The return of the Canadian Grand Prix provided a weekend of entertainment, some exciting and some controversial, both on and off track.
The weather gods played a large part, with Saturday’s free practice session and qualifying witnessing massive downpours.
All was still not well in the Mercedes camp, as both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled with porpoising and bouncing.
In an effort to eradicate the issue, a second tray was fitted to stiffen the floor and fitted to Russell’s car.
Unfortunately, some suggested such a move was an infringement of FIA regulations and could result in a protest, so it was removed, with its effectiveness never tested.
A revelation was the marvellous display of driving skills in the wet from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
It was a joy to watch, with handfuls of opposite lock and very leery slides the order of the afternoon, a real masterclass by the so-called veterans. The final times saw the Spaniard top the table with Vettel third.
The line-up was interesting, with many of the usual front runners way down the field.
With a drying track and a change from full wets to intermediate tyres, the qualifying session results saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on pole alongside Alonso, with Carlos Sainz third and Hamilton fourth.
With the Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher holding fifth and sixth, it promised an interesting grid for Sunday.
Race day, and all eyes were on Hamilton. Had the team finally rid themselves of the much-talked-about possible health issues resulting from the hard ride of the Mercedes?
Let us not forget following the last race in Baku, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff suggested the “backache” suffered by Hamilton was more than muscular and appeared to be spinal – and it was possible the Englishman may not be able to race in Montreal.
The W13 had become drivable, in hours, after months of appalling performance issues. It was not on the pace, finishing some seven seconds behind winner Verstappen and second-placed Sainz under a second in arrears, but television images showed no signs of the severe problems experienced previously.
At the finish the seven-time world champion was delighted, praising the team, and even Wolff smiled. Russell’s fourth certainly boosted the points for the championship.
Accelerometers had been mounted under the seats of the cars by the FIA and the amount of movement of all drivers would be monitored for analysis by the controlling body to ascertain whether action needs to be taken to ensure their safety and medical well-being.
It will be interesting to read the outcome of the research and if there is a need for the FIA’s intervention.
One idea suggested has been a punitive remedy, with teams having to comply with prescribed levels or face penalties. Perhaps a miracle cure?