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The ominous signs are getting harder to ignore

PUBLISHED: 16:28 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:59 14 June 2013

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel enjoys the top step of the podium in Canada for the first time. What odds on him making it four titles in four years come the end of the 2013 season?

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel enjoys the top step of the podium in Canada for the first time. What odds on him making it four titles in four years come the end of the 2013 season?

It didn’t feel like the most interesting grand prix at times, certainly at the front. Maybe that’s because Montreal has such a high benchmark. But it did feel like significant one for the 2013 season. A race that resulted in people, if only by intonation and innuendo, starting to show their hopes and fears for the rest of the year.

"I gave everything and so did the team. No matter what we would’ve done differently, it would’ve been the same position"

Quote of the week: Valtteri Bottas on slipping from third on the grid to a 14th finish

Take Red Bull boss Christian Horner, busy billing the championship – that should probably read championships – being wide open.

“I don’t think you can write anybody off at this point in the championship,” he claimed. “Our focus is on trying to do the best we can. Then the championship tables tend to take care of themselves.

“Ultimately you can’t write-off Kimi (Raikkonen). He could quite easily put a run of race results together, as could Lewis (Hamilton). And Mark (Webber) could get himself back in the championship as well.

“While the points look healthy at the moment...you can’t afford any complacency. The margins can rapidly be eroded.”

Good week, bad week

Pole position – Jean-Eric Vergne: Sixth in Canada was his best finish to date, meaning the 23-year-old is starting to prove his worth with Red Bull’s feeder team, Toro Rosso. And that could come in pretty handy in the near future.

Stalling – Marshalling: It was tragic to hear of a marshal’s death in Montreal. Those guys and girls do a terrific job across the world. Our thoughts are with their family and friends.

The sound there of a principal making sure his team keep up the work, when the advantage could already breed a feeling of unbeatability.

One of Fernando Alonso’s post-race comments, when pressed on the points gap to Sebastian Vettel, was telling too: “It will be a close season… We hope it will be a close season.”

Yes we’ve still got much further to go than we’ve passed. But no one should ignore that facts.

Vettel’s points lead at the top of the drivers’ championship – 36 – means he already effectively has a race in hand on the lead Ferrari. Red Bull are also 56 points ahead of Maranello in the constructors’ championship.

And perhaps most ominous of all – they didn’t complain about the tyres once in Montreal. Not obviously, anyway. There’s no denying the fact Formula One is heading to Britain in the grip of the usual Red Bull dominance.

Once again, lead cars are having their races ruined by simply trying to lap slower cars.

The car set to be lapped gets a blue flag; they should then move over and let the faster car through. It should be so easy. Yet the situation seems to leave both sides with a lazy, false sense of security – and all too often one car hasn’t seen the other, turns in too soon or clips a wheel. Puncture, debris, game over.

In fact, it would probably be a lot more straight forward if the blue flags were scrapped altogether. Remove the doubt. If you want to pass a car – to lap it or for position – you should have to earn it.

All the blue flags do is encourage every to assume something that isn’t always the case.


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