Vodafone McLaren and Lewis Hamilton strike heavily in Canada

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton became the magnificent seventh winner at the seventh round of the 2012 Formula 1 season, after an astonishing Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton was involved in a challenging three-way fight with pole-setter and early leader race leader Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, and driver championship leader Fernando Alonso. German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel led the Candian Grand Prix for the first 16 laps, but after pulling away from the start, rapid tire degradation forced him into the pits at the end of the 16th lap.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton went for his pit stop a lap later, whereas Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso stayed out another lap and returned to the race in the lead in front of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton quickly overtook him, and opened a three-second gap until he had to make his second scheduled pit stop on the 50th lap.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes pit stops were perfectly timed, but Lewis Hamilton struggled to make the pit stops easy and swift. In his first he had almost stalled the engine, while during his second pit stop the right-rear wheel proved hesitant to be fitted. As a matter of fact, the delays were not as fatal as they were in Bahrain, but as he rejoined the race in third position it became clear that both leading cars, namely Ferrari and Red Bull were following one-stop strategies. Although there were another 20 laps to drive, they decided not to take the precautionary stops and gambled on staying out longer. The gamble miserably failed.

Lewis Hamilton began diminishing the gap, as Sebastian Vettel also began to close in on Fernando Alonso. On the 62nd lap Hamilton swept easily by the German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, and then took Fernando Alonso down. The Spaniard resisted him on the 64th lap, but on the 65th the game was over and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver was heading for a brilliant victory which he would later describe as one of his most enjoyable.

Behind him, one-stopping Romain Grosjean was closing on Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel with the speed of a train in his Lotus after some careful tire conservation, and Sauber driver Sergio Perez was following him. Both pushed the Ferrari down the ranks, and then to add final insult to the damaged pride of Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, who had stopped after all on the 63rd lap and taken on a set of Pirelli super-softs, blasted by the Spanish Ferrari driver as well.

The success of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton accompanied by the unsuccessful afternoon of Fernando Alonso at the Canadian Grand Prix, puts the Englishman back in the lead of the 2012 driver Formula 1championship by two points from the Spanish Ferrari driver, 88 to 86, with Sebastian Vettel third on 85.

French youngster Romain Grosjean's excellent drive made up for Lotus’s disappointing race in Monaco, while Sergio Perez’s place on the podium was revenge on Fernando Alonso for the Malaysian Grand Prix result.

Behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg had a race of mixed fortunes, in which he initially struggled on the super-softs in his Mercedes but was later able to set fastest laps as he fended off Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.

Kamui Kobayashi led his Sauber team mate in the initial phases of the race, but his early single stop compromised his performance and he had to be satisfied with ninth place ahead of remorseful Felipe Massa Massa, who spun early on in Turn One and thereafter had to do his best to catch up the rest of the cars ahead of him, thus taking the final point for the Scuderia Ferrari.

Behind the Brazilian Ferrari driver, Paul di Resta looked as a sure candidate for points but ultimately failed to score points after another smooth drive for Force India, and led home team mate Nico Hulkenberg by eight seconds.

On the other hand, it was a disappointing race for Williams, with Pastor Maldonado driving his way through for 13th position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who had a race-long fight with Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne with a late spin in one of the chicanes; It must be mentioned here, that Jean-Eric Vergne had earlier been handed a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding, and finished beaten in 15th place.

The second Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driven by Jenson Button had an appalling day on which he was one of the first pit stoppers despite starting on the more durable soft-compound Pirellis, and ended up overlapped and totally puzzled by his car's lack of speed. Bruno Senna finished 17th after an undistinguished race, leading home the Caterhams of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, and the Marrussia of Charles Pic.

Charles Pic’s team mate Timo Glock was the last retirement, with brake problems. Michael Schumacher run of bad luck continued with a persistence that has no peer. He was at the end of the potential points-scorers’ train before his DRS stayed open, thus forcing him to retire. It is the 5th time out of seven races, in which the former 7-times Formula 1 World Champion fails to finish a race due to a mechanical defect. On the other hand, both HTRs were stopped by mechanical problems.

Coincidentally this was McLaren’s 300th race with sponsors and suppliers Mobil 1, Mercedes-Benz and Enkei. This race put Lewis Hamilton’s score for drives with the team one beyond his Brazilian idol Ayrton Senna’s, with 97 of the Brazilian to the 96 of the Englishman.

Montreal - Abu Dhabi - Cairo

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