Tue 10 Jun 2008
The main focus of attention after the Canadian GP was on Lewis Hamilton, which is a bit of a shame as it should really have centred on the men on the podium.
Nick Heidfeld did admirably well to manage a second place for BMW, but even he was in the shadow of his teammate Robert Kubica who managed to pull the German manufacturer’s maiden GP win out of the bag.
As if that wasn’t enough, David Coulthard managed to put his dismal start to the season behind him long enough to take the third spot on the podium - a well deserved return to form in my book.
You could have been forgiven for not having a clue who was actually third though as the TV coverage didn’t feature him much - mind you it didn’t feature Kubica much either!
For once, I will forgive the director though as the race provided close battles right through the field so it’s understandable that attention is directed at these rather than at someone who is alone on the track.
I’m glad BMW have finally won a race, which they have been promising to do for the last year or so - but this year they made it their public target and I’m pleased that they have managed it early in the season. Who knows, another may follow!
The team and their drivers are very realistic, and while some would call it pessimism, they are not talking up their chances of winning either titles.
It really does seem like sometimes drivers just find the right team for them - Coulthard has really come out of his shell at Red Bull after the blandness of his previous home at McLaren, while both Heidfeld and Kubica seem very at home at BMW. The team like to say things as they are, never building up people’s hopes without just cause - and the drivers seem to be exactly the same.
They both know that had McLaren and Ferrari not got themselves into a spot of bother then they wouldn’t have won the race nor had two drivers on the podium, and again while many may see that as a sign of weakness, I see it as the right way to be.
As opposed to Lewis Hamilton, who never says anything even remotely negative about the team or his driving abilities. Again, this seems to fit in well with the way McLaren are - they have tried to change drivers over the years to blend in with their corporate image but they seem to be happy enough with the way Lewis acts and presents himself so he would appear to be in the right team too.
There are people who think this is a good thing - it’s good that he isn’t dwelling on his problems and that he has put them out of his mind. I don’t understand that personally.
He made a mistake in Canada - everyone makes them and while you may think it was a silly thing to do (Kimi Raikkonen certainly does), it could be put down as just one of those things.
The most important thing is that he has to admit he made a mistake. But has he? Not to my knowledge.
He also has to try and ensure he doesn’t do it (or something similar) again, and to my mind simply forgetting about it isn’t going to help there.
At the time he must have felt a complete numpty. Whether he admits it or not, he knew straight away what had happened and that it was his fault - you could tell that by his body language as he tried to deflect Kimi away from a confrontation in front of the cameras.
He would have felt terrible, and that’s exactly the reason why he must remember that time and not try to put it out of his mind.
Only by remembering how bad it felt to make a mistake will he be able to recall that feeling in the future and try to ensure he never feels like that again. It’s a bit like losing the world title last year due to a silly mistake - by remembering that feeling, it should actually help him if he finds himself in a similar situation again. His mind and body will try everything to ensure he doesn’t ever feel like that again.
They call it learning from your mistakes I suppose. You have to think about what happened, why it happened and what you can learn from it - if he simply blocks it all out then it will come back to haunt him later on in his career.
That’s how I see it anyway, but I’m no shrink!
As an aside, I’m not sure I like the way DC has been talking lately - he seems to have resigned himself to the fact he won’t be racing again next year. He spoke after the race about the clock ticking and being in reflective mood after 15 years in F1, which is a long time for anybody. If it really is to be the end then I’m glad he managed to get back up onto the podium, but I think this race showed that his previous results this year haven’t been a true reflection of his talent and ability.
If Red Bull really are looking to replace him then I’ve yet to be convinced the options are any better than the Scotsman - yes, Vettel has a good reputation, but I’ve yet to be amazed by any actual show of ability ontrack this season.
The next couple of races will be a telling time as DC’s contract extension was announced at Silverstone last year so presumably they will be looking at a similar timeframe this time around too.