Lewis Hamilton was elated after winning the Canadian Grand Prix, saying the win on Sunday was as special as the first time he had won in Montreal five years ago.
Hamilton became the seventh different winner in seven Formula 1 races this season with his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, the place where he won the first race of his career in 2007.
“(This is) One of the most enjoyable races that I’ve had (this season) until now,” said Hamilton, adding that he fought on despite tire degradation. “I was very, very surprised that I was able to look after my tires and then push at the times I needed to push. I think the team did a really great job with the pit stops and the strategy.”
An early battle for the lead raged between Hamilton, two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel and 2012 F1 drivers’ championship leader Fernando Alonso. Vettel took the lead, after starting in the pole position, and stayed out in front for the race’s first 16 laps.
After all three made pit stops to change tires, Alonso was out in front. Hamilton quickly passed him and held the lead until the second series of stops, on lap 50. Just as had happened in Bahrain earlier this year, Hamilton’s crew struggled during a stop and Hamilton left the pits in third place, trailing Alonso and Vettel. Hamilton slashed away at the gap during the race’s final 20 laps. He disposed of Vettel on lap 62 and focused on Alonso, whom he slipped past three laps later.
From there, Hamilton started knocking off laps and headed for the checkered flag. to win the race. Romain Grosjean finished the Canadian Grand Prix in second place and Sergio Perez was third. Vettel and Alonso finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Hamilton had previously won in Montreal in 2007, his first season in Formula 1, and 2010. Hamilton is only the third driver to manage the Canadian Grand Prix hat-trick. Michael Schumacher won the race seven times (1994, 1997 and 1998, 2000 and 2002 to 2004) and Nelson Piquet won in three (1982, 1984 and 1991).
“What a great feeling this is where I won my first grand prix,” said Hamilton. “I knew today would be tough, but I loved every single minute of it… It’s been five years since I won the first time here, but it feels just as good.”
By virtue of the win in Montreal, Hamilton takes over the lead in the F1 World Championship drivers standings. He has 88 points, two ahead of second place Alonso and three up on Vettel.
The eighth race on the Formula 1 calendar is the Grand Prix of Europe, which will be run on June 24 in Valencia, Spain.