2010 Canadian GP: Will McLaren Able to Capitalize on the Bull Run-Ins?

Ravikumar RajagopalCorrespondent IJune 11, 2010

MONTREAL - JUNE 10:  Jaime Alguersuari (R) of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso and team mate Sebastien Buemi (2nd right) of Switzerland and Scuderia Toro Rosso share a joke with Red Bull Racing drivers Mark Webber (2nd left) and Sebastian Vettel (L) while they attend the drivers autograph session during previews to the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve June 10, 2010 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Canadian GP is back after a break of one year, but so far the consequences of the events which unfolded in Turkey is still hovering Montreal like a dark shadow and with rain expected, this could be the race which could define the future of F1. Before the start of the season, the big four teams all had drivers who wanted to win World Championships but everyone expected the initial bust up to start in Ferrari or Mercedes but surprisingly Red Bull which had Vettel and Webber having an harmonious relationship is now in the midst of one of the most controversial crashes in F1. Forget whose fault it was, but in the end it is going to hit back at both the drivers and also the team.

Red Bull will once again go into this weekend as the favorites as they have been doing so far, but for the first time because of the bust up despite what Red Bull and its PR team says, McLaren which nearly had a bust now has a real chance to use this moment to catch up with the RBR and this will be one track where McLaren could even be better than RBR. Vettel the golden boy of Red Bull and the success story of its driver program will be against his teammate who originally was brought in so that they could get the Renault engines. Webber has always been a journeyman but this season, he has a chance to be this generation’s Mansell by winning the title.

McLaren having two British World Champions have done well so far and off late seems to have the edge of both Ferrari and Mercedes but they nearly messed it all up with Button and Hamilton crashes but then both drivers have put it behind them and despite the official claim that the team does not have team orders, eventually they need to back one of the drivers and this race could actually decide it. If Button convincingly beats Hamilton, he will gain an upper hand and he will have all the resource in the world to defend his title.

Ferrari after a dream start to the season is going through a nightmare phase but despite in a position where most teams would envy to be in Ferrari is Ferrari and they should be fighting for the world championship but not fending off the likes of Renault. Alonso so far has proved that he is not as good as Schumacher has been for Ferrari while Massa with his contract extension will feel relived and now he needs to put his head down and take on not only Alonso but also the other drivers on the grid.

Mercedes is slowly becoming stronger but then it may be too late and by the time they hit pace, they maybe too far away from the championship. Schumacher is still not 100% but then he is improving and at Montreal which has been his favorite track and if the updates do work and with some rain, he can very well give the team its first victory in over 50 years. Rosberg has done a good job so far this season but he needs more than consistency to actually make everyone think that he is good enough to win championships.

Renault and Kubica has been the surprise story of the season and despite all the issues the team has had in the past, it has done extremely well. During this season though the team is fifth on the standings, but in reality depending on tracks it has managed to beat both Mercedes and Ferrari. If Vitaly Petrov started scoring more regularly they will catch up with Mercedes before the season gets over.

Force India has had a good season so far and the team is finally breaking away from the mid-field pack but then the team may just have a lonely fight this season as they are still not as fast as the top five teams are but much faster than the rest. Adrian Sutil is the best driver among the rest and it is sad that there is no seat available in the big teams for 2011. But he has showed that given a fast car he can do really well but teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi needs to buckle up or else the highly impressive Paul di Resta may well take his seat before the season ends.

Williams is the only team on the grid which has not improved since the season started and the team has put the blame on to the engines. Williams knowing that Cosworth has developed the same engine which it used in its disastrous campaign in 2006 went for it. Williams should get Renault for 2011 and forget this year. Nico Hulkenberg who has won every other championship he has been in the past had not exactly set the stage on fire while Rubens Barrichello should have retired after a dream season in 2010.

Sauber and STR have improved a lot off late and they are better than Williams but then for Sauber if the team manages to get cars to finish races it will be scoring points on a more regular basis while STR has been good given its limited resources but its drivers needs to stop making minor mistakes as they have cost the team points in the past.

Among the rest, despite Lotus being better than Virgin and HRT, it has not really cached up with the likes of Williams, Sauber, and STR. Lotus needs a miracle to score points this season but the team atleast looks on track for a better 2011. HRT seems to have caught up with Virgin despite its non development while CRD experiment has failed miserably for Virgin Racing.

Rain is expected and this will only make the race more fun, but Red Bull and McLaren will go into the race as strong contenders and do expect a surprise from Mercedes and Ferrari.

Canadian GP Top 10 Predictions

1. Sebastien Vettel

2. Michael Schumacher

3. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Robert Kubica

7. Fernando Alonso

8. Felipe Massa

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Nico Rosberg


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