Hamilton Flawless In Canada
June 10, 2007 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Starting from pole position, the 22-year-old Briton held off an early challenge from teammate Fernando Alonso and went on to record multiple fast laps on his way to victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
"It has been a fantastic day, this is history," Hamilton said after scoring the victory and his sixth consecutive podium finish. "To come here the first time in Canada, been a fantastic season already, I have been ready for quite some time for the win but just when or when.
"I have to dedicate this one to my dad because without him it wouldn't all be possible."
BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld started third and appeared to be the only driver besides Hamilton who did not have any problems on his way to a runner-up finish, while AT&T Williams’ Alex Wurz completed the podium for the 70-lap event.
ING Renault F1 Team’s Heikki Kovalainen started last on the grid but rebounded to finish fourth in an amazing turnaround to a weekend that saw him crash twice and have an engine malfunction.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth with Takuma Sato of Super Aguri Honda having perhaps the second best day amongst the drivers, passing two-time defending World Champion Alonso with three laps remaining for sixth.
"What an awesome weekend for us," proclaimed Sato. "During the last few laps I had a great feeling because I was able to race with the front runners and I was able to confidently overtake and take back my position. This was absolutely the most beautiful day in my racing career and is an amazing result."
Panasonic Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher completed the points paying positions.
However, the talk of the day centers on the numerous amounts of crashes and blunders which cost several teams today, and possibly in the future as they fight for the two major championships of the sport; the drivers and constructor’s championships.
The image that will be remembered most from today’s event will be that of Robert Kubica, who barrel rolled down the track after making contact with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and going airborne. Although the accident was horrific looking, Kubica was extracted from his mangled BMW Sauber machine safely and he is currently being checked out by doctors (for more information, click here).
The polish driver’s incident brought out one of a record breaking four safety car periods on Sunday, which caused massive confusion on pit road.
According to new sporting regulations, teams cannot enter pit road right after the full course yellow is displayed until permitted by race stewards. That rule affected Alonso, who was forced to stop for a 10-second penalty as a result of the infraction.
Meanwhile Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella were both black flagged for another pit-related infraction, as they both left pit road before the green light to exit was displayed. At the time of their disqualification, Massa and Fisichella were fourth and eighth respectively.
It was not a happy day for American Scott Speed. Competing for the first time this season in his home continent, the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was forced to retire after just eight laps because of damage to the left front suspension of his STR2 machine. The damage came about after making contact with Wurz.
"It is a disappointing day for us. It was crazy out there," Speed said. "I have to say sorry to the team because I made a bit of a mistake. Alex was quicker than me down the straightaway, but he made a mistake at the hairpin and then another at the corner before I tried to pass and when I did try, there just was not enough room for two cars."
He was joined on the early retirement list by: Honda Racing’s Jenson Button, whose car failed to start at the beginning of the race, Team Red Bull’s David Coulthard, who had gearbox issues, Trulli, who had a second accident following his contact with Kubica, Vitantonio Liuzzi, who crashed, and both Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team drivers - Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil – both of whom crashed on separate occasions.
Formula One’s teams and drivers will now head south to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the second and final race in North America this season, the United States Grand Prix. The event takes place next Sunday afternoon.