Hamilton wins as Ferrari strategy fails

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian GP, making the best of a two stop strategy. Romain Grosjean finished in second place with Sergio Pérez third on the podium. Sebatian Vettel finished fourth after a late pitstop while Fernando Alonso is 5th after struggling to the end on badly worn tyres.

Strangely for the Canadian GP, there are no incidents at all during the start. Sebastian Vettel easily kept his pole position, ahead of Hamilton and Alonso. Webber got immediately involved in a fight with Rosberg but he was nonetheless able to retain his position.

3 turns into the race, Rosberg had to back out of the fight, giving Massa a chance to close up on him and challenge the Mercedes AMG driver for the next few laps.

At the end of lap 2, on the longest straight Massa then passes Rosberg easily and moves up to 5th place. Behind Rosberg ther is Di Resta, Grosjean, Schumacher and Button. The latter is struggling to keep up with the cars ahead, most likely because he is having trouble getting the option tyres warmed up properly, even despite the track temperature being 47°C.

At the end of lap 3, with DRS enabled, Di Resta also easily passes Rosberg.

On lap 6, Massa overcooks turn 1 and spins off the track. He drops down from P5 to P12 and subsequently started complaining about tyre vibrations due to flatspotting the tyres during his spin.

On lap 10, Vettel leads 1.8s over Hamilton. Alonso is 1.4s down on Hamilton. Webber follows at 3.7s behind Alonso, with 6 seconds behind him a group led by Di Resta and followed by Rosberg, Grosjean, Schumacher, Button, Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Massa, Pérez and Hulkenberg. All drivers in this pack have less than a second in between them.

On lap 13 Massa is the first to dive into the pitlane and change from the soft option tyres to the harder prime compound. He returns to the track in 19th position, behind Senna and ahead of Petrov. One lap later Di Resta and Schumacher are in as well, rejoining the track a few seconds ahead of Massa.

On lap 15 more things start to move in the dense pack as Raikkonen gets past Button and immediately builds up a gap.

One lap later Button is in the pits and changes from prime to option tyres. Meanwhile at the front Hamilton and Alonso have closed the gap to Vettel considerably, signalling for Vettel that it's time to pit. He does so at the end of lap 16 and changes to primes. He rejoins the track in P5, behind Grosjean.

One lap later Hamilton pits as well and he rejoins the track just ahead of Sebastian Vettel. At the end of that lap Alonso decided to keep going for one extra lap. He makes a perfect stop and rejoins just ahead of Hamilton who obviously now has the advantage with warm tyres and DRS. AT the end of that lap, Hamilton therefore easily gets past Alonso.

At the end of lap 21, Grosjean pits from the lead, handing it to Hamilton. The McLaren driver is 0.7s ahead of Alonso and another half a second to Vettel. Closely behind them are a number of cars that haven't pitted yet, with Raikkonen in 4th, Kobayashi 5th and Pérez 6th.

On lap 23 Karthikeyan spins out and parks his car a few turns further down the track.

By lap 25 Hamilton has pulled away from his closest competitors and has built a gap of 2.9 seconds to Alonso. The Spaniard meanwhile is closely followed by Vettel but has a margin just big enough to fend off any passing attempts.

On lap 27 De la Rosa is also in the pits to abandon the race. It appears his left front brake failed due to overheating. HRT already had brake problems on Friday and seemingly did not get around the issue since diagnosing the issue.

On lap 34 Button is in the pits again, changing super soft tyres for another set of super softs. He pitted from P14 and rejoins the track 17th.

One lap later, at the halfway mark, Hamilton is 3.9s ahead of Alonso and another 1.6s to Vettel. Raikkonen is 4th 5.5s behind Vettel and closely matched by Pérez. Both men are still running on their initial sets of prime tyres. Mark Webber meanwhile is less than a second behind Pérez. Rosberg is 4 seconds behind him. Thereafter are Grosjean, Massa and 11s further down we find Di Resta in 10th, just ahead of Kobayashi and Schumacher. By now, both HRT's are out while the Marussia cars have both been lapped once.

On lap 40 Raikkonen pits from 4th and rejoins the track on super softs in 8th place. Two laps later Pérez pits as well and rejoins the track just ahead of Raikkonen after having run his previous stint behind the Lotus. Both are now closely behind Rosberg who is on the harder tyre.

On lap 44 Schumacher pits for new tyres and a DRS issue. The team can't get the stuck flap closed, allowing the car out again. Schumacher though returns to the pits one lap later, and with the team still unable to close the flap, the car is pulled back into the pitlane. This marks yet another technical DNF for Schumacher who keeps being unlucky.

On lap 51 Hamilton pits a second time, taking on another set of prime tyres. He rejoined the track in P3, few seconds ahead of Webber and Grosjean. The Red Bull driver pits and takes another set of primes. He rejoins just ahead of Grosjean's teammate Kimi Raikkkonen in 8th.

On lap 53 Button makes another pitstop and gets back on track in 16th position, one lap down on Alonso.

At the start of lap 56, Alonso leads Vettel by 3.1 seconds. Hamilton is 8 seconds behind Vettel but is lapping a full second quicker. With the two front runners seemingly aiming to go to the end, the end of the race might unfold into an interesting battle for the win. That is, is Alonso and Vettel tyres will last until the end.

That same lap, Massa gets past Rosberg. Pérez also managed to pass by at the same time, and the next lap thanks to DRS passes Massa as well. At turn 6 of lap 59 Massa loses another place to Rosberg and eventually pits. Massa will do the final 11 laps on super softs after rejoining the track in 10th position.

With 10 laps to go, Alonso is 2.3 seconds ahead of Vettel, and another 2 to Hamilton. The latter is absolutely flying on his fresher tyres and is little more than a second a lap faster than the guys in front. At the end of lap 62 Hamilton strolls past Vettel with DRS deployed.

2 laps later Vettel pits to complete 6 more laps on the super softs. At the end of that lap, Alonso gets passed by Hamilton at the straight. Meanwhile Grosjean is coming up quickly behind Alonso and will take second place soon as well.

On lap 67, after Grosjean passed Alonso, Pérez is the next guy to come up to Alonso. The Mexican is 3 seconds a lap faster than Alonso, the latter obviously struggling badly on tyres that have gone way beyong the well known cliff.

On lap 68, with 2 laps remaining, Alonso gets passed by Pérez and is now 4th. Vettel also passes Alonso at the end of that lap, relegating Alonso to 5th.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamLapsTimeGridPts
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes70Winner225
210Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault70+2.5 secs718
315Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari70+5.2 secs1515
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault70+7.2 secs112
55Fernando AlonsoFerrari70+13.4 secs310
68Nico RosbergMercedes AMG70+13.8 secs58
72Mark WebberRed Bull Racing-Renault70+15.0 secs46
89Kimi RäikkönenLotus-Renault70+15.5 secs124
914Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari70+24.4 secs112
106Felipe MassaFerrari70+25.2 secs61
1111Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes70+37.6 secs8
1212Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes70+46.2 secs13
1318Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault70+47.0 secs22
1416Daniel RicciardoSTR-Ferrari70+64.4 secs14
1517Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Ferrari69+1 Lap19
163Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes69+1 Lap10
1719Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault69+1 Lap16
1820Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault69+1 Lap17
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault69+1 Lap18
2025Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth67+3 Lap23
Ret24Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth54+14 Lap21
Ret7Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG43+27 Laps9
Ret22Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth24+46 Laps20
Ret23Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth22+48 Laps24