Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hamilton's The Man in Montreal; Wins 2nd Canadian Grand Prix

Photo Credit: Lotus Racing

Saying bonjour to the Formula 1 drivers and teams for the 8th race of the 2010 season, the Canadian Grand Prix returns to the F1 circuit and Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after a one-year hiatus.

Gaining the pole through a fastest lap time Saturday around the 4.361 mile road course, Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Formula 1 team starts in a handsome position on the race grid. Even before the race began however, Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber lost his front row starting spot when the team addressed a gearbox problem on his Red Bull-Renault.

Once the race got underway, the start was shaken by contact between the Ferrari of Felipe Massa and the Force India-Mercedes belonging to Vitantonio Liuzzi. Though requiring pit service to fix car damage, the incident was not enough for the FIA to call out the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG pace car. In fact, uncharacteristic for a the past F1 outings by Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 2010 edition of the race went on without a safety car period at any point in the event.

Head to head, the McLaren and Ferrari fought to get their driver out first. Unleashed, both Alonso and Hamilton stormed down the pit road side-by-side with Fernando Alonso just edging out the McLaren. However, shortly afterwards, Hamilton thrusted past the Ferrari F2010 for what would be a defining pass in settling the race's victor.

Remembered as a demanding track on the mechanicals of a Formula 1 car, an engine failure on Pedro de la Rosa's BMW Sauber-Ferrari and a brake issue on the Lotus-Cosworth of Jarno Trulli were the only major technical-related retirements in the race along with Bruno Senna. The only real physical attributes drivers and teams were contending with in the Canadian Grand Prix were the Bridgestone tires. While the primary compound was the hardest compound selected for the teams to run in the race weekend, several drivers faced trouble preserving their rubber. In the standout case in the Canadian Grand Prix, Mark Webber attempted to run longer on a set of primary tires only to see his nearly 11 second lead reduced to a few car lengths over Lewis Hamilton. As Webber's Red Bull-Renault fell into the grasp of Hamilton's McLaren-Mercedes, the tires on the Red Bull Racing tire were showing severe signs of shredding. Losing the large interval lead, Webber also lost any hope of a podium finish. When Webber pitted, the top-3 were led by the two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in third spot.

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

As the race was going well for younger drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, 7-time Canadian Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher pressed through one of the toughest days the 41 year-old German had experienced since his F1 return. Starting 13th, Schumacher was able to lift himself into a top-10 spot inside the Canadian Grand Prix running order past halfway but would fall quickly into the gunsights of mid-mark F1 teams.

On lap 61, Sabastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari was able to vault himself past Schumacher started with a determined charge down the front stretch into the Senna curves. Falling to Buemi, when Felipe Massa charged on Schumacher's Mercedes GP car on the final laps, the German was intent not to away anymore championship points. As Massa attempted a move on the outside of Schumacher through the Casino stretch, the Mercedes gave no room to the Ferrari causing Massa to clip Schumacher's rear tire. Massa's Ferrari suffered a damaged front wing and would require a late race pit stop for a replacement nose piece costing him also a point-scoring finish. The incident questions whether Felipe Massa made a misjudgement or if Schumacher made a second blocking move into the corner; a move which is a no-no.

Completing the bad day for Michael Schumacher ended with a dream moment for both Force India Formula 1 team cars. Into the final lap, Vitantonio Liuzzi was working on a way past with his teammate Adrian Sutil in tow. Through a well-timed last lap move, Luizzi found an opening around Schumacher's Mercedes which provided a path for his Force India teammate to follow capturing the 10th and final point-scoring position for the Canadian Grand Prix.

For his second win in a row for 2010, Lewis Hamilton brought his McLaren-Mercedes to victory excitedly celebrating in the site of his very first Formula 1 pole and victory in 2007. A 1-2 for McLaren, the team effort allowed the group to launch over Red Bull Racing in the Formula 1 Constructors Championship. Joining the McLaren pair, Fernando Alonso brought Ferrari a podium effort while his teammate Massa suffered hard-luck throughout the Canadian Grand Prix event. Happy with his 3rd place finish, Alonso will be looking to the next Formula 1, the European Grand Prix in his home country of Spain. The race on the Valencia Street Circuit is on June 27th.

Performed in front of a crowd of 300,000 race fans through the 3 days of race action, the weekend of the Canadian Grand Prix has once again proven that Canadian and even American Formula 1 audiences are substantial.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 Unofficial Race Results

1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
7. Robert Kubica Renault F1
8. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
12. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
13. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
15. Felipe Massa Ferrari
16. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
17. Vitaly Petrov Renault
18. Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth
19. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
22. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
23. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
24. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari

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