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GP Week : Issue 14
CONGRATULATIONS to BMW Sauber, Robert Kubica and the whole gang on what was truly a fantastic result and a thoroughly deserved win. Standing a few yards from the podium in Montreal before the drivers appeared, I was amazed to hear the circuit announcer’s voice completely drowned out by the chanting of the crowd. “Robert, Robert, Robert,” they cheered … every single one of them. Kubica’s victory was one of the most popular in recent times. There simply isn’t anything not to like about this no-nonsense driver who brushes off the corporate model of the stereotypical driver and just gets on with his job with determination and silent self belief. Kubica’s rise has been astounding, but so too has been that of BMW Sauber. The relationship between the engine manufacturer and the former independent Swiss F1 team has been mutually beneficial from its inception and in a relatively short period of time they have built up what is now one of the strongest teams in the sport. It was only a shame that Peter Sauber was not in Canada to witness the victory. So the question now is can BMW Sauber actually maintain this competitiveness. While it would be amiss to claim that they would have won this race regardless of the contributing factors of arguably the two fastest drivers of the weekend DNFing, that is not to say that they wouldn’t have been competitive. The BMW Sauber F108 has been quick at every track we have visited this season. It has taken a pole position, its drivers have been regular podium visitors and now it, and the team, are race winners and real championship contenders. Kubica may not see a shot at victory at every event this season, but his consistency is what has taken him to the top of the drivers’ table. Since being nerfed out of the Australian Grand Prix, he has finished every race in the points and has finished no lower than fourth. The three drivers behind him in the championship have each won two races, but none of them have the same consistent record of the Pole. Canada then, could turn out to be a very significant race indeed. For while misfortune pays its regular visits to his rivals, Kubica stands to reap the rewards. There is little doubt that he will have his share of bad luck as well in 2008, but for as long as he keeps finishing the races that he does in the positions that he does, the established order of F1 needs to be very, very afraid. Pos # Driver Team Laps Time Grid 1 4 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 70 1:36:24.447 2 2 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 70 +16.4s 8 3 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 70 +23.3s 13 4 12 Timo Glock Toyota 70 +42.6s 11 5 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 70 +43.9s 6 6 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 70 +47.7s 14 7 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 70 +53.5s 9 8 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 70 +54.1s 19 9 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 70 +54.4s 7 10 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 70 +57.7s 5 11 16 Jenson Button Honda 70 +67.5s 20 12 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 70 +71.2s 10 13 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 18 Ret 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 51 Accident 17 Ret 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 46 Accident 12 Ret 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 44 Accident 4 Ret 6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 39 Brakes 15 Ret 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 19 Accident 3 Ret 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 19 Accident 1 Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 13 Gearbox 16 FORMULA 1 | Round 7 MONTREAL Points – Drivers: Kubica 42, Hamilton 38, Massa 38, Raikkonen 35, Heidfeld 28, Kovalainen 15, Webber 15, Trulli 12, Alonso 9, Rosberg 8. Manufacturers: Ferrari 73, McLaren-Mercedes 70, BMW 53, Red Bull 21, Toyota 17, Williams-Toyota 15, Renault 9, Honda 8. o p in io n WiLL BUxTON GPWeek Editor F1 canada >> Beware of the dark horse 33