Ten years ago, on the 10th June 2007, Lewis Hamilton took his first ever Formula One victory.
The 22 year old McLaren driver had already made quite the impact on the F1 world before arriving in Canada. He was tied at the top of the championship on points with team-mate Fernando Alonso. In 2007 points were awarded for positions one to eight, with ten for the winner, and both McLaren drivers were sitting on 38 after five rounds.
Five podiums from five starts had demonstrated Hamilton’s immense rookie talent but he had not as yet stood on the top step of the podium. He had finished second to Alonso’s first twice – including at the Monaco Grand Prix where the pair dominated the field and lapped everyone bar Felipe Massa in third. Everything was about to change in Canada, however, and the tilt shifted in Hamilton’s favour.
It was Alonso who topped the first two practice sessions before Hamilton took charge in FP3. He was three tenths faster than Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen before they headed into qualifying. It proved to be a McLaren front row lock out – the second race in a row – but, for only the second time that season, it was Hamilton in front of Alonso and by nearly five tenths of a second. All eyes were on Hamilton after securing his first F1 pole position – would he be able to convert it into a victory?
In a race which saw four safety car periods – including for Robert Kubica’s big accident – Hamilton kept his cool and went on to win, beating BMW’s Nick Heidfeld by just over four seconds. Alexander Wurz finished the race in third place. Hamilton was in control through the whole race not letting any of the safety car periods phase him. It turned out that Hamilton did not have to wait long for his second victory which came just a week later at the US GP at Indianapolis.
Since the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton has won 55 Grand Prix putting him second on the all time list. He has taken at least one victory in every season since 2007 – the fewest being two in one season (2009) and the most being 11 in 2014. He won 21 races with McLaren and has so far won 34 for Mercedes.
This weekend will see him go for a sixth victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. Following his debut win in 2007 he also won there in 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2016.