Canadian GP: Penelope's view

Qualifying Canada 2002 I was going to avoid it...but I just can't let go...no not the Austrian thing again although, judging by the banners held around the circuit, the fans have not forgotten or forgiven...but the World Cup...I'd just like to...

Qualifying Canada 2002

I was going to avoid it...but I just can't let go...no not the Austrian thing again although, judging by the banners held around the circuit, the fans have not forgotten or forgiven...but the World Cup...I'd just like to say to anyone tuning in from Argentina..."awwwww"...and to all you Brit's out there...1-0...1-0...1-0 - Engurland, Engurland Engurla-and!! I reckon if it wasn't for the amount of beer consumed yesterday afternoon, I'd have lost about five pounds watching the match...as it was I probably gained six!!

Anyway after a long lie in, Bienvenue au Quebec, this familiar little phrase that has caused so many people so many problems, even got me worried today as I looked around the circuit and thought the famous barrier had been removed...but as any avid horror movie watcher will tell you... "Always look up" - and there it was above the bright yellow signs for Helix, I could once again relax!!

Well almost, as ITV in their wisdom have scheduled four (yes that's four) game shows at the time which should be dedicated to the Grand Prix qualifying session...Bernie may be powerful but obviously not powerful enough to warrant prime time Saturday evening viewing!! What is this country coming to that it would rather show popular people (for that read pretty but dumb) trying to succeed in winning a pretty meaningless prize in a competition that is fixed anyway... hang on a minute, now I see the connection!!

So F1 Digital Plus it was...and Hinge and Bracket were once again on fine form as Damon Hill described the technical aspects of the circuit Gilles Villeneuve with three informative words: "Go, stop, turn...go, stop, turn!!"...repeated for effect - like a teach yourself French tape where all you learn to say is "Where is the station" and "A double room with a shower please"...when any self respecting Brit knows all you need to be able to do is: buy alcohol, apologise to the policeman at the side of your car and find the toilets on the camp site!!

I digress, everyone associates Canada with Villeneuve, unfortunately for Jacques he's not the one they're talking about and so to put just that little bit of extra pressure on an already fit to burst JV, BAR brought a brand new aero package with them this weekend, which they claim will take them forward in leaps and bounds. JV's comment?! "It looks like a proper, modern F1 car now...which is good!!" No shit Jacques...

As we went into the session, it looked like Schui's only threat would be Barrichello...and when you think about it just for a nanosecond he's not likely to lose much sleep over that now is he!! But I was to be surprised...as despite the fact that Michael was stunningly fast (334.3Kmph) and to the eye, looked to be way ahead of the rest...he wasn't and, having waited over ten minutes for anyone to venture out on track, the restless crowd gave him the thumbs down as he crossed the line...me thinks the Ferrari saga is not yet over, for the fans in any case!!

Michael did go fastest at first but Montoya replied with the only time under 1:13 seconds, a cry of "beat that" and a roar of appreciation from the crowd. He was so cool about it, he looked like he was off to shoot a couple of rounds of pool, have a few bevies and wander in late for the race tomorrow. When it started to rain, though, it looked for a minute like Schumacher really was going to be able to walk on water...but thankfully there are some things he can't do...well at least not today!!

While Rubens and Ralfy played catch up again and McLaren fannied about trying to stay on track, Jordan had a very productive day with Fisi finishing up sixth on the grid and Sato suffering from an engine blow that sent him on foot up into the forest, alongside the river and with one simple slip...into the St Lawrence and out to sea to be recovered in about ten years time...well that was the plan but unfortunately for Eddie he must have seen the trip-wire as he turned up back at the garage for the spare...for that read: "The only bloody car we've got left Tako...bring it back!!"

Trulli was another that had a bit of a nightmare...as first his team forget that him and Fisi have changed cars this year and tell him: "You've got the same time as Trulli..." Yes I admit this one gets me in a muddle when I'm thinking on my feet (not too often I hear you cry) but I'm allowed to make these mistakes...are the team?? Then he goes and bashes into the barrier, only to hear that Renault have brought one spare...for Jenson...and a chassis in a box!! I guess this must have been for Jarno as he did not reappear during the session and ended up tenth...three places ahead of Jenson though so he was probably wise not to take his spare...

One thing's for sure, this circuit is exciting, it's fast and you can overtake (sorry that's three things)...but looking at the grid, I think Kimi could win this one...I mean what are the chances of the diagonally placed Ferraris and Williams' not getting tangled up into turn one and what are the chances of DC overtaking (on track) Heidfeld and Fisi and then getting let through by his team-mate...at McLaren?! Never!! ;-)

So as Patrick Head fluffs up his feathers and preens himself ready to deliver a note (tied neatly around his ankle) to Ross Brawn saying "Nah, na, na, na nah!!" - I say wait and see, never discount a Schumacher (either of them!!).

Until tomorrow - I'm off to pack.

Penelope

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ross Brawn , Damon Hill , Gilles Villeneuve , Patrick Head
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Jordan