Hamilton heads McLaren one-two in Montreal thriller

2010 Canadian Grand Prix review

Hamilton and Button celebrate another McLaren one-two

Hamilton and Button celebrate another McLaren one-two

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???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???lkenberg.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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175 comments on Hamilton heads McLaren one-two in Montreal thriller

  1. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 13th June 2010, 20:50

    One thing I thought that was very nice to see was the rapport between Lewis and Jenson after the race. The pair of them still look genuinely happy to be teammates – I think Jenson is happy that he’s just about a match for Lewis come the end of the race.

    They do seem to gel as teammates.

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 13th June 2010, 20:57

      Yup that is true. It was very manly of Jenson to admit that Lewis was a tad better that everyone else at this track. It is always a sign of character that a person is able to give credit where it’s due…

    • pSynrg said on 13th June 2010, 22:09

      I’m loving this pairing as much as any other in F1. I dare say it’s the first time I can remember where two ultra competitive team mates appear to have a genuine friendship.

      To top it all they are two of the best drivers we’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.

      Like at the end of Turkey, I think Jenson genuinely wanted to clear the air as soon as possible. I see Jenson’s greater maturity as a person helping a lot here. With Lewis being less mature, possibly petulant at times, needing the right words at the right time.

      This has the makings of a classic driver pairing. Let’s hope it continues!

      It also highlights the tragedy of Jenson’s BAR/Honda years and what a waste of time most of that was. With the exception of a few brief flashes of opportunity, Jenson almost disappeared into obscurity.

      Now we’ve got to know Jenson better since Honda became Brawn he’s an absolute star. Wish I’d paid more attention during the quiet years.

      Go MCL!

      • disjunto said on 13th June 2010, 22:16

        I’ve always been a fan of Button, but everyone ignored me :(

        He always seemed to be in a bad car, but always seemed to get more out of it than seemed possible. Luckily he had a good car with Brawn last season, and he’s suddenly in the spot light :)

      • dragon said on 14th June 2010, 3:31

        on the other hand, you can say that Jenson’s years with BAR went a long way to securing that 2009 championship. Being a big Webber fan, something I can always rely upon is for him to keep a cool head and make great decisions under pressure, whether it be strategy or passing – and years spent battling and struggling in the midfield have helped that enormously, something which can also be said about Button. You just know that mistakes are highly unlikely, something which can’t be said of a lot of the younger drivers, fast as they are.

        • martin bell said on 14th June 2010, 8:36

          Webber looked drained after the race didn’t he? Downcast even. Felt for him a bit, to be honest, after the highs he’s had this season.

        • Joey-Poey said on 14th June 2010, 9:26

          Y’know, I think it’s a shame we don’t see more of that slow climb into the right seat. In the 80’s, Mansell and Senna both slowly crept their way into better and better cars rather than being plopped in a high-end team first time. I think you’re very right in that it does a bit to help sharpen a driver when you’re forced to spend some time outside of optimal gear/situations.

          • Dougie (@f1droid) said on 14th June 2010, 10:27

            @Joey-Poey I agree with your sentiment, in that I prefer to see drivers work the lower formulas the old school way, rather than be part of a programme like Hamilton or Vettel… and not start in a top team (not that Vettel did mind you).

            However, Mansell and Sennas early Formula 1 career was not quite the Alonso or Webber of this world.

            Mansell arrived in a Lotus, for 5 years, then to race winning Williams. Both what I would class as top teams, not like the Minardi of old… or maybe Fondmetal, Coloni etc.

            Senna spent a year with Toleman (very much mid field) then to a race winning Lotus for 3 years, and then a championship winning McLaren. Apart from Toleman, top teams again.

          • pSynrg said on 14th June 2010, 14:38

            I agree, climbing through the ranks, so to speak will obviously lend experience to some if not most drivers.

            But we also saw last year that Lewis is more than capable of dealing with an under-performing car, despite being dropped into a prime seat from the go. Let’s face it – Lewis has shown time and time again that he deserved that seat and so it continues.

  2. M Sakr (@goham) said on 13th June 2010, 21:09

    To be honest, after Bahrain I thought that F1 was doomed. But what a comeback! When did we see back to back dry races that turns out to be the best races in years maybe!! This is great for F1, definitely moving in the right direction!

    However, Valencia is next.. Errrr what do you think could happen there!!!???

    • Matt G (lotus fan) said on 13th June 2010, 21:25

      One of the reasons that this race was so good was because of the track condition and I don’t think Valencia as a street circuit will be very good either. I don’t think it will be as good as Canada though.

    • Martin said on 14th June 2010, 4:53

      not much – Matt G is right. But, who knows the future…

  3. M Sakr (@goham) said on 13th June 2010, 21:13

    Massa receives a 20-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.. Retains his 15th position though as he was a lap clear of Kovalainen. What a terrible day (terrible year more like it) for Massa.

  4. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 13th June 2010, 21:16

    The only other thing that marred my enjoyment of the race today had nothing to do with the cars, drivers or track.
    I’ve often read criticism of blasted Leggard here and treated it with equanimity, but damn; today he was perfectly insufferable.
    The man could blather for England. Never has so much been said that actually contained so little.
    At one memorable point Martin Brundle started to say “Web . . .” when Leggard cut in and filled the next three minutes with pointless froth before Brundle was able to get back in with salient race information that by that point was three minutes old.
    The man’s as much use as a f*rt in a spacesuit.

    • disjunto said on 13th June 2010, 21:24

      I’ve converted my house to 5Live audio, so we had Croft and Di Resta all race…. perfect :)

      Switched back to bbc for post race and watching the highlight with legard’s talking over brundle and it was horrible.

      • Matt G (lotus fan) said on 13th June 2010, 21:29

        I had my PC on the onboard camera all race, unfortunatly the internet is slower than the TV so it was showing the incidents a couple of seconds behind the TV. Although I did see the Sutil’s puncture before it was shown on the TV.

        • djdaveyp said on 13th June 2010, 21:40

          I think we show do a f1fanatic petition that legard is a rubbish commentator and that I should get his job.

      • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 13th June 2010, 21:38

        I think that’s a good idea. Vision from BBC, audio from 5Live.
        I also watched the (stunningly exciting) Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend and found myself wanting to tear the lungs out of Carlton Kirby for failing to know anything about endurance racing. Martin Havens et al made Kirby sound as vacuous as Leggard. How do these idiots survive – and get paid for their input?

        • ashes1991 said on 14th June 2010, 13:24

          I think that they are both terrible commentators, did any of you see Button overtake Alonso on the helicopter camera, Bundle and Leggard both did not realise there had been a move and took them a while to realise too.

          Get them both out!

  5. Osiris said on 13th June 2010, 21:20

    Still not overly impressed by the McLaren pit crew – I just think they could, should, be a little better than they were today, and have been all season. Snappy up, fellas!

    • hawkfist said on 13th June 2010, 21:50

      Aye, the McLaren pit crew have been far too slow on too many occasions this year. Today they were lucky and got away with it but they must have lost their team more positions than any other pitcrew out of the top 5 or 6 teams.

      It’s gonna come back and bite them one of these days…

  6. Paul A said on 13th June 2010, 21:36

    Overall best memory: this year’s cliff-hanger.
    Overall worst memory: the Beeb soundtrack – all engine noise to where you can’t hear the commentary.

    Best team moment: Button hugging Hamilton in parc fermé.
    Worst team moment: McLaren releasing a driver to t-bone a Ferrari (where are the stewards?)

    Best driver moment: Massa’s pass on 2 FIs – skill, timing, gonads all in one. A classic.
    Worst driver moment: Schumacher crowding Massa off-track (where are the stewards?)

    Most surprising non-event: no safety car.

    • Ady said on 13th June 2010, 21:41

      When you look at Alonso’s on-bord footage, you see the McLaren Lollypop go up just as he leaves his box.

      Nothing could be done here as their boxes are so close to each other.

      • martin bell said on 13th June 2010, 22:21

        I found myself wondering if the Mclaren lollipop man can see the Ferrari lights from where he is. Easy to see a lollipop lifting, perhaps less easy to see lights change. Anyone know?

    • Lee said on 13th June 2010, 23:55

      There is no way on earth teams can make decisions that quick when it comes to releasing drivers in the pits. You are talking maybe a tenth of a second which is not enough time to make a decison. Also hamilton spun his tyres when accelerating and so probably would have exited ahead of alonso under normal circumstances. The stewards would have looked at it and came to the decision that humans just can’t make decisions at that speed (just look at break distances in the highway code to see how quick the average human can react).

      • Matt G (lotus fan) said on 14th June 2010, 0:04

        I agree with Lee, the rules they have for releasing into the pits only work if the other car is further back in the pits. If you are racing the team in the pit box behind you there is not enough reaction time for the lollypop man.

  7. schooner said on 13th June 2010, 21:39

    That was fun! Some good racing and passing up at the pointy end, lots of interesting scraps further back in the field, and no safety car throwing its monkey wrench into the mix (first time since ’04, I believe our commentator said). The prospect of a good championship tussle between McLaren and Red Bull is shaping up very nicely!

  8. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 13th June 2010, 21:43

    I was very pleased to see HAM’s real and true celebration on the podium today. Compare and contrast to Turkey. I think BUT wanted to let HAM enjoy the moment fully and to let HAM’s victory draw a line underneath the Turkey problems.
    But next race, I expect to see BUT hunting a victory over HAM.

    • Patrickl said on 13th June 2010, 23:05

      Did you miss that show of force when Hamilton rammed out a couple of fast laps?

      That was a clear message to Button (who was gaining on Hamilton) saying “Anything you can do I can do better”.

      The radio message after that was funny too. Basically saying “Yeah, yeah, we know you are fast. Now knock it off and be careful with those tyres”

    • Ady said on 14th June 2010, 5:07

      Also, I think this is the first McLaren 1-2 where both drivers wore the winner’s red for the team photo.

      Lewis kept his racing gear on when Jenson won the first time, and visa versa in turkey.

      • disjunto said on 14th June 2010, 6:48

        button wore the red shirt in the Turkey photo….

      • Oliver said on 14th June 2010, 8:44

        They wear those orange shirts immediately after the race, sometimes a driver might be doing TV interviews and just have enough time to join in for the photo session.

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 14th June 2010, 12:06

      You seriously think Button let Hamilton win this race?

  9. Marco said on 13th June 2010, 21:45

    Hello guys… I am new here… Please, does anybody know on which tyres did start the race Sebastien Buemi and on which ones Jaime Alguersuari? Was it both hard compounds? I am not sure about it, that s why I am asking…

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th June 2010, 22:20

      I believe they both started on the hards

      • Marco said on 14th June 2010, 6:11

        No they didn t… On the official site of Toro Rosso is mentioned, that Alguersuari started race on soft compounds and Buemi on hard… He got the softs much later – on his last stint, when the track had a lot more grip compared to beginning of the race… So, Jaime had a disadvantage, which cost him some time…

  10. f1alex said on 13th June 2010, 21:50

    Don’t know whether it’s been written anywhere else, but Lee Mckenzie reported has on twitter that all the drivers who were under investigation were issued reprimands.

    Again, another sign that the stewards seem pretty lenient this year…

  11. Patrickl said on 13th June 2010, 21:59

    What on earth was Schumacher thinking with his tyre strategy though? I mean forget about the ridiculously aggressive overtaking and cutting the chicanes on every lap, just look at the man thinking and racing (or rather lack of both)

    His last stint was on lap 33 when he took on a set of supersofts. He tried to do 37 laps on those tyres when all other failed to do more than 15 or so.

    If you look at his laptimes then it’s clear that on lap 48 (15 laps into the stint) he also went trough the peak performance of those tyres. At that time he was about 16 seconds behind Rosberg. He had a nice gap behind him. The next car behind him was trailing by 30 seconds. So why doesn’t he stop?

    He keeps on going on these tyres going slower and slower. In the end he trails Rosberg by 76 seconds. So he loses about 60 seconds in in only 20 laps. How on earth could they have made such a blunder?

  12. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 13th June 2010, 22:12

    Red Bull, specifically Vettel, lost the race in the first few laps. Alternatively, McLaren won the race in this period. The tire advantage RBR had gained from using the prime tyres in Q3 was apparent from Webber’s performance in catching the front runners at up to 3 secs/lap. Meanwhile, Vettel was unable to capitalise on this advantage as he was unable to pass Hamilton. In effect, Vettel was losing 3 secs/lap as Hamilton’s tyres went off. Webber was stuck behind Button for a couple of laps and lost his chance to fully benefit from the prime tyres and his 3 secs per lap. Subtract these lost seconds from the RBR race times and they ended up in front. So, credit to the McLaren drivers for neutralising their starting tyre disadvantage in the early laps.

  13. schooner said on 13th June 2010, 22:41

    Alonso’s post race interview was not shown on TV here in the US, and I just read the transcript on another site. To paraphrase … “I could have won today if not for some issues with traffic”. He may as well have said “I could have won today if only I had a faster car”!

    • Ady said on 14th June 2010, 5:12

      Vettel’s was even funnier. It wasn’t his fault, the back markers didn’t hold up the front runners enough at the begining of the race.

  14. Enigma (@enigma) said on 13th June 2010, 22:49

    Schumacher got a puncture in the fight with Kubica, and had to pit in the next lap.

  15. For the first time 2011 there is no RB6 in the Top3. McLaren Topspeed advantage was not beatable.

    • M Sakr (@goham) said on 13th June 2010, 23:19

      Huh?!? Pretty sure you’re talking about 2010 not 2011!!

      Anyways if you are, this is the FOURTH time Red Bull are out of the top 3. Bahrain, Australia, China, and today’s GP!!!

      Btw, the McLaren’s were’nt the fastest through the speedtrap neither today nor yesterday! Renault was, followed by Toro Rosso!

  16. horse power said on 13th June 2010, 22:59

    awesome and interesting race,loving Lewis on the number 1 spot,keep it up Lewisxx could hardly wait for the finish line,exciting and plenty of action futher down the track,i thought it was one of the best GP’s this year jam packed with incidents

  17. LordHesketh said on 13th June 2010, 23:09

    CaNaDa RuLz!!!!11!!11!

  18. JUGNU said on 14th June 2010, 0:38

    I don’t think Alonso could have won today. Mclaren and particularly Lewis were just stronger than him today and beat him on the track. If Hamilton got slightly lucky with traffic than he also had his luck at the first pitstop because of Hamilton’s relatively slow pitstop and he came out ahead of Hamilton.

    So don’t agree with those saying Hamilton’s got lucky and Alonso didn’t…etc. Both had some luck(as mentioned above) and both were little unlucky as well because of soft tyres at the start. Luck Factor was absolutely equal between top 3 drivers. Hamilton’s brilliance, his undertakings and raw speed made the difference.

    • Ady said on 14th June 2010, 5:15

      I think Alonso had a good chance once he got in front. It was simply a matter of defending his position, even if he were slower.

      He hit a few unlucky breaks with traffic for sure, but I think he shuld be pleased with a podium.

      • David BR said on 14th June 2010, 23:31

        Problem was he didn’t defend his position well enough. Both Hamilton and Button said they’d looked to use backmarkers to get past him, which they did. I think Alonso drove exceptionally well, but he was caught out twice. So I doubt he’d have kept Hamilton behind for the entire race, though it would have been good to see the fight for sure!

  19. Theoddkiw said on 14th June 2010, 1:11

    Awesome win by Lewis and Mclaren! I wonder if this will make people reconsider his ability to manage his tyres? It was a mature and managed drive.

    Yes Jenson’s tyres appeared in better condition, which might indicate he is being too kind to his car and it did’nt win him the race.

    This year more than ever drivers are going to have to force the win rather than hope the win comes to them. Its brilliant!

    • Ady said on 14th June 2010, 5:19

      Jenson got it right, he had enough on his tyres to make a push and get past Alonso and secure the top two spots for the team.

      He probably had enough left to challenge Lewis, but by doing so it would have endangered Lewis’ race (i.e. he would have reced till his tyres fell apart).

    • martin bell said on 14th June 2010, 8:49

      There’s been so much talk about Lewis’s ability to managed his tyres, but this race shows that he has developed an ability to manage his heart and head, and drive only as fast as is needed. Well judged, perfectly executed and, yes,’mature.’ From what JB said after the race, in fact what he has said after a few races this year, he is still learning that he can take more out of the tyres and have enough left in them to push at the end of the race. Seems to me they are learning from each other. It’s the start of something very special at Mclaren.

      • Ady (@ady) said on 14th June 2010, 9:08

        Agreed, this doesn’t appear to be media spin, but a genuine respect between the two drivers. I guess only time will tell if it can last when both end up fighting each other for the championship at the end of the season.

        This shows what a good driver line up can do for a team. May it continue.

  20. Dean Yamasaki said on 14th June 2010, 1:21

    After watching 24 Hours of Le Mans all weekend it’s funny to hear Alonso complaining about slower traffic. When Alonso and Button were coming up on the slower traffic, you could see that Button was setting up a pass by all the momentum he had going into that situation.

    F1 drivers need to race in an endurance race to know what traffic and dealing with slower cars is really like. Anthony Davidson being a Le Mans rookie was way too aggressive at the beginning when he collided with a slower car causing his team to lose precious time in the garage. No doubt he suffered from some Alonso-itis.

    I thought for sure Schumacher would switch to the super soft tires when he came in because of the puncture. And, I was shocked that Mercedes would make him fight so long at the end with shot tires. They should have put him on the super softs for roughly 10 laps then let him finish on the harder tires.

    With 20 or so laps remaining it seemed that Button and Alonso had way more pace than Hamilton. I thought he was having tire problems. But then he seemed to gain new life and up his pace again about 10 laps from the finish. Was he being conservative during that period?

    • DaveW said on 14th June 2010, 3:40

      Remember Hamilton’s little burst of hot laps near the end? He basically fired a warning shot to Button to tell him that a race to the finish would be ruinous and unnecessary.

      But I am the only one a little bothered by the recurring scenario of the cars sort of tiptoeing around the last 1/2 or 1/3 of the race to preserve the tires. I find it somewhat lame that Petrov or whoever way in the teens is raining down fastest laps while the guys are the front are creeping around. (Refueling-ban fail.) I would have preferred to see Button and Alonso and Hamilton on workable tires, fighting like hell for the victory, instead of trying to make sure they don’t fall off the road in the last five laps on shot tires. As it was, all Hamilton had to do to prevent such a battle was to establish, with a quick lap or two, that he had a little tire to spare.

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