Although many drivers probably left the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with similar thoughts, Heikki Kovalainen and Williams team-mates Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima had more reason than most to lament missed opportunities in the Canadian Grand Prix.

With the Finn's team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, and countryman, Kimi Raikkonen, eliminated by a bizarre pit-lane accident, and Felipe Massa delayed by having to make a second attempt at his stop, Kovalainen looked to be the main opposition to the BMW Saubers which assumed control of the race through Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.

Nakajima, too, could have been in the mix, having vaulted up the order by opting not to stop under the safety car period that caused the problems, while Rosberg found himself caught out in similar fashion to Hamilton, but was able to resume after a change of front wing, his original having been damaged when he collected the Briton's stricken McLaren.

Instead, Nakajima joined the list of retirements after a faux pas of his own after 46 laps, while Kovalainen and Rosberg found themselves chasing Sebastian Vettel - who had started from pit-lane - for the final point.

"Today wasn't a great day for me," Heikki admitted, "At the start, I felt we had the potential to record a very good result, but then I started to experience quite a lot of graining on my first set of tyres. Changing them didn't seem to help matters, and I was never able to push hard to the finish.

"It's always difficult when you come home empty-handed, but this weekend has shown that we have a package that can compete for a win. I'll keep pushing for exactly that in Magny-Cours."

The Finn's pursuit of a consolation eighth place was hampered by Rosberg buzzing around the McLaren like a frustrated wasp. The pair's battling - and frequent swapping of position - allowed Vettel to cement the place, although it was only after the German had fallen away in the closing laps that Kovalainen was able to get back to within 0.3secs of the Toro Rosso.

"It was great to begin with, and was going fantastically at the start," Rosberg noted, having vaulted into fourth off the line and held position through to the opening, fateful round of pit-stops, "I passed Alonso into turn one and was getting away from him while, at the same time, I wasn't losing too much to Massa in front. But then there was the incident in the pit-lane, which really was unfortunate."

At one point, Rosberg appeared poised to pass Vettel, but the German cut the final chicane and, rejoining in front of the Williams, caused Rosberg to check up enough for Kovalainen to catch and pass the blue-and-white machine. After that, mistakes from both pursuers cost them a consistent run in ninth.

Nakajima, meanwhile, took advantage of the frontrunners stopping under the safety car to rise as high as third but, following his own, later, stop, the rookie made a mistake while looking for a way past Jenson Button's lamentably slow Honda which compromised his race.

"With all the other incidents in the field, it was going well, but then, when I was following Jenson, it seemed as if he got on the marbles in the middle of the hairpin and lost
traction - and I couldn't avoid him," he reported, "I damaged my front wing and, when I came into the pit-lane, it detached itself completely and was stuck under the chassis, so I couldn't make the corner."

Nosing into the wall, Nakajima's race was done, leaving Williams - like McLaren - empty-handed.

"Obviously, it was not a good result for us, although we had good first laps and a good strategy," Williams technical director, Sam Michael, admitted, "There were points for the taking, as the car has been fast enough to be at the front of the midfield for the second race in a row. We simply haven't capitalised on it...."

A view, no doubt, shared by many as the circus packed up for the return to Europe....