there are some provisos.
      If the track is very ‘point n squirt’ (not very hi g corners and mostly acceleration and braking like Montreal and Monza) then i presume Redbull can back off from 2/ and 3/ and their straghtline speed gap to the others is less. This seemed so this weekend. JF

      • pear-shaped pete

        Yeah Jack, I was thinking sort of Monza scenarios. Maybe 2nd back were having their own issues, but the way Vettel just waltzed away from the start on the opening laps was mighty impressive.

        Then seeing Alonso’s overall pace and particularly straight line mumbo later in the race ( along with Webber’s vulnerability ) got me thinking.

        Hamilton in a Merc motored car has always done well here, great driver, and I always thought the track was basically straights connected by a few turns.

        I think it puts Red Bull’s win here in a good light, something like their Monza win 2011 which still amazes me.

        cheers

        pear-shaped pete

  • I’m curious to see how Red Bull will now be at circuits where tires will degrade more, like Silverstone. If it’s warm and dry, Ferrari seems to be the best car on Sundays.

    • MIE

      Ferrari seems to be the one team that works in any condition. Lotus are best at tracks where there is a lot of energy put into the tyres, Mercedes do well when very little energy is put into the tyres. Other teams are somewhere between those extremes.

  • charlie w

    You called it right, Todd. SkySports F1 broadcasts spanks NBC and even past SpeedTV coverage. This week, I was flipping between NBC and a local Spanish language station that carried the race non stop during NBC’s commercial breaks.

  • JasonI

    Sky on a sketchy link on half my laptop screen is better than NBC full screen.

  • TotalisTotalGarbage

    I too am continually disappointed by NBC’s coverage of F1. The direction is subpar. While it seemed to improve somewhat as the Canadian GP progressed, it is maddening when NBC cuts from racing amongst the front-runners to a backmarker pitting. Even more infuriating is the cut to celebrity. This makes me want to go Elvis on my television. I could care less if Carmelo Anthony’s publicist told him to sit around in a hospitality tent due to the possibility of some exposure. Even if people are just tuning in to F1 for the first time because of the “models”, “parties” and all the other garbage that NBC promulgates in their glitzy advertisements…I get it, oh look…famous people like F1, so you will too. Weak. I saw some clips on YouTube of Monaco…not sure which broadcaster, but it was passionate and exciting. I like the NBC boys well enough, but they simply don’t manage to bring the race to life (although, I do love me some antiquated Hobbes cliches).

    On another topic, as regards Total and RG. Total actively conducts business in Iran. Iran is an oppressive regime as most recently demonstrated by their keeping opposition party officials under house arrest in an effort to quell any actions similar to the 2009 uprisings. How do you reconcile conflict between some sources of funding for F1 teams and ethical considerations?

    • Rapierman

      Regarding “Total”, etc.: Money talks. It has no moral compass. That’s why they say “love of money is the root of all evil”.

    • tomfirth

      Yeah but that’s the F1 World Feed that cuts in and out like that, NBC don’t have control over those images of celebrity’s etc, it’s the same as on BBC or Sky + a million ads (Sorry about the second bit)

      NBC have control over the intro and the outro after the race, the rest is FOM and sadly that’s what we see.

    • UAN

      As mentioned, the video feed is controlled by FOM/F1. The difference most probably lies in the fact that they treat a race the same way Football/Baseball/Basketball announcers commentate on games here – with the basic premise that everyone knows what’s going and what all the storylines are, etc.

      And while the NBC/formerly Speed chaps are nice enough folks, not all broadcasting teams are created equal. Same as it is in the states, where there’s a difference between the top commentating teams and the rest. Brundle is like the John Madden of F1 right now. The Croft/Brundle pairing is better than the BBC pairing right now. I think Croft is epic, as he defines passionate play by play.

      But I do get disappointed in the NBC folks when they question a move by Alonso on Gutiérrez on the back straight and they start making a big deal out of flashing yellow light. They went on a bit about that and whether Alonso would get looked at. But they should know flashing yellow stands in for the Yellow and Red Striped flag meaning slippery surface or debris. Gobsmacked that they would not know that. (And unfortunately I’ve seen them make basic errors like that–not that the Sky/BBC team don’t, though usually those are more down to not having all the facts at the time – though I do remember after Brazil several of the Sky drivers missing that same flashing yellow light – not a proud day for them either. But they do it far less often.)

    • Warthog

      “it is maddening when NBC cuts from racing amongst the front-runners to a backmarker pitting.”

      I don’t believe NBC has any control over this any more then Speed did. They don’t control the direction at all…it’s from FOM’s feed. You may recall in the past Bob Varsha often lameting “mister director, please don’t cut away.” I realize that they can sometimes show replays over the feed of things they find interesting, but anything from the live feed is not in their control.

      • That’s correct from what I experienced when I visited SPEED for a live broadcast.

  • while the NBCSports broadcast is far from perfect (and I really enjoy Leigh, Hobbs, Steve and Will), I do appreciate the promotion and pre/post race coverage they have. That aspect is 10x better than what Speed ever did.

  • Webber’s Anti-Stall Device

    POTW = Sutil

    Pirouette Of The Week

    • Rapierman

      No arguments from me. He clearly pulled off a miracle.

  • Please keep in mind that NBC is using the world feed so they are not in control of which cars are on screen or celebrities etc. Regardless, Sky Sport F1 is the bomb! Great broadcast.

    • Reactive Suspension

      You said you watched the Sky feed this week for Canada, I have been trying to find a way to get the sky feed. How did you get it? NBC is great but sky is the bomb! The coverage the build up it is much much better. I was so pissed off on the Monaco race. I recorded it and when I turned on my DVR its Rosberg raising his hands, stupid NBC somehow screwed up and cut in the end of the race on the beginning of the recording.

  • Ab345

    Just starting to listen to it, but I don’t get the comment that “95% of F1 fans that absolutely know what is going on”.

    Not in the US. NBC is trying to develop a fan base, that, if they are successful should probably be 95% new to F1. You guys will watch anyway, but they are trying to make this really easy and accessible, bending over backwards to make it so, and I think they are connecting with a whole new set of fans like me new to the sport. I have started to follow it quite a bit, but for the casual fan catching that race on NBC on Sunday, they have to make it really friendly (they don’t have an embeded NASCAR following to count on). I think Leigh, Steve, David and Will are doing fine, even if it is not as technical as it could be for someone like me. But someone who is into it can find all of that anyway.

    I assume the coverage will get more and more technical as the demand of the viewing public goes up over the first few years. As far as finding an F1 fan to explain things to you, most of the target audience are watching from home and expect Leigh, David, Steve and Will to do just that.

    • Rapierman

      What he means to say is “the 95 percent of all those who are already long-time Formula 1 fans that already understand what’s going on”….

      ….at least, I think that’s what he means.

      • The drivers seat

        Maybe my % are wrong as I’m a little warped as I grew up around F1 and never remember not being into it. But I feel F1 is not a “oh I just stumbled upon it” kind of sport and fans are usually brought into it by other fans, the repetitive nature of the explanations week after week take up time that could be better spent on more in depth pieces which I think F1 fans crave. Very surprised they didn’t make the short trip to the race and stayed in studio , to be more connected we need more than will buxton prancing around. Matchett knows a lot of people, I’d rather see him at the back of a garage talking shop with his old co-horts. Hopefully if you don’t have fellow f1 fans to watch and learn with, that is where we come in!

    • We created F1B for the express purpose fo being a safe harbor for new fans to engage with veterans and not be treated with disdain or in a heavy-handed nature so I am very familiar with the desire to reach new F1 fans but it must be said that every race for 10 years on Speed and now on NBC, the team have been instructed to cover the same things over and over and over again. A little of that is fine but there is a better way to get new viewers engaged…that’s by creating additional, instructive content for new fans to view or hear. UAN is right in that it is the drama, storylines and intrigue as well as tech and speed that pull people in. Finding a harmony is no easy task but I think you do the entire broadcast a disservice if you are continuously speaking as if NASCAR or tennis fans are tuning in for one race only and you’re trying to hook them with each broadcast.

      • tomfirth

        Hey , It could be worse, you could get the sky

        “Available in Dolby 5.1 Surround sound and Stunning HD” at the start of every single session all weekend, every weekend since sky started broadcasting F1.

        We know by now that it is, but if you look at Sky’s script , the first thing is says is to plug that line , no joke.

  • UAN

    I think even for new fans, it can come across as talking down to them. Part of the beauty of the sport (any sport) is the current storylines, the development battles, etc. and if you constantly are talking basics, then you miss out on that. Maybe at the first one or two races, or if there’s a complex thing going on (like this whole tire thing) then trot out some of the fundamentals.

    The thing missing from what little I’ve seen is a real sense of what’s at stake. At the end of the day it’s about competition and human drama. It’s like watching a soap opera, you can go on and on about the backstory and why so and so hates so and so, etc., but even without that, the in the moment drama is what is compelling and keeps new people coming back. Learning the other stuff is the additional joy of discovery after you start following a new sport, or TV drama etc. Except for maybe a show like Lost, you can pretty much jump in at any point and be drawn in. You don’t need to start from Season 1, episode 1.

  • To gain new viewers, especially in the US, they need to focus on the beauty of F1 and what makes it stand out from other types of motorsport. Talk about the speed and technology that is developed and used, the amount money invested by the teams, etc. Gaining new fans isn’t about “dumbing” down the sport and explaining the basics every single race. People are smart and can catch on to the rules, flags and strategies fairly easily. If the casual viewer wants to become more informed, that’s what places like F1B are for, CliptheApex, and the many other great resources online that are easy to find.

    • Agreed. The biggest comment I hear from new fans is the insight into the tech, drama and politics of the sport. Not a constant re-hash of what DRS is.

      • Ab345

        I do recognize that when they broadcast each week that they are targeting the newbie or viewer that just happened to stumble into it. It is a calculated fishing expedition IMO to seriously grow the base in the sport in the US; catch a passerby in lieu of providing fans of the sport commentary that satisfies.

        If they succeed in making this a NASCAR-level support race series in the US, they will certainly shift, but I am sure their marketers are telling them what they need to do.

        The ratings will determine success.

        • I don’t disagree with you mate, I think you’re spot on…just wish they’d find a better harmony between fishing and baiting the hook. :)

  • UAN

    Great podcast guys – as always, I appreciate all of them and the time each of you put into to making them!

    Just a brief comment, I think you guys were being a bit harsh on Bottas – he didn’t really hold up Alonso, what held up Alonso was Webber and Webber was being held up by Rosberg for the entire 1st still. So it was the Rosberg train – and Lewis I’m sure was thankful for that!

    Also, wrt to Vettel and his mistakes – unlike a lot of these guys, he seemed to be consistently about .5 seconds a lap faster than anyone else. At various times he had close to 20 seconds on the field (and lapped all but 4 cars!) which is an entire pit stop. So he was pushing every single lap, much harder than he needed to. That he got to greedy into T1 towards the end, he admitted, but it was really 1 guy running qualifying times over and over all race long.

    • pear-shaped pete

      Merc radio to Lewis “Nico is holding up Webber”… sure made it sound deliberate. A reprise of Monaco tactics perhaps? Back ’em up!

      cheers
      pear-shaped pete

  • cconf1

    Here’s what happened at the podium ceremony:

    I was standing about 100 or so feet directly in front of the podium (I could see myself on the World Feed, which was pretty cool :) ). To my right was a large contingent of Alonso fans. As soon as EJ introduced Vettel, they started to boo. Shortly thereafter, they started chanting “AL-ON-SO”. Right under the Race Director’s perch was a bunch of Hamilton fans, who then started to chant “HAM-IL-TON”, each trying to outchant the other. What you couldn’t see on the World Feed was Alonso giving the thumb’s-up to his fans and he eventually tossed his hat out into the crowd, which just made them chant louder. Honestly, though, from watching Seb afterwards, I don’t think it bothered him in the slightest.

    Regarding tire deg, on my way out, I walked up the Casino Straight (just for perspective, what took me about 10 minutes to walk, an F1 car does in roughly 17 seconds) and there were almost no marbles at all. Even up on the hairpin and near the Wall of Champions, there was nowhere near what I was expecting, especially considering what a disaster the Supersofts were last time they were used.

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      Montreal track is a ‘point n squirt’ type of circuit, like Monza.
      Lots of speed sections and very ‘brake and accelerate’ like. Nothing of high-energy cornering in the layout.

      That’s probably why the tyres were surviving far better, and not graining up and sheeding rubber-clag anywhere. That, and a fair track/air temperature on Race Day.

      Given the tyre endurance debates of past races, this is a pretty interesting contra-scenario, isn’t it? JF

  • Ab345

    Interesting discussion on Sutil. Looking at the replay, it did not look that bad.

    However, during the race, with Alonso and Hamilton about to create a big finish to the “show”, I wonder if the organizers were unhappy with him helping Alonso and making the “show” less exciting as Lewis was clearly slower. I wonder if the point in the race (race to the finish) you ignore the blue flag is considered more careless than other points in the race?

  • ranger

    todd do you like seeing red bull dominate a race. when the tyres do NOT degrade red bull are the best bar none. when the tyres are marginal and falling off the races are much closer. i am a kimi fan. lotus had a bad race.i want close racing. surely nobody wants to see vettel win the title in singapore again.diresta deserves drive of the race. u can watch sky broadcast online anytime. since mark is awol bring sjskid to do race reviews great podcast as always.

    • I understand mate but I think Nigel roebuck made a good case in this month’s Motor Sport magazine in that no one wants the return of the Ferrari/Schumacher domination days and that is what is seemingly happening with Red Bull/Vettel.

      In my view, even with HD tires, they’ve won the last three years on the trot (close or not) and that is heading toward four years quickly. DRS, KERS and HD tires haven’t thwarted the best team and driver with the biggest resources from dominating. Before Ferrari it was McLaren and then Williams and then Benetton and they had a grasp on the series with the right time and tools. We could argue that it’s been great for the series due to close championships but Schumacher had those at Ferrari too. Regardless, domination still happened.

      I want to see the best team, car and driver win and not be artificially hampered by constructs to pander to my sense of entertainment. To me, pure racing is entertaining but that’s just my opinion. When Senna dominated, it was still great entertainment. I loved how Renault systematically chipped away at Ferrari/Schumacher with Alonso and the resources to match. The eventually de-throned him. I was outraged by the ways the FIA tried to slow Ferrari and Schumacher down and even Ron Dennis was miffed and publicly said it is incumbent upon other teams to raise their game, not the FIA to thwart Ferrari’s game in order for another team to win. He disliked it and I gained a lot fo respect for McLaren that day.