Hamilton races to superb Canadian win
The Formula One World Championship hit the streets of Montreal for round 7. Sebastian Vettel, on pole, got off to a flying start and by the end of lap one was over a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
The underfire Felipe Massa battled with Nico Rosberg and an easy overtake at the last chicane got the Brazilian ahead to chase down Mark Webber in 4th. But his good start was wasted as a spin at Turn Two dropped him down to 12th.
The Brazilian was the first driver to pit on lap 13 and Lewis Hamilton had then closed the lead to Vettel to 0.7 seconds. Avoiding a battle with the Brit, the Red Bull driver dived into the pits and with Hamilton pitting a lap later, it was Alonso that then inherited the lead.
Hamilton got out just head of Vettel, but Alonso timed it to perfection and exiting the pit lane got out infront of both. But running wide at the hairpin and he eventually had to yield to the McLaren driver.
Kimi Raikkonen was having a good race and up in 4th despite starting outside the top 10. The same couldn’t be said for the HRT team who were having a disastrous Canadian GP. Narain Karthikeyan spun at Turn One and eventually pulled off track, then Pedro de la Rosa retired in the pits.
By lap 29 Pastor Maldonado had made it up into the top 10 despite starting way back in 22nd, after a grid penalty for a gearbox change.
By lap 36 Hamilton had pulled out a 3.891 second lead over Alonso, but his team-mate, Jenson Button was having a race to forget and struggling with tyre degradation was back in 17th.
On a one-stop strategy, the Sauber of Sergio Perez was in an exciting battle with Mark Webber and Raikkonen for 4th, with only 1.2 seconds separating them.
Michael Schumacher had more bad luck this season and had his 4th retirement of the season on lap 45, due to the DRS flap jamming on his Mercedes, while Toro Rosso driver, Jean-Eric Vergne received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
Jenson Button narrowly avoided being lapped by his team-mate, as Hamilton entered the pits on lap 51. But his team let him down again with a lengthy pit stop due to problems with the right rear tyre. Using his frustration to spur him on, he set the timing screens alight and hunted down the leader, Alonso and 2nd placed Vettel. But despite him repeatedly asking his team previously on the radio if the Ferrari and Red Bull were on a one stop strategy, it looked at lap 59 like they were.
But with Alonso and Vettel struggling with their tyres, Hamilton was taking chunks out of the gap between them lapping a second faster. Lap 62 saw the Brit fly past the German, then two laps later got the better of Alonso down the back straight.
Despite also being on a one-stop strategy, Romain Grosjean in the Lotus-Renault appeared out of nowhere to lap two seconds faster than Alonso and overtake the Spaniard to take 2nd. Sergio Perez was also a man on the move and within a few laps, Alonso had gone from leading to being just off the podium in 4th.
Lewis Hamilton took his first win of 2012, the seventh driver to take the top spot this year and the lead in the championship.
- Lewis Hamilton
- Romain Grosjean
- Sergio Perez
- Sebastian Vettel
- Fernando Alonso
- Mark Webber
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Kamui Kobayashi
- Felipe Massa
- Paul Di Resta
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Pastor Maldonado
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Jean-Eric Vergne
- Jenson Button
- Bruno Senna
- Heikki Kovalainen
- Vitaly Petrov
- Charles Pic