Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix to become the seventh winner in seven races this season.
Sebastian Vettel led the field away from pole position, and maintained his lead until the first round of pitstops. Vettel blinked first, which put Hamilton in the lead before he in turn pitted to hand the lead to Fernando Alonso. Alonso put in a series of quick laps before he came in, and managed to get out in the lead. However, Hamilton was close behind on warmer tyres and managed to pass Alonso with the benefit of DRS.
On lap 50, Hamilton pitted from the lead, expecting Alonso and Vettel to follow suit. It soon became clear that neither the Ferrari nor the Red Bull intended to change tyres, which meant Hamilton would have to catch and pass them on the track. He duly set about chasing down Vettel, reeling him in at a second or more per lap. With 8 laps to go, Hamilton eased past Vettel in the DRS zone. Two laps later, Hamilton rocketed past Alonso to take the lead, which he easily held to the chequered flag.
Behind Hamilton, there was plenty of action. Alonso had elected to stay out on his worn-out tyres, while Vettel chose to pit as soon as Hamilton had passed him. Alonso therefore became a soft target for those behind him who still had some rubber left. Grosjean and Perez made quick work of the Ferrari to take up the second and third places on the podium. Vettel proved the worth of his pitstop by passing Alonso to take 4th place.
Alonso held on to finish 5th, just ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes. Webber, Raikkonen, Kobayashi and Massa rounded out the top ten.
Michael Schumacher’s run of bad luck continued with another retirement. His DRS stuck open, which meant he had plenty of straight-line speed, but absolutely no cornering grip, and he was forced to retire the car. With five retirements from seven races, the seven-time World Champion is having a thoroughly miserable season.
Williams seem to have recovered their previous poor form after winning in Spain. Maldonado finished 13th today, and Senna could only manage 17th. Similarly, Jenson Button’s season seems to be falling apart. The 2009 World Champion struggled to keep his tyres together and made three stops on the way to his second successive 16th place – not an ideal result for the team-mate of the race winner.
Hamilton’s win puts him in the lead of the Drivers’ Championship, just two points ahead of Alonso, and 1 further point ahead of Vettel. Mark Webber in fourth is just nine points behind Hamilton, and Nico Rosberg is 21 points off the championship lead.
The teams now pack up and head back to Europe for the next round in Valencia. With 13 races to go, the Drivers’ Championship is wide open. Will there be an eighth winner in eight races? We’ll find out in two weeks time.