MONTREAL: Britain’s Lewis Hamilton expressed his delight after winning the Canadian Grand Prix and taking the lead in the drivers’ championship standings with a stunning drive.
The 2008 champion led team-mate and fellow Briton Jenson Button in McLaren’s second successive one-two ahead of Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. The 25-year-old Englishman suffered from a slow early pit-stop which allowed double champion Alonso to pass him, but Alonso was held up by the Swiss Sebatstian Buemi of Toro Rosso who had assumed the lead and Hamilton was able to pass.
Alonso took the lead when Hamilton pitted on lap 26 and a fast following lap put him on course to emerge in front of the McLaren driver, but the Ferrari driver was held up by Karun Chandhok of Hispania and emerged behind him.
Webber failed to hold on to an 11-second lead because of his tyres and on lap 50 Hamilton re-took the lead.
Hamilton, who won his first Grand Prix in Montreal in 2007 was overjoyed.
“It’s been a tremendous weekend. The team did an exceptional job. It was one of the toughest races so far but that is what you want. I am very happy and proud of the team.”
Red Bull drivers German Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber both led at certain points in the race, but could only finish in fourth and fifth after suffering from extreme tyre wear.
Webber, who had been penalised before the race for changing his gearbox, slipped from first to third in the drivers’ standings after finishing fifth.
“After the penalty I had a good first few laps and it looked good.” he said. “The tyres were always going to play a huge role in the race today and I was just trying to hold my pace to the end, but unfortunately it was not to be.”
Toro Rosso driver Swiss Sebastien Buemi finished the race in eighth ahead of Force India drivers Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi and German Adrian Sutil in the final points-scoring positions.
Hamilton’s win means he now leads the drivers’ championship on 109 points ahead of Button on 106.
Webber dropped to third with 103 points. In the constructors championship McLaren extended their lead over rivals Red Bull to 22 points.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 15th, 2010.
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