Kubica leads BMW 1-2 at Canada

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Robert Kubica has marked his first win of F1 careers masterfully and led his teammate Nick Heidfeld to the finish. Coulthard is a well deserved third thanks to a solid drive and a perfect pit stop strategy. Kubica also takes the championship lead thanks to his win.

The Canadian GP of 2008 is started under sunny sies but with a moderately strong wind (7.7m/s). It is possible some rain will fall during the race, but so far the skies look clear. The track temperature is 34°C. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel will start from the pitlane.

When the lights go out, all three men in front stay in their positions. Rosberg meanwhile is able to jump Alonso, who on his behalf manages to just hold off Massa.

In the midfield, Heidfeld lost a place to Barrichello but was able to gain it again 3 laps further in the race.

After 8 laps, Hamilton is slowly increasing his lead, being 4.3 seconds ahead of Kubica. On 9 seconds is Raikkonen and a further 4 seconds down is a trio with Rosberg, Alonso and Massa.

In lap 14, Sutil is out of the care after parking his car after turn 2. Raikkonen has meanwhile returned on Kubica despite having run off all the grooves on his left front tyre. Two laps after the incident, Charlie Whiting finally realised the car cannot be cleared, so a safety car is brought on track.

Button is meanwhile entering the pitlane for his first stop, a strange moment as he started from the pitlane and will now aso end up with a penalty. One lap later, a lot of drivers dive into the pitlane. Raikkonen and Kubica are out side by side and stop at the end of the pitlane due to red lights. Hamilton meanwhile is inattentive and hits Raikkonen from behind. Both drivers are out of the race, while Rosberg hit Hamilton too. He is able to rejoin but must get a new front wing in the next lap.

When the safety car is off, Heidfeld is in the lead as he didn't pit, ahead of Barrichello and Nakajima. Kubica is tenth and is followed by Alonso, the first of the drivers who have pitted under the safety car.

Heidfeld iis however considerably faster than Barrichello and manages to pull away more than 2 seconds per lap away rom everybody else. The German might be given the chance of his life if he can continue with the same pace through this race.

Piquet, running just behind Alonso goes off in lap 19 but is able to rejoin the track without damage. In the event, he dangerously drove backward across the track. Massa was just able to prevent an accident.

The same lap, Heidfeld is in the pitlane for a considerable time and may be going until the end without a second stop. It remains to be seen if will manage to do so on the option tyres. He rejoind the track just ahead of Kubica but is passed by his teammate a single lap later.

In lap 26, with 34 to go, Barrichello makes his only pitstop, handing Coulthard with the race lead. Not for long however as he stops one lap later. Coulthard comes back behind Alonso and ahead of Barrichello. As a result, Trulli is in the lead, ahead of Glock and Kubica, all running within a couple of seconds.

Just past halfway in the race, Alonso is still blocked behind Heidfeld. Kubica regained the lead due to both Toyota's pitting and is ahead of his teammate by 11 seconds. Robert is immediately told to push hard in order to increase the gap to Heidfeld as he will have to stop in a couple of laps.

4 laps later, Alonso pushes a little too hard and touches the wall, a little too hard it seems as he is out of the race with a broken front suspension. The pit radio just after that revealed a possible gearbox problem.

With 22 laps to go, Nakajima's front wing is broken as he touched a Honda in the hairpin. Not a disaster, had it not been that the front wing just broke off upon entrance, lifting up the car and leaving the Japanese without steering. He ends up in the pitwall and abandons the race.

One lap later, Kubica makes his stop and rejoins a couple of seconds ahead of his teammate. Behind Heidfeld, the closest competitor is David Coulthard 5 seconds further down.

Barrichello, 4th at the time is however passed by two cars in move. The action started with Kovalainen who attempted a pass on Rubens in the hairpin. Both men braked late, but still Kovalainen was able to get past. In the gap on the inside of the corner, Massa saw an opportunity and managed challenge both cars succesfully.

Moments later, Fisichella his the barriers but a safety car is not deployed. The fear of such deployment does make some drivers decide to stop immediately.

12 laps to go and Barrichello goes through the grass in the first chicane, allowing both Toyota's to pass him. Rosberg on the other hand tries to pass Vettel on the outside of the straight, but fails. He loses so much time that he must let Kovalainen pass by. A lap later Barrichello loses another place to Massa.

The latter is charging incredibly hard and passed Trulli after he is blocked by his own teammate. Glock made an error in the first corner. As he rejoined, he cut Trulli's was and Massa profited again.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTyresTime
1R. KubicaBMW1:36:24.447
2N. HeidfeldBMW+ 16.495
3D. CoulthardRed Bull Racing+ 23.352
4T. GlockToyota+ 42.627
5F. MassaFerrari+ 43.934
6J. TrulliToyota+ 47.775
7R. BarrichelloHonda+ 53.597
8S. VettelScuderia Toro Rosso+ 54.120
9H. KovalainenMcLaren+ 54.433
10N. RosbergWilliams+ 57.749
11J. ButtonHonda+ 1:17.540
12M. WebberRed Bull Racing+ 1:21.229
13S. BourdaisScuderia Toro Rosso+ 1 laps
Did not finish
14G. FisichellaForce India F1+ 17 laps
15K. NakajimaWilliams+ 23 laps
16F. AlonsoRenault+ 25 laps
17N. Piquet jr.Renault+ 29 laps
18K. RäikkönenFerrari+ 50 laps
19L. HamiltonMcLaren+ 50 laps
20A. SutilForce India F1+ 56 laps