Schumacher finishes 11th in Montreal
Michael Schumacher was looking for his first top-three finish in
his return to racing after a three-year retirement. Instead, the
seven-time Formula 1 season champion ended up 11th Sunday in the
Canadian Grand Prix.
The 41-year-old Schumacher, driving for Ross Brawn-led Mercedes
GP, started 13th after his worst qualifying performance of the
season, then ran into early trouble when he made contact with
Renault’s Robert Kubica.
“The first stop was perfectly timed, so it was looking quite
promising,” Schumacher said. “Then I had a puncture on the front
right tire … after I got together with Kubica, and that obviously
decided my race. From there, I was stuck in traffic and there was
nothing more to do because today our weapons were not very
Hoping to build on a fourth-place finish two weeks ago in
Turkey, the German star rarely resembled the dominant driver who
won a record 91 F1 races – seven in Montreal – before stepping away
from the cockpit after the 2006 season.
“Toward the end, I was trying as hard as I could to defend
myself, but it was only possible to a certain degree and my tires
were just ruined after having done more than half the race
distance,” Schumacher said. “I was fighting cars with a good top
speed, which was quite tough. Otherwise, I would have been in a
good position, I think, so we have something to take away to the
Schumacher’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, finished sixth.
“Sixth place was probably the best result that we could have
achieved today, so I’m pretty happy,” Rosberg said. “It’s been a
difficult weekend with a poor qualifying performance yesterday due
to the tires not working properly and I was unlucky on the first
lap today to lose so many places from the chaos in front of
HAPPY PRINCIPCAL: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh wasn’t
exactly at a loss for words after Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
swept the top two spots for the second straight race to take the
first two places in the season standings.
“I’m told I sometimes overuse the phrase ‘Fantastic job’ when
describing the performances of Lewis and Jenson, but I make no
apology whatsoever for using that phrase again today,” Whitmarsh
said. “This afternoon’s race was extremely exciting from a
spectacle point of view and decidedly challenging from a strategy
point of view, and I think our engineers rose to that challenge
Hamilton has 109 championship points through eight of 19 races,
giving him a three-point lead over Button and six-point advantage
over Red Bull’s Mark Webber. In the constructors’ standings,
McLaren has a 215-193 advantage over Red Bull.
“Lewis and Jenson did indeed do a fantastic job. … They drove
with controlled aggression when it was needed, tempered by patience
and discipline when those qualities were required. I firmly believe
(we) have the two best racing drivers in the world today.”
LOVE AFAIR: Race winner Lewis Hamilton made it clear that
Montreal is one of his favorite places, repeatedly praising the
city and its rabid F1 fans.
“I’m so glad Formula One returned to Canada,” Hamilton said.
“The fans here are incredible. It’s almost unbelievable how
passionate they are about Formula One. I had my debut win here in
2007, so this track will always have a special place in my heart.
That’s why I hope that we come back here again for many more
Hamilton was asked about getting an “I Love Montreal”
“I think I should get one,” the 25-year-old British driver
said. “Maybe I will get one at the airport or something.”
MESSY MASSA: Ferrari’s Felipe Massa made contract with Force
India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi at the start and ended up 15th after
pitting four times.
“This was a horrible race, in which everything happened to
me,” Massa said.
“At the first corner, I had an accident that put me out of the
game in terms of fighting for a top-place finish. I got a very good
start, but I found myself sandwiched between (Jenson) Button and
Liuzzi, who touched me, and you all saw how it ended up. A shame,
but these things happen.
“The car was very good today, as is usually the case in the
races when compared to qualifying. After that, I was always in a
lot of traffic and when I had at least managed to get back into the
points, there was another collision, this time with Michael
(Schumacher) and that put an end to even that slight chance of
SUCCESSFUL RETURN: The race made a successful return after being
dropped from the F1 schedule last year after failed contract
“We sold all our grandstand seats and admitted the maximum
number of spectators in general admission,” Canadian GP president
Francois Dumontier said. “In total, we have again seen on the site
during the three days more than 300,000 spectators.”