2012: Canadian GP: Review

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian GP to become the seventh different winner of the season, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez who both secured their second podiums of the season. Hamilton has previously won the race twice – in 2007 and 2008 – and today was extra special as this win was exactly five years today since his first in 07. There were a record breaking 20 finishers for the race with Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan caught out by the tough demand on brakes while Michael Schumacher’s bad luck continued as a problem resulted in his rear wing remaining open when the DRS flap is supposed to close after the driver hits the brakes. Daniel Ricciardo was the last driver on the lead lap at the chequered flag in 14th place. Despite the fact one was expected, and many teams factored it into their strategies, there were no safety cars during the race.

Sebastian Vettel started the race on pole position and stayed ahead at the start of the race however after the first round of pit-stops played out he lost out to both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. He took on the soft tyres during his first stop, after starting on the super-soft compound, and attempted to make a one-stop strategy work. He was forced to pit on lap 64 as he lost grip and was being chased and caught by Hamilton. This dropped him down the order but he finished in fourth place. His team-mate Mark Webber had a relatively quiet race after an initial close battle with Nico Rosberg at the start. He finished the race in seventh place just five tenths ahead of Kimi Räikkönen who also raced with a one stop strategy. His team-mate Romain Grosjean, who was taken out of the Monaco GP before the first corner, came into his own and finished on the podium for the second time this season. Sergio Perez joined him on the podium to put in another strong showing for Sauber. He spent most of the race racing Räikkönen and Rosberg with a late opportunistic move past Rosberg putting him in a prime position to get on the podium. His team-mate, Kamui Kobayashi, finished in ninth place.

Nico Rosberg had a mixed race while Michael Schumacher had another race to forget after retiring with a DRS malfunction which saw his rear wing left open and, after a pit-stop, it became clear that his engineers were unable to close it. Rosberg made a good start and was fighting with Mark Webber but early on he was advised to look after his tyres better. Team radio early on in the race also suggested that Mercedes were also concerned about fuel levels. Late on in the race Rosberg cut the final chicane and passed Felipe Massa, but was forced to give the place back or risk  a penalty. In doing so, Sergio Perez also managed to pass him. Massa, who had once again qualified in the top ten, had a feisty start. His race fizzled out and he eventually finished in tenth place. Fernando Alonso lead for a lot of the race, fighting with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, but as he tried to make a one stop work, his tyres severely dropped off. Over the course of six laps he had dropped from the lead to fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton started the race in second place but was leap frogged by Fernando Alonso after the first round of pit-stops. As the race progressed he was heard asking his engineer over team-radio if they were sure that those he was racing were definitely on two stops. He was reassured that they were but it soon became apparent that they were trying to make their tyres last. Hamilton kept pushing, taking a second a lap out of the leaders, and passed Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to take the lead. His team-mate Jenson Button had a completely contrasting race, and he appeared dejected and confused about his lack of pace. He started the race in tenth and finished 16th, after appearing to struggle on his tyres.

After 70 laps Lewis Hamilton crossed the line to win ahead of Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez. Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber, Kimi Räikkönen, Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa all picked up points. Hamilton moved from fourth to first in the championship while McLaren also closed the gap to Red Bull. Lotus moved over ten points clear of Ferrari.

The next race takes place in two weeks time with the European GP in Valencia.

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