Rookie of the Race
#55 – Carlos Sainz Jr – Spain – Scuderia Toro Rosso
It was a quiet weekend for all the F1 rookies in Montreal, with none of the four rookies in the field scoring points, but it was Carlos Sainz Jr who came the closest with a twelfth place finish in his Toro Rosso.
The Spaniard was expecting a tough weekend in Canada, with the well-publicised power deficit of the Renault power unit, but came closer to making the top ten shoot out in qualifying than he thought he would, missing out by just 0.036s.
Although he could not match his qualifying result in the race, especially with the out of position Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa climbing up the order, he was still able to pass the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo late in the race to clinch twelfth.
While all eyes and the attention has been on his teenage team-mate this season, Sainz has proven again and again that he has what it takes to be a top line Formula 1 driver.
#98 – Roberto Merhi – Spain – Manor F1 Team
When you only have your team-mate to judge your opinion against, Roberto Merhi has been comfortable beaten so far in 2015, but put in by far his strongest performance of the season in Canada.
For the first time in 2015, Merhi was able to out-qualify Will Stevens at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but unfortunately became Manor’s first retiree of 2015 on the Sunday.
Merhi has reiterated that he has been compromised so far in 2015 by his weight compared to Stevens, but has found some form and a good set-up in the past two races that has allowed him to show at last the talent the young Spaniard possesses.
#33 – Max Verstappen – Netherlands – Scuderia Toro Rosso
Much like his team-mate Sainz, Verstappen heading into the Canadian Grand Prix expecting a tough weekend, and that is exactly how it turned out for the young Dutchman.
Verstappen arrived in Canada knowing he had a five place grid penalty for the incident in Monaco with Romain Grosjean, and saw his weekend compromised further by another penalty for an engine change that saw him forced to serve a ten-second penalty at his first stop.
Notwithstanding these penalties, Verstappen could not match Sainz during qualifying, and found himself three places behind the Spaniard at the end of the race, finding himself unable to pass the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Verstappen will have many better days, but Canada was just one of those weekends where he was compromised and was unable to show his true capabilities.
#12 – Felipe Nasr – Brazil – Sauber F1 Team
Felipe Nasr perhaps had his least impressive weekend of his season so far in Canada, with the Brazilian driver unable to qualify higher than fourteenth or finish higher than sixteenth.
His Saturday was heavily compromised by a mistake during free practice when he crashed into the barriers on the back straight when he accidentally pressed his DRS button whilst attempting to warm up the tyres, and although his Sauber mechanics got him out to qualify, he never really found the pace to challenge for a top ten finish.
Like Verstappen he will have better days, and Nasr, like team-mate Marcus Ericsson, will be hoping the big summer upgrades Sauber are planning to introduce stop their apparent quick rush towards the back of the midfield pack.
Rookie of the Race Winners:
3 – Carlos Sainz
2 – Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr
0 – Roberto Merhi