F1 2010: Lewis Hamilton's Canada Love Affair Continues
The return of Formula 1 to North America in 2010 could not have gone any better, playing host to the most exciting race in the season so far.
Mclaren’s brilliant form in Turkey rolled over into Canada with a repeat performance from their drivers, as Lewis Hamilton led home Jenson Button for another 1-2, their third of the season. Fernando Alonso rounded out the podium, trying hard to make the appearance of Ferrari and Mclaren a familiar sight again.
After the Bahrain Grand Prix, Formula 1 looked to take a turn for the worst, as the new regulations seemed to affect the sport heavily. Everyone feared that with no re-fuelling, every race would be processional and the excitement in the build up to the season would have been for nothing.
Eight rounds into the season however, all of these fears have been put to rest, as the racing is still as exciting as ever.
Another thing that was reveled to us this time was that Red Bull have clearly been wounded from the incident between their drivers in Turkey. They weren’t the same team they were at the start of the season, and their drivers do not have the early season form they had.
Mclaren, however, have made leaps and bounds in development and they look to become the team to beat in the near future.
The race itself in Canada was breathtaking from start to finish, and from turn one there was action left, right, and centre. Vitaly Petrov made a jump start, put his right rear wheel on the grass on the run to turn one, and had a coming together with the Sauber of Pedro De La Rosa.
The young Russian would later get two drive-through penalties for both of those incidents, and the ‘Barcelona Bullet’ would retire with engine failure.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, who qualified in sixth place, his best qualifying performance in his career, got promoted to fifth after Mark Webber was demoted to seventh for a gearbox change. However, he did not make the most of his hard work on the Sunday.
He and Felipe Massa decided to try and see if their cars could make dodgems, as they hit each other not once, not twice, but three times going round turn two. It ended up with Massa doing some damage to his front wing and Liuzzi spinning round.
There was enough action at the first two corners to satisfy an entire season’s worth of motor racing, and there was more to come.
Tyre choice was much more important this time around as the track seemed to shred both tyre compounds, making it even more difficult to manage tyres. Both Mclarens and Alonso started on the soft tyre, whereas both Red Bulls were on the hard compound.
After eight laps of racing the Hamilton, Button, and Alonso had both come into the pits as their tyres were blistered badly, which handed the lead over to Sebastian Vettel, with teammate Webber behind.
In the pits, Alonso and Hamilton left the pit lane side by side with the Spaniard winning the drag race out.
Drama was happening everywhere in this Grand Prix.
The harder tyres were coming into their own, and it looked as if the Red Bulls would carry on ahead and leave the others behind. However, managing these tyres was just as important as managing the softer tyres, and Vettel and Webber had to pit.
The Red Bull team decided to put soft tyres on Vettel, but hard ones on Webber, opting for a split strategy to see which would work better.
This put Sebastian Buemi into the lead of the Grand Prix, making him the fourth driver to lead the race so far, with Hamilton and Alonso harrying him for all he was worth. This gave Hamilton the chance to pass Alonso at the final chicane on lap 15 as Buemi dove into the pits.
From then the Mclaren driver had Alonso all over the back of him, and finally got past him when the Brit decided to pit. Alonso got the chance to drive in clear air and went about setting the fastest lap of the race so far. However, he got held up by a Hispania when he pitted, this allowed Hamilton to easily pass him.
Webber was now in the lead, driving on the harder tyre, yet to do a stint on the soft compound. His hard tyres had come into their own, as the track had rubbered in he was able to use this to his advantage.
It looked as if Webber was going to win another race this season, but the tyres were just started to go away from him, and because of this Hamilton was able to catch up to him dramatically and took the lead once again.
From then on Hamilton led for the rest of the race, but when it looked like all the excitement was over, lap 56 was when Button pounced on Alonso for second. When they hit some traffic, Button was able to take advantage of the situation and overtook around the outside of turn nine. A brilliant and critical move from the reigning world champion.
Down the field, Massa had unfinished business with Force India, and dueled Liuzzi and his teammate for several laps. He was able to pass them, but when he came to the back of Michael Schumacher, who was clearly driving with seriously blistered tyres, he was treated very discourteously by his old teammate and had to pit for a new front wing.
Schumacher had the worst race of his career, as he did not race with a level head, he forced drivers of the road and this was not the seven-time world champion that we all know and love.
Hamilton led home victory over teammate Button, making it back-to-back wins for the 2008 world champion, with Alonso finishing third. Three world champions on the podium, a suitable end to a thrilling race at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.
The rest of the top ten were Vettel, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Buemi, Liuzzi, and Sutil.
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