Formula One continued its unpredictable season with Lewis Hamilton becoming the 7th winner of the season in the Canadian Grand Prix. In a further sign of the shake up of the grid, Romain Grosjean for Lotus Renault was second and Sauber had Sergio Perez claim the final spot on the podium.
The race was however perhaps not the most exciting of the year as the front runners played out different tyre strategies that came together at the back end of the race.
Hamilton and McLaren opted for a two stop strategy calling the former Champion in on lap 50 for his final stop, whilst Fernado Alonso and Sebastian Vettel tried a one stop option.
However the Ferrari and Red Bull runner had left the second phase too long and faced the closing stages on very worn rubber. Vettel had stopped on lap 16 for his first stop and Alonso on lap 19. Hamilton meanwhile had new tyres and was able to dispatch both under the DRS zone.
Grosjean and Perez were also one stopping but had stretched their first stints longer and were able to round up Alonso and Vettel. For Grosjean his first stint lasted until lap 21 whilst Perez managed a amazing first run of 41 laps.
Red Bull could see the writing on the wall and pitted their driver on lap 63. He was then able to pass Alonso to claim fourth place.
The had stopped Mark Webber on lap 52 but the Australian was unable to make much impression on those in front of him, suggesting the Red Bull was slightly off the pace at the Canadian circuit.
Hamiliton with the win took the lead in the Championship lead with the lead with 88 points ahead of Alonso with 86 and Vettel on 85. Australian Mark Webber is fourth in the standings after his fourth place finish.
“It’s a phenomenal sensation to come back to Canada and put on a performance like we did today. This win feels as good as my first Formula 1 victory back in 2007. In fact I’d say it’s one of the best races I’ve had for a very long time. I feel fantastic, to be honest." the brit enthused posted race
"Just brilliant. I could hardly believe it when I was driving across the line. That emotion inside, it’s like an explosion. It’s really just incredible. It’s what I love best about motor racing. I always knew today’s race was going to be incredibly tough.
"So, in the first stint, I was really pleased that I could keep up with Seb [Vettel], and at that point I already felt sure I’d be involved the fight for victory. Our strategy was always for a two-stopper: we knew it was going to be the fastest way to get to the finish. I looked after my tyres really well today, and I used them knowing we were going to two-stop. I had 100 per cent control and understanding of what was happening in the race – it was one of our best races for that. I told my race engineer, Andy [Latham], to keep the information flowing, and he was fantastic today.
"I always knew where I was losing or gaining time, which really helped. Every win is different. Every victory is new, special and fresh. And to see the team all wearing their Vodafone ‘rocket red’ victory Tshirts, knowing the guys back at the factory are doing the same, makes everything feel even more special. Finally, the support from the fans has been amazing – this victory is dedicated to them. I’m so grateful to be here today.”
Grosjean was also a happy driver after claiming his second podium of the year “It’s been a great day for the team. It was an incredible race and the one stop strategy worked perfectly for us." was his post race reflection.
"It wasn’t an easy race, but we wanted to be aggressive to achieve a good result. Yesterday was a bit disappointing, but we learnt a lot from Friday to Saturday and the fruits of all these lessons were seen today.
"It wasn’t easy to manage the second set of tyres for so long, but it worked so I’ll happily do that again for another result like today. It’s fantastic to finish in second position on my first visit to Montreal, hopefully I will finish in first on my second time! I would like to thank the entire team for the amazing job we’ve done this weekend.”
Likewise Perez was on the podium for the second time this season having started from 15th place on the grid “When you start 15th and there is no rain or chaos you don’t really expect to finish on the podium. We were quite aggressive today. The strategy and the pit stop have been very good and I was able to overtake a few cars.
"I saw that for me the tyre degradation wasn’t so bad and this allowed me to manage my pace quite well. We have a quick car but since Malaysia we have been unlucky for one reason or another, and then yesterday we had such a disappointing qualifying. Today’s result is a great reward for all the guys who work hard.
"The last time I scored points I was also on the podium and think this is quite a nice way to do it. Also it is particularly sweet to have been at the podium ceremony here in Montreal because we are not too far from my home country and there are many Mexicans here. It is a great boost for the team and I am very pleased for everybody.”
For Webber it was a case of battling engine issues early and from there was trapped behind the one stoppers “I knew it was going to be mixed up today, but not that mixed up." was his assessment of the results up front
"In the first ten laps, we had a small issue with the engine which we had to manage, but then I settled into the pace. We pitted and came out behind the one stoppers. It’s hard to get it right here – if you push to try and pass you kill the tyres but if you wait, then you find you’re on the same strategy and finish behind them anyway.
"I think ultimately we were quick at times today and it’s good that we finished in the points. With hindsight we could have done a different strategy, but it’s easy to say that now and I’ve had worst days than today.”
Down in 14th place Daniel Ricciardo it was a case of the Toro Rosso again being off the pace “I finished where I started. I got a good launch off the line but there was nowhere really for me to go, so I opted to go down the inside at Turn 1, which put me on the outside of Turn 2, where I tried to go around a few of the guys in front of me. But there was not as much grip there as I had expected and this cost me a few places.
"So from then on, I had some work to do as it put me on the back foot. From mid-race to the end, I could not match the pace of those I was racing against. Our pace is simply not enough to crack the top at the moment, so we must not get downhearted, but keep working hard to try and improve.”
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h32:29.586
2. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 2.513
3. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 5.260
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 7.295
5. Alonso Ferrari + 13.411
6. Rosberg Mercedes + 13.842
7. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 15.085
8. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 15.567
9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 24.432
10. Massa Ferrari + 25.272
14. Riccirdo Toro Rosso + 1:04.475
1. Hamilton 88 points
2. Alonso 86 points
3. Vettel 85 points
4. Webber 79 points
18. Ricciardo 2 points.