Monday, June 11, 2012

Montreal GP - Hamilton is Lucky 7!

MONTREAL, CANADA – Formula One has sure had an interesting season. Coming into the Montreal GP, there have been 6 separate winners in six races. Canada was going to be no different with Lewis Hamilton crossing the finish line first in his McLaren, and becoming the seventh winner this year. Romain Grosjean came in second in his Lotus with Sergio Perez third for team Sauber. Sebastian Vettel initially led from the pole position, but Hamilton was able to keep him in close range. Following the first set of pit stops starting on lap 16, Vettel was the first to come in, then Hamilton on lap 17 and Alonso on lap 18. Alonso came up on top on after the stops, but Hamilton was able to rocket past the two gaining the lead.
Hamilton easily held the lead and was able to put a few seconds between him and the Ferrari. However, a poor pit stop for the McLaren resulted in him coming up in third place. It looked bleak for the Brit as it appeared that Renault and Ferrari had planned a one-stop strategy. But the one-stop strategy proved to be a poor one on lap 62 as he blasted past Vettel and reeled in and past Alonso by lap 65. The degrading tires on the Ferrari and Renault were taking their toll on lap times. This gave Grosjean in the Lotus and Perez in the Sauber opportunity to move into second and third place. Vettel finally made the choice to come in for tires on lap 63 and was also able to shame the Ferrari. “I always knew today’s race was going to be incredibly tough. So, in the first stint, I was really pleased that I could keep up with Seb [Vettel], and at that point I already felt sure I’d be involved the fight for victory. Our strategy was always for a two-stopper: we knew it was going to be the fastest way to get to the finish. I looked after my tires really well today, and I used them knowing we were going to two-stop.
The win puts Hamilton back on top with 88 championship points, followed by Alonso with 86 and Vettel with 85. The win had extra meaning for Hamilton as Montreal was the track that saw his first win back in 2007.
In related news, ticket sales for the US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas went on sale this past weekend. Legal battles between the race founder/promoter and the race investors were put to rest late Friday in an out-of-court settlement. It was also announced that racing great Mario Andretti has been named the Circuit Ambassador.

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