Spotlight: Lewis Hamilton’s first F1 victory – ten years on

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.

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Hamilton’s fifth Canadian GP victory edges him closer to Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix for a fifth time, beating Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to the chequered flag.

Having qualified on pole position, Hamilton lined up on the front row of the grid alongside team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. When the lights went out it was Vettel in the Ferrari who got the best start, however. The Ferrari driver darted around the outside of Hamilton who then was forced to fend off a challenge from Rosberg.

Rosberg was forced wide at the first corner and dropped down the order compromising his race. Vettel enjoyed a brief lead before pitting on lap 11 during a Virtual Safety Car period, putting on the Supersoft tyres. This committed him to at least a two stop as the Soft compound tyre was mandatory during the race and he had started on the Ultrasoft compound.

Hamilton stayed out but it was advantage Vettel as with fresher tyres he started to bring the gap at the front down. He locked up a number of times, however, struggling to get the tyres working as conditions were not ideal. After the race Vettel jokingly complained about the wildlife, in particular about two ‘seagulls’ who caught his attention causing him to lock-up at turn one.

The German was unable to close the gap to Hamilton and it was the Mercedes driver who crossed the line first for his fifth Canadian Grand Prix victory. Vettel finished five seconds down but well clear of Bottas in third – giving Williams their first podium of the year.

Max Verstappen held off Rosberg to finish fourth with the latter getting himself into a spin on the final lap of the race at the final chicane. This came after he had been forced to make a late stop due to a slow puncture, further compounding his difficult race. Kimi Raikkonen was a quiet sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. Carlos Sainz put in an impressive drive to rise from 20th on the grid to finish ninth with Sergio Perez getting the final point.

Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren on a day that saw his team-mate’s race come to a smoky end. Jenson Button managed just nine laps before he was forced to pull over with flames coming from his car. Daniil Kvyat was 12th ahead of the twice lapped cars of Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Nasr, and Rio Haryanto.

Felipe Massa had been the only driver to finish in the points at every race so far this year but that came to an end when he retired with Power Unit issues. Jolyon Palmer also retired.

The result means Hamilton is now just nine points behind Rosberg in the championship standings with Vettel slotting into third. The next race is this weekend’s European Grand Prix at the Baku Circuit in Azerbaijan.

F1 2016: Canadian GP – Qualifying Times & Laps

Qualifying

Times

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:12.812
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:12.874
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:12.990
  4. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:13.166
  5. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:13.414
  6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:13.579
  7. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:13.670
  8. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:13.769
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:13.952
  10. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:14.338
  11. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:14.317
  12. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:14.437
  13. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:14.457
  14. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:14.571
  15. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:14.803
  16. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:21.956
  17. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:15.459
  18. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:15.599
  19. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:15.635
  20. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:16.663
  21. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:17.052
  22. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – No Time Set

Laps

  1. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 25
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 24
  3. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 24
  4. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 24
  5. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 24
  6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 23
  7. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 23
  8. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 21
  9. Felipe Massa – Williams – 21
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 20
  11. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 20
  12. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 19
  13. Sergio Perez – Force India – 18
  14. Jenson Button – McLaren – 16
  15. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 16
  16. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 11
  17. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 11
  18. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 11
  19. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 9
  20. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 9
  21. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 9
  22. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 0

F1 2016: Canadian GP – FP2 Times & Laps

Free Practice 2

Times

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:14.212
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:14.469 – +0.257
  3. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:14.738 – +0.526
  4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:15.156 – +0.944
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:15.168 – +0.956
  6. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:15.213 – +1.001
  7. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:15.213 – +1.001
  8. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:15.234 – +1.022
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:15.321 – +1.109
  10. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:15.410 – +1.198
  11. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:15.450 – +1.238
  12. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:15.493 – +1.281
  13. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:15.513 – +1.301
  14. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:15.559 – +1.347
  15. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:16.093 – +1.881
  16. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:16.255 – +2.043
  17. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:16.582 – +2.370
  18. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:16.591 – +2.379
  19. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:16.902 – +2.690
  20. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:17.001 – +2.789
  21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:17.023 – +2.811
  22. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:17.423 – +3.211

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:14.212
  2. Ferrari – 1:14.469 – +0.257
  3. Red Bull – 1:15.156 – +0.944
  4. Williams – 1:15.213 – +1.001
  5. McLaren – 1:15.213 – +1.001
  6. Force India – 1:15.321 – +1.109
  7. Toro Rosso – 1:15.410 – +1.198
  8. Haas – 1:16.093 – +1.881
  9. Renault -1:16.255 – +2.043
  10. Sauber – 1:16.582 – +2.370
  11. Manor – 1:17.023 – +2.811

Laps

Drivers

  1. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 51
  2. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 50
  3. Rio Haryanto – Manor -49
  4. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 48
  5. Sergio Perez – Force India – 47
  6. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 46
  7. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 46
  8. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 45
  9. Felipe Massa – Williams – 44
  10. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 43
  11. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 43
  12. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 43
  13. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 42
  14. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 42
  15. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 40
  16. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 40
  17. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 39
  18. Jenson Button – McLaren – 35
  19. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 35
  20. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 32
  21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 32
  22. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 29

Teams

  1. Force India – 97
  2. Sauber – 91
  3. Williams – 90
  4. Mercedes – 89
  5. Ferrari – 88
  6. Renault – 87
  7. Toro Rosso – 84
  8. Manor – 81
  9. McLaren – 75
  10. Red Bull – 72
  11. Haas – 67

F1 2016: Canadian GP – FP1 Times & Laps

Free Practice 1

Times

Drivers

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:14.755
  2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:15.086 – +0.331
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:15.243 – +0.488
  4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:15.553- +0.798
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:15.618 – +0.863
  6. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:16.301 – +1.546
  7. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1:16.464 – +1.709
  8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:16.543 – +1.788
  9. Sergio Perez –  Force India – 1:16.577 – +1.822
  10. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:16.663 – +1.908
  11. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:16.734 – +1.979
  12. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:16.788 -+2.033
  13. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:17.008 – +2.253
  14. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:17.065 – +2.310
  15. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:17.310 – +2.555
  16. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1:17.319 – +2.564
  17. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1:17.855 – +3.100
  18. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1:18.103 – +3.348
  19. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:18.129 – +3.374
  20. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 1:18.409 – +3.654
  21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1:18.453 – +3.698
  22. Jolyon Palmer – Manor – 1:18.583 – +3.828

Teams

  1. Mercedes – 1:14.755
  2. Ferrari – 1:15.243 – +0.488
  3. Red Bull – 1:15.553 – +0.798
  4. Williams – 1:16.301 – +1.546
  5. Force India – 1:16.464 – +1.709
  6. Toro Rosso – 1:16.543 – +1.788
  7. McLaren – 1:16.663 – +1.908
  8. Haas – 1:17.008 – +2.253
  9. Sauber – 1:17.855 – +3.100
  10. Manor – 1:18.103 – +3.348
  11. Renault – 1:18.409 – +3.654

Laps

Drivers

  1. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 30
  2. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 30
  3. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 30
  4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 29
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 28
  6. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 28
  7. Sergio Perez – Force India – 25
  8. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 24
  9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 24
  10. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 24
  11. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 23
  12. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 22
  13. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 22
  14. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 22
  15. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 21
  16. Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 21
  17. Rio Haryanto – Manor – 21
  18. Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 18
  19. Kevin Magnussen – Renault – 13
  20. Jenson Button – McLaren – 8
  21. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 8
  22. Felipe Massa – Williams – 7

Teams

  1. Red Bull – 57
  2. Mercedes – 52
  3. Manor – 51
  4. Force India – 49
  5. Haas – 46
  6. Toro Rosso – 45
  7. Ferrari – 45
  8. Renault – 41
  9. Williams – 37
  10. McLaren – 29
  11. Sauber – 29

F1 2016: Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Formula One heads to North America this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Regarded by many as one of the best races on the calendar, the Canadian Grand Prix has been on the Formula One calendar on and off since 1967. It is held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and features the iconic Wall of Champions which has seen the likes of Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jenson Button crash into it.

Circuit: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Number of Laps: 70
Circuit Length: 4.361km
Number of Corners: 14
Lap Record: 1:13.622 Rubens Barrichello (2004)
Previous Canadian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 6
Most Successful Team: Ferrari & McLaren (13 wins)
DRS Zones: 2   
Pirelli Tyres: Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful current driver at the Canadian Grand Prix which he has won on four occasions. It was the scene of his first ever F1 victory back in 2007 when he was a rookie driver. He subsequently won it in 2010, 2012 and most recently in 2015. His record outside of winning has been a bit hit or miss, however, having retired from three of his visits there. He won last time out in Monaco – while championship leader and team-mate Nico Rosberg finished in seventh – and will be looking to take his second win of the season this weekend.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a low downforce track which plays heavily on the power unit and the brakes, especially due to the long straights punctuated by low and high-speed corners. The track surface is abrasive and much tougher on tyres than Monaco meaning the new Ultrasoft tyres will get their first proper test.

Rosberg leads the championship by 24 points over Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo third. Ricciardo was compromised by a pit-stop blunder in Monaco meaning he realistically could have won the race. Kimi Raikkonen lies fourth in the championship for Ferrari just a point ahead of his team-mate.

F1 2016: Canadian Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Tyre choices for the Canadian Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Soft Supersoft Ultrasoft
Lewis Hamilton 3 2 8
Nico Rosberg 3 2 8
Sebastian Vettel 3 3 7
Kimi Raikkonen 3 3 7
Valtteri Bottas 2 4 7
Felipe Massa 3 3 7
Daniel Ricciardo 4 2 7
Max Verstappen 4 2 7
Kevin Magnussen 5 0 8
Jolyon Palmer 5 0 8
Nico Hulkenberg 4 3 6
Sergio Perez 4 3 6
Daniil Kvyat 2 4 7
Carlos Sainz 2 4 7
Fernando Alonso 3 4 6
Jenson Button 3 4 6
Marcus Ericsson 2 5 6
Felipe Nasr 2 5 6
Pascal Wehrlein 3 4 6
Rio Haryanto 3 4 6
Romain Grosjean 3 0 10
Esteban Gutierrez 3 0 10

Once again the Ultra Soft tyre is the compound most favoured by teams although not as heavily as it was in Monaco. The distribution between the three compounds for 9 of the 11 teams is a lot more evenly spread.

The Supersoft compound is not mandatory at the Canadian Grand Prix so Renault and Haas have chosen not to bring any to the race.