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2001 Canadian Grand Prix 
Fan Reviews and Comments  

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A number of readers have sent in their reviews and comments about the race and we have decided to publish some. 
You can send your review to [email protected] 

Yaman from India writes:

The Canadian GP

The Gilles Villeneuve circuit has been named after Jacques Villeneuve's father and is the home GP for the 97 World Champion. He was looking to do well here as his history at the circuit was not impressive. Apart from a 2nd place finish here in 96, his rookie year, he had not done well at all. The same could not be said about Michael Schumacher though. He had won four races at this circuit and when he grabbed his 6th pole position of the year no one was really surprised. 
Surprisingly the McLaren's which had dominated the free practice sessions were very unimpressive and could only manage 3rd for Coulthard and 8th for Mika Hakkinen, who had damaged his car on his very first flying lap during qualifying. Jarno Trulli did very well to qualify 4th while Ricardo Zonta the Jordan test driver who was standing in for Frentzen, qualified 12th. The surprise of the session was undoubtedly Ralf Schumacher who was the only driver to really challenge Michael for pole. 
The weather was perfect and the crowds swarmed in to cheer home favourite Villeneuve who had not had a particularly good qualifying session. The BAR driver had made the headlines for nearly hitting Juan Pablo Montoya during an argument between the two and with both of them qualifying on the same row, all eyes were on them. The formation lap went without a hitch and all the cars lined up on the grid in their respective qualifying positions. At GO all the cars managed to start cleanly except for Villeneuve. The Canadian looked as if he had some hydraulic problem which lost him a few places at the start. Jos Verstappen with an ultra light fuel tank made another stupendous start and was inside the top ten on the very first lap. Mika Hakkinen was caught in a lot of traffic at the first corner and lost a couple of places. The two Schumachers made perfect starts and soon were setting very fast lap times, while Coulthard was bogged down from the very start and was consequently overtaken by a flying Rubens Barrichello who had made up three places from his 6th on the starting grid. Eddie Irvine who had finished 3rd in Monaco knocked himself and Heidfeld out of the race in the first few laps and there was disappointment for Giancarlo Fisichella who had finished 3rd here last year. He drove into the back of his Benetton team-mate Jenson Button after damaging his front wing as a result of touching another car. The Italian had to retire as a result with a broken front suspension.

By now, the two Ferrari's and the Williams had separated from the rest of the field and were driving a race of their own. Barrichello who looked very aggressive was trying to overtake Ralf at the hairpin when his traction control system hitched and sent Barrichello spinning. The Brazilian lost a lot of places as a result of the spin and a few laps later while pursuing Montoya who was in 9th place behind Hakkinen crashed out of the race while trying to avoid hitting Montoya who had hit the side barrier. Montoya who retired as a result of the crash notched up his 7th non-finish in 8 races, a result he would not be proud of. 
Villeneuve who was having a horrendous race retired due to a driveshaft failure disappointing his home crowd yet again. Michael and Ralf by now were 20 seconds ahead of Coulthard and were driving in a class of their own. Ralf whose car looked stronger of the two drove brilliantly to constantly challenged his brother for the lead in the race. Hakkinen on a bit of a fight back managed to get into 4th place behind Coulthard who was having severe car trouble. The Scot made an earlier than scheduled pit stop allowing Hakkinen to take over third place. Michael made his pit stop first and Ralf broke the lap record set by Hakkinen a few laps earlier and opened a 25 second gap over his brother. When his turn came the Williams pit-crew managed a good 8.4 seconds pit stop and Ralf came out ahead of his brother and consequently took over the race lead. The German looked set to win his second race of the year and of his career. Michael had tried non-stop to challenge his brother but finding it futile let it go and set himself on finishing 2nd and getting 6 valuable points. Hakkinen who had an ordinary race drove steadily and preserved his car till the end. It was Ralf who took the chequered flag in 1st place ahead of his brother Michael. Hakkinen joyfully drove to his first podium finish since Suzuka last year and Kimi Raikkonen drove superbly to take 4th place ahead of Jean Alesi the 95 winner of this GP. Alesi had finished 6th in Monaco and this was his second consecutive finish in the points. One of the best drivers in F1, he was happy to make it back to the points after a long gap. Pedro de la Rosa took 6th place and a valuable point for Jaguar.

So, Ralf does it and moves within two points of Barrichello. Michael has got an 18 pt lead over Coulthard who had his first non-finish of the year. Hakkinen has finished third on the podium and now must look to finish every race in the top two to challenge for an almost impossible drivers championship and a fast becoming impossible constructors championship. If he tries, he shall succeed!

Well done Kimi Raikkonen, Jean Alesi and Pedro de la Rosa.

The race was one worth watching and in two weeks time shall be the European GP. Nurburgring shall be the track and it will be a great race.

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