Hamilton takes maiden win in chaotic GP

Lewis Hamilton took his first Grand Prix victory in only his sixth Formula One race, controlling a highly dramatic race at Montreal from the start

Hamilton takes maiden win in chaotic GP

Nick Heidfeld and Alex Wurz completed the podium, with Fernando Alonso only seventh after a series of errors, while Felipe Massa was disqualified for a pitlane infringement.

Hamilton's win has moved him clearly ahead in the championship standings, eight points in front of teammate Alonso ahead of next week's United States Grand Prix. Massa is already 15 points behind in third.

But the race will be remembered mainly for the terrifying accident that befell Robert Kubica.

Hamilton held the lead from the start as Alonso's bid to oust his teammate on the outside line at Turn 1 ended with a locked wheel and a trip across the grass, dropping the world champion to third as Heidfeld nipped between the McLarens.

Two further minor errors saw Alonso lose more time and eventually third place to Massa, while Hamilton stormed away into a 12-second lead over Heidfeld.

Hamilton then made his first pitstop just before Adrian Sutil crashed at Turn 4 and caused the first safety car period. Alonso and fifth-placed Nico Rosberg both dived straight into the pits, but were adjudged to have done so while the pitlane was closed, and were subsequently awarded 10 second stop and go penalties.

The race resumed only briefly before Kubica clipped the back of Jarno Trulli's Toyota while running flat out on the approaching to the hairpin. The BMW ran wide onto the infield grass, got airborne over an access road and slammed into the inside wall, before rolling back across the track and coming to rest on its side in the hairpin run-off.

Kubica was carefully removed from the car and taken to the medical centre, where he was awake and alert. He was airlifted to hospital in Montreal for further checks.

Hamilton led from Heidfeld - who had also pitted before the first yellow - Alonso and Rosberg when the restart eventually came, but when the latter pair pitted to take their penalties, Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson appeared in third, having not yet made his first pit stop.

His moment of glory was only fleeting, as he locked up at the final chicane a lap later and had to take to the pitlane, to the surprise of his crew.

Alonso fell to 15th after his penalty, with Rosberg losing even more ground after spinning in tandem with Jarno Trulli shortly after he rejoined the race.

Meanwhile Hamilton pulled away from Heidfeld, Mark Webber, who spun while battling with Kubica early on but benefited from pitting before the first safety car, Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella. But the latter pair would be disqualified for exiting the pitlane while the red light was on during a safety car period, ending Massa's hopes of making up ground on Alonso in the championship.

Webber also dropped out of contention after making his second pitstop just after the third safety car period, which was called on lap 50 when Christijan Albers deposited much of his front wing in the middle of the track after a trip over the grass.

Once again the restart was brief, as Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed out of fifth place at the final chicane on the first lap under green.

That proved to be the final interruption, with Hamilton confidently pulling away from Heidfeld after the restart. Rubens Barrichello had moved up to third by not pitting under the cautions, but could not make his fuel load last any longer and stopped three laps later, elevating Wurz to the podium on the tenth anniversary of his F1 debut, despite only qualifying 20th.

Heikki Kovalainen used a similarly successful one-stop strategy to take fourth from the back of the grid, ahead of the muted Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso had made up several places during the middle of the race, but lost more ground after his fourth trip across the grass of the afternoon. He then came under pressure from the remarkable Takuma Sato in the final laps, with the Super Aguri - on the more favourable harder tyres - driving around the outside of the McLaren to take sixth with three laps remaining.

Ralf Schumacher completed the points scorers, ahead of Webber and Rosberg.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada; 70 laps; 305.270km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1h44:11.292 2. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 4.343 3. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) + 5.325 4. Kovalainen Renault (B) + 6.729 5. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 13.007 6. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 16.698 7. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 21.936 8. R.Schumacher Toyota (B) + 22.888 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 22.960 10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 23.984 11. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 24.318 12. Barrichello Honda (B) + 30.439 Fastest lap: Alonso, 1:16.367 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Trulli Toyota (B) 59 Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 55 Massa Ferrari (B) 53 Fisichella Renault (B) 53 Albers Spyker-Ferrari (B) 48 Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 37 Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 26 Sutil Spyker-Ferrari (B) 22 Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 10 Button Honda (B) 1 World Championship standings, round 6: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Hamilton 48 1. McLaren-Mercedes 88 2. Alonso 40 2. Ferrari 60 3. Massa 33 3. BMW Sauber 38 4. Raikkonen 27 4. Renault 21 5. Heidfeld 26 5. Williams-Toyota 13 6. Fisichella 13 6. Toyota 6 7. Kubica 12 7. Red Bull-Renault 4 8. Kovalainen 8 8. Super Aguri-Honda 4 9. Wurz 8 10. Rosberg 5 11. Trulli 4 12. Coulthard 4 13. Sato 4 14. R.Schumacher 2 All timing unofficial 
Trulli expects issues with Turn 8

Previous article

Trulli expects issues with Turn 8

Next article

Hamilton celebrates 'historic' day

Hamilton celebrates 'historic' day
Load comments
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Plus

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021