Hamilton heads McLaren one-two in Montreal thriller

2010 Canadian Grand Prix review

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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.

Hamilton led away but his super-softs faded early
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.

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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

Buemi unexpectedly led in a race of drama
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.

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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.

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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.

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Schumacher tangle leaves Massa 14th

Jaime Alguersuari, who also proved a thorn in Schumacher’s side early in the race, finished 12th. Behind him was Nico Hulkenberg 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 Hulkenberg.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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

  1. Alonso’s already blamed traffic for losing the race. A bit disingenuous really; he definitely lost a shot at winning the race, but he makes it sound as if he was right behind Hamilton when Button took him and then on Jenson’s gearbox at the end (though he was close – although that may be because there were 2 laps to go!) – when Button had already been catching him steadily anyway.

    1. Alonso suffered from traffic today but you can argue that skill in traffic is every bit as important as other elements of racecraft, few places more so than a fast, narrow circuit such as Montreal. Things could have been very different had the cards fallen slightly differently, but good and bad luck tends to balance out over a season anyway. Fernando will have days when things go right for him, too.

      I was surprised to hear Hamilton admit in the press conference that he saw Alonso being released behind him at the first pit stops. Doesn’t look like that incident is being investigated but it was a bit of a foot-in-mouth moment for Lewis.

      1. Jhonnie Siggie
        13th June 2010, 21:02

        I thought the same thing when I heard Lewis admit that he knew Fernando had him during the stop. Some sort of adviser at Mclaren will probably be having a word with him about how to handle in the future

      2. We want turbos
        13th June 2010, 21:04

        Although I would like to ask what has happened to Alonso?? He was in a really really good mood all weekend!!! Nice to see him chirpy rather than the miserable bugger he normally is!

        1. Charles Carroll
          14th June 2010, 4:42

          So true! I’m new to the sport, but that is one of the things I have picked up about Alonso. He always seems a bit grumpy!

      3. “Alonso suffered from traffic today but you can argue that skill in traffic is every bit as important as other elements of racecraft, few places more so than a fast, narrow circuit such as Montreal.”

        I completely agree. I’m all for backmarkers being able to race or at least not immediate blue flags or whatever but with the rules are they’re not meant to be a problem at all so I was disappointed given the context/spirit of the rules :P I think the rules should be changed but the way they stand it wasn’t so great today.

        I also think the pitlane incident should be looked at

        1. I think by the time Alonso had gone the lollipop man had decided to release Hamilton, so although it looked like an early release it would probably have been too late to change his mind over whether to let him go. And given the distance between Hamilton and Alonso, even letting him go a tenth later would be enough to see him out with no danger, so he might have misjudged that too (how many of us can think in tenths?)

          I was very surprised it wasn’t looked at though. Perhaps the stewards have realised that this stuff is always going to happen in motor racing.

          1. I agree. But yet again lousy pit stop from McLaren. Seems like their two drivers will have to compensate for this during the rest of a really tight season as McLaren seem unable to pit them quickly ever!

          2. As for Alonso: both McLaren drivers said they’d been looking to exploit the ‘backmarkers’ (though Buemi wasn’t exactly one) to get past him, which they successfully did. Not entirely a question of luck, then. As for the McLaren pit lane release, it was marginal for sure, but I think okay. Really don’t understand why people want these marginal incidents with major impacts on the results to be decided by stewards… If it was a Ferrari release (even as a Mc fan) I’d say the same.

          3. I agree Icthyes, but Hamilton himself admitted that he had seen Alonso being released. That surely puts the onus on him to drive accordingly, given that he was aware of the situation?

            Without Hamilton’s post-race remarks I’d have been inclined to put it down to human reflexes not being as sharp as would perhaps be ideal, but given what he said I think it’s a little strange nothing has been said by the stewards. Though they have been rather busy today….

          4. Alonso is behind Hamilton. Why would it matter that Hamilton sees Alonso being released?

            Hamilton DID drive accordingly.

            It happens so often that drivers end up side by side. As long as they don’t hit each other and don’t push each other off, there is no problem

          5. Both Hamilton and Alonso impressed me this weekend, And I usually dislike them.

            They were clearly racing down the pit lane, but there was no funny business. The pit lanes (mostly) are wide enough for to cars side by side, but the drivers have to follow Hamilton’s and Alonso’s example.

          6. I was also surprised that Hamilton’s release wasn’t looked at. I kept waiting for a remark that it was being looked at by the stewards, but it never was.

            Does anyone know where you can read the actual rule about an unsafe release?

            Perhaps they only look at it if there is a collision. If Alonso hadn’t swerved, there probably would have been one.

  2. As always, fine work Keith!

    1. Sush Meerkat
      14th June 2010, 0:45

      Ha The Limit, great to see you, I’ve missed you buddy!, where the hell have you been, I’ve not had anyone make me rethink my opinion on here in ages!

    2. We want turbos
      14th June 2010, 4:36

      I think you guys are going over the top in your praises for Keith. I really fail to understand what is so special about him & his writing? He make so many mistakes & needs to be corrected everytime by one of the posters.

      To me he is just a sensationalist.

  3. Fantastic race by far this year. Much deserved win by Lewis!!!

  4. Shocking race for Renault – Petrov gets two penalties in as many laps (one was his fault; in the other, he was a victim of circumstance), while Kubica botches a pass on Schumacher and damages his car and then makes a pointless and dangerous pass on Sutil.

    And I see Nico Hulkenberg is once again proving to be his own worst enemy: amateurish attempt on Rosberg that damaged his car, then speeding in pits to fix it robbed him of a potential points finish. He might have won the GP2 title, but he’s so far proving to be more touble than he’s worth.

    1. Kubuca’s pass on Sutil was dangerous and should be penalised in order to set a precedent. I don’t see how his pass attempt on Schumacher was “botched”, though…

      1. Again, i don’t see why should he be penalized. He just tried to pit, he let Sutil past him 10 secs before.

        It wasn’t a pass per se, it was a straight attempt to not run into Sutil/wall.

        1. Uh, he should be penalised because he cut across Sutil for no reason. What did he gain? He made the move in the braking zone, and chopped the Force India up just shy of the turn-in point. A moment later and it would have ened in tears for all involved. It’s not like Kubica got an advantage, and it didn’t help in his battle with Rosberg at the end. At most, Kubica would have lost two seconds to Sutil – and two seconds isn’t worth the risk of an accident at the fastest point on the circuit.

      2. Kubica botched the pass by running both cars off the road and STILL losing the position.

        1. Robert and Michael had similar speed. Each was waiting for the other one to start braking. As it turned out, they didn’t brake at all and cut the grass. It happens.

          1. Hence it wasn’t a smooth pass by Kubica and was “botched” as PM put it.

          2. The pass was impossible in that spot in my opinion, because Schumaher would cut the chicane anyway (as he did routinely during the race).

      3. Kubica about his pass on Sutil: “I was racing him on my in-lap and we were side by side before the last corner. I was on the right, so I backed off and pulled behind him to take my line for the pits, but he braked very early and hard: I had to go round him to avoid causing an accident”.

      4. I would agree that it was a “botched” attempt from Robert Kubica as Michael Schumacher will always fight hard to defend his track postion.. If you want to pass him having a peek or making a half-hearted attempt will simply not get it done, you need to make a clear decisive move and commit 100% or sit back and wait for your opportunity.. Kubica and Massa both learned that this weekend but it has been clear to see all seaon long so they really should have known better..

  5. Thank you Keith.
    The best F1 site by far!! Keep up the good work.

  6. Thrilling indeed! The most insane move for me was Kubica passing Sutil to go into the pits after Sutil had passed him on the straight and Sutil was just about to turn into the start finish straight…

    1. Apparently he noticed a damage on Sutil’s wheel and just rescued himself from the soon-to-be crash. Indeed Sutils lost his tyre in next turn.
      We’ll see if the investigation will confirm it.

    2. There was really not much he could do. He let Sutil past him, then tried to pit coming at Sutil from the outside, but Sutil read it as repassing attempt and blocked it. What else could he do knowing he needs to pit on that lap?

      Besides, Sutil didn’t even break or anything, he kept taking the turn. It looked scary, was disastrously dangerous, but turned out to be harmless.

    3. Kubica explained that Sutil broke hard early and Kubica saw that we would hit his back, so he had to run wide.

  7. The worst day today was for Pietrov, I’m afraid. He had a great start, which soon finished in a crash, which soon appeared to be a jump-start, for which he was penalised. He was that fighting probably too hard and got second penalty. Besides, he had 4 pits and finished behind Lotus, 2+ laps behind the leader. His laps weren’t quick either.
    Pity for him, he should recoiver quickly or else…. Kimi Raikonen is looking for a place and well as Jacques Villeuve.

    1. Is there some new news about that? ‘Cause last I heard it didn’t sound like Kimi was in a hurry to return to F1.

      1. I don’t know about Kimi, last news I heard were gossips about him coming to Red Bull or Ferrari. We know now that this is not going to happen soon, but for renault he could be an interesting option to pick for the next season.

        1. If I had a dollar for everytime someone mentioned Black Jack making a comeback, I’d be a millionaire by now. It just ain’t gonna happen!

  8. Lewis Hamilton is a great pass master!

    1. And his passing seems to be getting smoother and less erratic as well…

  9. Matt G (lotus fan)
    13th June 2010, 20:06

    I’ve been reading this site for a while now and I would just like to say thank you to Keith for such a good website. Also did anyone hear Kieth get a mention on the BBC practic sessions (can’t remember which one).

    On the race I would say that this has been the most entertaining race of the season so far, just going to show that F1 doesn’t need rain. I wonder when the last time there was 3 world champions on the podium.

    1. It was also a good race from Heikki in the Lotus, fighting off Petrov, and having almost beaten Kobayashi in qualifying.

    2. Second that Matt G. Everytime I begin to think I know it all(and this happens quite often)I learn something new here. Quite simply the most informative F1 site on the web. Kudos to Keith and the many knowledgable contributors on this site.

  10. Good to see the old Schuie back and driving people off the road. Wonder if he’ll get penalties now he’s not longer got his red immunity card.

    1. Kubica also ran him off the road, across the grass. He did on the other hand cut literally every chicane on the circuit without yielding position, which he was wrong to do (shot tyres or not).

      1. They both didn’t brake before that particular chicane, I wouldn’t put the blame entirely on Kubica or Schumi. They were racing, trying to out-brake each other. But yes, Schumacher was cutting chicanes left and right just to keep his position, and I don’t think it should be allowed.

      2. an anoyed felipe massa fan
        13th June 2010, 21:31


        1. I agree, strange that out of all of the racing incidents that occurred and resulted in no penalty that Massa should be penalised this way.. Liuzzi should have yielded, the stewards have got this one wrong, just another racing incident for mine..

          1. Can somebody clarify was Massa handed a 20 second penalty for speeding in the pits..? I read on twitter it was for his opening lap incident with Liuzzi.. If it was for speeding then I retract my previous comment..

          2. It was indeed for speeding in the pit lane, though Liuzzi did dive up the inside at the start when he was never cleanly going to get by.

  11. When will we find out who predicted correct?! LOL i was sort of close…
    Calum 01:16.468 HAM HAM BUT VET ROS WEB
    Wrong right right right wrong wrong right
    1:15.105 HAM HAM BUT ALO VET WEB

    1. Damn nearly a Full House,I had

      01:15.543 HAM,HAM,BUT,ALO,WEB,VET

      1. Well, the only thing wrong with the race today was the fact that every one of my predictions were incorrect. Null points.
        Keith, would it be okay if I made my predictions on Sunday night after the race . . .

  12. I enjoyed Schumacher only onthe beginning. He started 13th to find himslef soon behind Sutil who was 7th and soon behind Kubica’s on 6th.
    But later he was just too agressive and several drivers suffered – Kubica (early 1st pitstop), Massa (broken nose), force Indias etc, including Schumacher himself.

    I wonder if he gests any penalty for all those cutting of chicanes. It’s a serious flaw of this circuit that chicanes could be cut for an advatage. Other than that it’s a great track for F1 racing.

    1. Even the beginning wasn’t great – he hit Kubica in turn 2. The Renault’s diffuser was broken after that I noticed that when they showed onboards.

      I don’t think he wil get a penalty. He should have been given a warning during the race. Maybe a reprimand?

    2. I was interested in what Martin Brundle was saying. Something to the effect that missing a chicane and *not* being passed as a result was as bad as missing a chicane and passing someone as a result.
      Something for the FIA to chew on, perhaps.

      1. I thought that was a general rule already applied. Some serious punishments need to come down the line today. A lot of rule breaking went on today, it’ll be a bit ridiculous if nothing comes of it.

        1. Agreed.
          “your comment was . . .”

          1. I remember how they warned Massa in Monaco for cutting the chicane. It was during the race and he was told that if he cut the chicane too often (3 times) he would get a drive-through.

            Why didn’t anyone tell Schumacherr to keep the car on the road?

            IIRC the regulations say that if a driver cuts the chicane too often the stewards can assume the driver is no longer in proper control of the car.

      2. Accidental Mick
        14th June 2010, 7:44

        H-B-G. Agreed, I thought that was a very good comment.

  13. Oh no! I wrote on my driver assessments on the other day that Buemi has been anonymous throughout the season, and has been one of the disapointments of 2010. Well I might have to update that now, he was anything but anaonymous, he had a great drive!

    1. Matt G (lotus fan)
      13th June 2010, 20:13

      I agree, Buemi leading the race? how did that happen. It was a good day for STR,

    2. Must say Liuzzi might have some people change theire assessment on him as well.

      Not so lucky at the start but a great recovery and fighting with Massa and Schumacher. A finish back in the points.

      Buemi was impressive today, more than expected from him.

      1. This was one of the first races where Buemi wasn’t the tragic victim of circumstance (or Kobayashi). Finally proved himself against Alguersuari. They’ve both had some impressive drives so far this year.

      2. I’m one of those people mate, I don’t hate admitting to it though!

    3. As well as the fact Buemi’s absolutley smashed Jaime in the qualifying battle, Jaime’s bettered him once or something.

      1. See, I was hoping that Buemi would stay anonymous so that Ricciardo would get that seat next year. Bit harsh on old Seb, but still.

  14. Liuzzi for me, is the driver of the day. Great recovery after his collision at the start.

    1. Matt G (lotus fan)
      13th June 2010, 21:30

      His performance today will have gone a long way to securing his seat.

      1. Apart from the fact that he caused that collision to begin with

  15. One thing I take from this race is perhaps something formula1 can learn.

    Are the overtaking/entertainment problems in f1 really caused by aero? Or is it simply that tyre technology is just far too good now?

    If you look through the recent history of formula1 overtaking has got more and more difficult through the tyre war, which bridgestone won from 2000-2004 (due to having the softest compound). Which is probably why Ferrari dominated these years. In 2005 michelin won races because their compound was better at lasting the distance when tyres changes weren’t allowed. And in 2006 renault had completely championed the michelin rubber. Since 2007 we’ve had one supplier and racing hasn’t been as good because the rubber is just too good.

    Has tyre technology reached its peak? If it has then a tyre war won’t fix this. We need to pick the supplier that makes the worst tyres!

    It doesn’t matter how much aero you have if your tyre can’t put it on the road. Maybe its time to make the tyres more marginal. It made the race today really exciting and unpredictable, and overtaking really looked a possibility in alot of circumstances.

    Just something worth thinking about.

    1. well it was more to do with the circuit. I mean these are the same tires that raced in “boring Bahrain”. It’s just they barely race in Circuit Gilles Villeneuve; even on race weekends there’s not the level of support races I think.

      1. So maybe they should have took softer tyres to bahrain. What i’m saying is that by bringing the “wrong” tyres here they showed what a difference a marginal compound makes