• Canadian Grand Prix

Hamilton makes it seven from seven

ESPN Staff
June 10, 2012

Lewis Hamilton became the seventh winner from seven different races in 2012 as he won an enthralling Canadian Grand Prix that came to life in the final few laps.

Hamilton made the call to remain on a two-stop strategy and pitted from the lead late on before reeling in Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to take victory. Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez finished strongly to complete the podium as Vettel pitted but Alonso stayed out to stop just once.

Vettel still managed to jump the Ferrari on the penultimate lap as Alonso's strategic error cost him the championship lead to Hamilton, with Alonso finishing over 13 seconds off the lead despite only relinquishing the position with six laps remaining.

Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen all finished just behind Alonso, while Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa completed the points scoring positions as a mixture of one and two-stop strategies filled the top ten.

The start of the race was slightly subdued, with a safe start from everyone seeing only Paul di Resta making a position in the top ten. Massa and di Resta quickly cleared Rosberg as DRS proved to be effective, but Massa then spun at turn two to drop out of the top ten.

Having led from pole, Vettel built up a gap but then started to drop back towards the chasing Hamilton and Alonso. Red Bull pitted first looking to protect the position but lost out to both cars behind with Alonso initially ahead of but Hamilton quickly using DRS to take the lead.

Although Hamilton had built up a gap at the front, McLaren opted to stick with its planned two-stop strategy and pitted with 19 laps remaining. Despite a slow stop, Hamilton then pumped in quick laps to immediately close in and force Alonso and Vettel to stay out.

While eyes were on the front, the one-stopping Perez passing first Rosberg - strongly around the outside of turn one - and then Massa in consecutive laps seemed relatively innocuous. When Vettel pitted and rejoined in fifth place, however, both Perez and Grosjean were in pole position to chase down the slowing Alonso. As the different strategies saw large differences in lap times, the effectiveness of the DRS made position changes relatively simple and Alonso was powerless to defend.

It was perhaps Grosjean's performance that was most impressive, as he went 48 laps at the end of the race on prime tyres but was still able to close within 2.5s of Hamilton by the chequered flag. Perez finished a similar distance behind, while Vettel set the fasest lap on the final tour to cross the line 6.1s ahead of Alonso.

As Hamilton celebrated extending the historic run of winners, his team-mate Jenson Button had a day to forget as he three-stopped his way to 16th place having failed to make progress early on. Michael Schumacher's poor luck also continued as he retired in bizarre circumstances. The Mercedes DRS failed in the open position, and when he pitted for repairs even four mechanics could not force it closed.

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