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?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

Browse all 2010 Canadian Grand Prix articles

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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

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

    CaNaDa RuLz!!!!11!!11!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. jess said on 14th June 2010, 1:25

    Man oh man just when I was ready to call it a day for F1 we get a great race with NO RAIN. Man that was fun to watch I coulc not belive it and Ham and Button 1/2 was just the best. OK Good race and I had fun watching it.

  12. Martin said on 14th June 2010, 4:49

    Even though I’m bleeding Ferrari red, I say:
    1) Amazing driving by Hamilton – pure talent, but getting refined…
    2) Amazing team of Button and Andreasen, always seem to be one step ahead…
    3) I don’t find Red Bull to be much of a “team” – fast car, sure – otherwise…
    4) I used to want Alonso first and Kubica second in the red cars, then maybe Vettel, but now, it’s Alonso first unless he’s gonna do his crybaby thing, and Vettel, no.
    5) There was certainly some driving on-track that should have been penalized, but
    but I’ll leave those disputes to those with more expertise than I –
    6) Pitlane Safety. We either do or do not care about the extreme safety risks present in the pitlane. If we do, then make the punishment fit the crime. Pretty much everything that happens in the pitlane is the responsibility of the team/crew as a whole, so punish the team/crew. My Ferrari team has more than deserved it on at least two recent occasions, Red Bull surely, today McLaren. The moral flaw, or the intention, is not the issue. If there’s no clear fault then punish ALL teams involved in an incident in the pitlane. Punishments will change behavior. I really have no respect for those who look at the safety issues there (not on-track), and say “so what”.

  13. Jhonnie Siggie said on 14th June 2010, 5:45

    Ferrari fans must be having some real mixed feelings about Alonso. He has jumped the start, gotten involved in first lap incidents, failing to make Q3, and now being mugged by both HAM & BUT. Soon they might start wondering if he is past his prime. On the other hand though, he has fought back well at times during dire situations.

  14. antonyob said on 14th June 2010, 9:57

    Almost a perfect a race despite the BBC gremlins.

    Overtaking for the lead, the best drivers jousting for position and at last stewards who arent too trigger happy. The new points format is working well and the refueling rule is proving to be a blinder.

    As suspected drivers can overtake, as Button proved time and again last year when he really had to, this year they really have to and guess what, they do!

    Having laboured this point last season on here and largely been ignored im pretty happy its proved to be the case.

  15. Nixon said on 14th June 2010, 12:13

    As always great article Kieth. But i must say it has been a an extremely unlucky race for Alonso. Since he was overtaken when he was trying to overtake someone, if i was in his place i would have been furious. but you have to him some credit about how he behaved. And by the way Chandhok is a Jenson Button fan…

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.