Hamilton heads to the top after thriller in Montreal
Seven grand prix. Seven different winners. And this one wasn’t so much luck but a hard earned win for Lewis Hamilton who drove superbly to clinch the first and head to the top of the drivers table.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, seemingly afloat the in centre of the St Lawrence Seaway, has once again provided the backdrop for another thrilling grand prix. Whilst qualifying looked as if the race may be sewn up by Vettel, after a commanding pole position some three tenths of a second ahead of Hamilton, the McLaren team were still looking hopeful, albeit the prospects for Button looked less promising with him struggling into tenth on the grid. Alonso looked good as he took third place and his team mate Massa showed a distinct uplift in his performance to claim sixth as his future at Ferrari looks increasingly under threat.
Meanwhile Webber, still buoyed up by his victory at Monaco, took fourth. The Mercedes team once again claimed two of the top ten grid positions with Rosberg in fifth and Schumacher ninth. While Grosjean maintained Lotus’s strong showing by taking seventh, with Di Resta also pushing hard in the Force India to gain eighth on the grid.
Come Sunday’s dash for the first corner, Vettel headed the grid into Turn 1, already threatening to show a clean set of heels to the rest of the pack. Hamilton though fought hard to keep the German in sight and eventually the Red Bull’s tyres started to degrade and come lap 16 caused Vettel to pit. Then with Hamilton and Alonso pitting on subsequent laps, the lead changed rapidly leaving Alonso in first.
As the race unfolded pit stop strategies started to look uncertain and Hamilton became concerned that Red Bull and Ferrari might change to a two stopper. But with Hamilton looking strong, both teams decided to stick with a one stop strategy. And there Hamilton’s effort paid off. Although dropped behind the the Red Bull and the Ferrari after his second stop, his fresher rubber proved decisive in enabling him to reel in both drivers. By lap 64 he had passed both of them and then continued to edge away until taking the flag.
Behind, Vettel and Alonso suffered further points losses as first Grosjean powered pass to take second, then Sergio Perez in the Sauber followed through to claim third. Then Vettel dived in for a late tyre change which then enabled him too to pass a slowing Alonso.
So for the seventh time this season, another driver had taken the top spot on the podium with second and third occupied by relative newcomers and NGK claiming another first to its ever growing tally of Formula One successes.