Lewis Hamilton secured his first victory of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix as the two-stop strategy adopted by the McLaren team allowed him to pass fellow title contender Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), who was struggling on old rubber due to his own single-stop strategy.
It is the third time that Hamilton has won in Canada, while he is also the seventh different winner so far this season, further extending the record.
Romain Grosjean put in another impressive performance to secure second place in the Lotus. He was joined on the podium by Sergio Perez (Sauber) as both passed Alonso’s Ferrari as his tyres continued to fade in the latter stages.
Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel could only manage P4 after he pitted late on for the second time as the tyres performance continued to ebb away from the German. The Red Bull driver made an impressive start off the line, and as a result led Hamilton and Alonso into the first round of pitstops.
However, the Austrian team’s decision to pit Vettel before his rivals saw him slip to third, as he was jumped by the pair once they had stopped themselves shortly afterwards. Alonso was able to move up into the lead briefly, but he was passed once again by Hamilton in the DRS zone on the Spaniard’s out-lap.
Hamilton, in clean air, then began to extend his advantage before coming into the pits for his second stop on lap 49. Alonso and Vettel behind him elected to try and make a one-stop strategy work but Hamilton, who was on fresh rubber, was able to pass the pair in the final few laps on the way to claiming his first victory of the season.
Subsequently, Vettel decided to pit for a second time, while Alonso tried to hold onto second place, despite his ever-decreasing pace. Grosjean and Perez were able to take advantage of the situation, and both passed the defenseless Ferrari to take the second and third spot on the podium. Vettel, who was on fresh rubber, likewise was able to pass the Spaniard a couple of laps from the end.
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Mark Webber (Red Bull), who had both followed a two-stop strategy, took P6 and P7 respectively, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber).
Felipe Massa rounded off the top ten, although he was as high as fifth before he spun early on, which saw him tumble down the field to 12th.
Jenson Button (McLaren) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) both endured another torrid afternoon. Button had to make three stops, finishing in 16th after being lapped by his teammate. Schumacher’s DRS was jammed open, forcing him to retire despite some comical attempts at fixing the problem, which were to no avail, in the pits.
As the Formula One circus moves onto Valencia over the weekend of 23/124 June, the drivers’ championship is headed up by Hamilton, while the constructors’ top spot is occupied by the Red Bull team.
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
11. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 37.693
12. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 46.236
13. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 47.052
14. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:04.475
15. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Senna Williams-Renault + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
19. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
20. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps
DNF. Schumacher Mercedes
DNF Glock Marussia-Cosworth
DNF De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth
DNF Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth
For the latest F1 updates and features watch Inside Grand Prix on Motors TV.