Daily Archives: June 13, 2010

Hamilton leads Mclaren 1-2 in Canada

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate with the team after their 1-2 finish in Canada

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate with the team after their 1-2 finish in Canada

Lewis Hamilton led home a McLaren 1-2, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, at the Canadian Grand Prix today. The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were 4th and 5th after suffering tyre and car problems throughout the race. Also, Force India got both cars in the points for only the second time. Here is the race report:

At the start, Hamilton retained his lead, ahead of Vettel and Alonso. But, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa collided further back, which completely ruined both of their races, as they hit each other at least 3 times. Also, Vitaly Petrov jumped the start, and then caused a collision further back.

Kamui Kobayashi made a brilliant start, going  from 18th to 10th. But, when he was battling with Nico Hulkenberg for 9th, he launched his car across the kerbs of the final chicane, and crashed into the Wall of Champions, ending his race on the spot. Meanwhile, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Felipe Massa and Vitaly Petrov all pitted for repairs after the first lap.

Lewis Hamilton leads into Turn 1, while Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa collide further back

Lewis Hamilton leads into Turn 1, while Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa collide further back

Michael Schumacher also made good progress, and was up to 8th. Sebastien Buemi got 1th, and amazingly Heikki Kovalainen managed to get himself up to 12th position. On Lap 5, Mark Webber made a move on 4th-placed Jenson Button, followed by Robert Kubica.

By Lap 7, Sebastian Vettel was all over the back of Lewis Hamilton for the lead. While they battled, Hamilton’s team-mate Button, along with Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg, all switched to the medium tyre, after starting on the super-softs.

On Lap 8, both Alonso and Hamilton pitted. Alonso’s stop went well, but Lewis was dangerously released straight into the path of Fernando. Hamilton lost his lead, while it remains to be seen whether he will receive a drive-through penalty. These stops left the Red Bulls leading 1-2, with Vettel 1.5 seconds ahead of Webber.

While all of this chaos ensued, Heikki Kovalainen briefly got as high as 7th position. As he pitted soon enough, news emerged that Vitaly Petrov had got a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Both Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber pitted on Lap 14. While Webber’s stop was fine, Schumacher got alongside Kubica at Turn 2, and he pushed both cars onto the grass. It was very cheeky, even for Schumacher, but no penalty was issued.

Sebastian Vettel pitted the next lap, leaving Sebastien Buemi leading the race. However, there was a surprise, as Vettel decided to switch to the super-soft tyres for the middle stint. This left Buemi to defend the lead against both Alonso and Hamilton. As Buemi pitted, Hamilton made a great move on Fernando to retake the lead.

For the next few laps, everyone caught their breath, while the race order settled. One of the most interesting notes was that Michael Schumacher was now battling with Jaime Alguersuari for 11th place. Again, like Australia, Jaime did very well to keep the 7-time world champion at bay.

On Lap 28, Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica were battling for position on the back straight. Kubica decided at the last minute to pit, and chopped across Sutil’s car, giving him a right-rear puncture, and forcing him to pit. The stewards very quickly announced they would investigate the incident after the race. Meanwhile, an incident between Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello would also be investigated after the race, but it was not shown on TV.

After Alonso and Hamilton pitted for the second time on Laps 28 and 29, Lewis got ahead of Fernando again, and Mark Webber took the lead of the Grand Prix. His strategy was to only pit twice, and put on the super-soft tyres last. All of the other frontrunners were planning a 3-stop strategy.

Felipe Massa, as he did in 2008, was in recovery mode, and was now challenging the Force Indias of Sutil and Liuzzi for 12th and 13th. He got very close to Liuzzi, like at the start, but unlike that time they avoided a collision.

Fernando Alonso started to clock in fastest lap after fastest lap, as he caught up with Hamilton in 2nd. Meanwhile, Vettel in 5th was being instructed to try and pass Jenson Button for 4th, although his team were “managing an issue” at the same time. McLaren changed tactics, and now were trying to stay on the same set of medium tyres for the rest of the race, effectively a 2-stop strategy. Also, it turned out that teams were running out of tyres to supply their cars. Felipe Massa was forced to put on medium tyres that had been used in qualifying.

By Lap 50, Webber, still to put on the super-soft tyre, was suffering from heavy rear tyre wear. Both Hamilton and Alonso had caught up quite rapidly to him, and were trying to get past. Lewis put in a good move at Turn 1, and took the lead from Webber, who then pitted at the end of that laps, and dropped to 5th.

Then, a few laps later, Jenson Button started to catch Fernando Alonso for 2nd position. When Fernando was held up by traffic on Lap 56, Jenson took the initiative and stole 2nd place from under his nose, to the disgust of Alonso. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa finally got past the Force India duo, with the help of Heikki Kovalainen compromising Adrian Sutil at Turn 4.

With 10 laps to go, both Hamilton’s and Alonso’s rear tyres showed the signs of degradation, while Jenson Button’s were in very good condition. He was only 2.2 seconds behind, and catching him by a few tenths per lap. Also, Sebastien Buemi put in a great move on Michael Schumacher to take 8th place from the German.

Lewis responded to Jenson’s pressure by putting in the fastest lap of the race, and started to move away. His fastest lap was quickly beaten by Robert Kubica, who recently changed to the super-soft tyres, and set a 1.17.9. Felipe Massa caught up quickly to Schumacher, whose tyres were faling apart, and made his move at the final chicane. But, Michael moved twice and cut across him, breaking off Felipe’s front wing, and forcing him to pit for repairs. This left Vitantonio Liuzzi to take 10th position from the Brazilian. It was another stupid move, and that incident will be investigated after the race as well.

With only a few laps to go, the Red Bulls (in 4th and 5th) were instructed to turn down their revs and save their cars. On Lap 68, Vitantonio Liuzzi caught right up to Schumacher in 9th, and quickly made his move. Michael made a mistake and cut the final chicane, but failed to give the position away. Liuzzi tried again on Lap 69, but made a mistake at L’Epinge, and was unable to make a move.

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in first place

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in first place

Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line to take victory number 13, ahead of team-mate Button. Alonso was unable to keep the pace, but still took the final podium spot. The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber cruised to the line in 4th and 5th. Nico Rosberg was chased home by Robert Kubica, ahead of Sebastien Buemi in 8th. Schumacher made a mistake on the last lap, handing 9th and 10th places to Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil. Oddly enough, Vettel pulled over and stopped right after the finish line, so it remains to be seen what happened there, though it may have been fuel-related.

So, Hamilton takes the lead of the drivers’ championship, with Button behind him by 3 points. McLaren-Mercedes still lead the constructors’ championship, now on 215 points.

The full standings have been updated, you can view them here.

Webber drops to 7th after gearbox change

Mark Webber will now start 7th because of a gearbox change

Mark Webber will now start 7th because of a gearbox change

Mark Webber has dropped to 7th position on the grid, thanks to an overnight gearbox change which resulted in a 5-place grid penalty. This promotes Sebastian Vettel up to 2nd place, alongside Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix.

This will cause problems for his tyre strategy, as he is starting on the medium tyre. The only other two drivers in the top 10 on that compound are Vettel and Robert Kubica, who is on the same row as Webber, in 8th place. Also, this promotes Vitantonio Liuzzi up to 5th place, his highest qualifying position so far in Formula 1.

If Lewis Hamilton cannot manage his tyres at the start, then I feel that Sebastian Vettel is the best choice for the win today, after what happened to Webber.