Lewis Hamilton lead McLaren to their third one-two of 2010 in a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton passed a struggling Mark Webber – who had gambled on a different tyre strategy – to take the lead of the race.
The McLaren driver withstood pressure from Fernando Alonso who was later passed by Jenson Button for second place.
McLaren struggle on super-softs
Hamilton led from pole position but quickly ran into trouble on his super-soft tyres. Sebastian Vettel, who had started on the medium compound, was all over the back of the McLaren.
Further back the same was happening with Button and Webber – the Red Bull driver squeezing past at turn eight. Button made his first pit stop to discard the problematic super-soft tyres shortly after that.
Hamilton did the same soon after and Alonso, who had also started on the super-softs, followed him in. For the second race in a row Hamilton lost a position in the pits, coming out alongside Alonso and having to give way to the Ferrari.
The pair, along with Button not far behind them, were soon lapping as quickly as leader Vettel and began catching the Red Bulls. That triggered their pit stops, Webber’s coming first as he’d stressed his tyres battling for positions in the opening laps.
At this point Red Bull split their strategies, Webber sticking with the mediums but Vettel taking the opportunity to get his stint on the super-soft tyres out of the way.
Hamilton takes the lead back
Vettel’s pit stop promoted Sebastien Buemi briefly into the lead, with Alonso and Hamilton breathing down his neck.
As Buemi made for the pits Hamilton got a run on Alonso and slipstreamed past the Ferrari, jumping up from third to first.
Hamilton kept Alonso behind for 15 laps but the pressure from his former team mate grew ever greater. Alonso drew alongside coming out of the hairpin onto the back straight but instead of going side-by-side into the final chicane, Hamilton ducked into the pits.
Alonso came in two laps later and would have kept the lead if he hadn’t lost time lapping Karun Chandhok’s HRT. As it was, he dropped back behind Hamilton.
Webber’s gambles goes wrong
Vettel made his pit stop at the same time as Hamilton but Webber stayed out. By lap 36 Hamilton, Alonso and Button were catching the Red Bull driver who was caught in a strategic dilemma: his tyres were shot but pitting too soon would mean spending a long time on the rapidly-degrading super-softs.
Hamilton and Alonso caught him and on lap 49 Hamilton squeezed by into the lead going into turn one. Alonso spent the rest of the lap stuck behind Webber, giving Hamilton some precious breathing space. Webber came into the pits at the end of the lap, leaving Alonso free to attack Hamilton.
But he didn’t. Despite having been within a few tenths of Hamilton behind Webber pitted, Alonso instead slipped back towards Button. On lap 55 Alonso caught Chandhok again and Button seized the opportunity, scrambling past the Ferrari for second.
In the meantime the challenge from the Red Bulls had disappeared, both drivers being urged to slow down to manage an unidentified problem. Webber caught Vettel but before the pair could get up to any Istanbul-style shenanigans the chequered flag came out, Vettel taking fourth ahead of his team mate.
Nico Rosberg was one of few drivers who had anything like what you could describe as a quiet race, finishing sixth.
Tough race for Schumacher
His team mate had a tough afternoon, finishing out of the points having been passed by both Force Indias on the final lap. He went off the track several times during the race, usually dicing with rivals.
Robert Kubica tried to pass Schumacher at turn three and the pair took to the grass, Schumacher narrowly staying ahead.
Schumacher made three pit stops and spent the last half of the race on the super soft tyres, which were completely shot. Sebastien Buemi passed him for eighth.
The next driver to try to pass was Felipe Massa, who was recovering after colliding with Vitantonio Liuzzi on the first lap. Massa had re-passed Liuzzi and took the other Force India of Adrian Sutil with a brilliant opportunistic move in traffic at turn six.
But his attempt to pass Schumacher ended in a controversial collision at the final chicane. Schumacher squeezed Massa off the track, knocking the Ferrari’s front wing off for the second time in the race. The stewards said they would investigate the incident after the race.
It wasn’t enough for Schumacher to hold onto his points, however, as Liuzzi barged past on the final lap. Schumacher went off at turn eight as the pair went in side-by-side, and Sutil capitalised to demote him from tenth position.
Schumacher tangles leaves Massa 14th
Jaime Alguersuari, who also proved a thorn in Schumacher’s side early in the race, finished 12th. Behind him was Nico H?â??lkenberg who, like Schumacher, also had some controversial moments during the race, banging wheels with Sutil.
Rubens Barrichello was 14th ahead of Massa. Heikki Kovalainen took 16th for Lotus ahead of Vitaly Petrov, who picked up two drive-through penalties during the race.
Alonso’s nemesis Chandhok was 18th ahead of the last classified finisher, Lucas di Grassi.
Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli, Pedro de la Rosa and Bruno Senna all retired. Kamui Kobayashi was the first driver to drop out, hitting the infamous ‘wall of champions’ while trying to pass H?â??lkenberg.
2010 Canadian Grand Prix
- Start Shots: Canadian Grand Prix
- Technical review: Canadian Grand Prix
- Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say
- Kubica contact cost me fifth – Sutil
- “Can’t afford to just take points” – Hamilton
- Schumacher “closed the door too much”
- Alonso had fastest pit stop in Canada
- Alonso expects improvements at Ferrari
- 2010 Canadian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Hamilton wins despite more pit stop problems (McLaren race review)