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McLaren's Hamilton wins Canadian GP

Britain's Lewis Hamilton completes a dream weekend by winning the dramatic Canadian Grand Prix, his first Formula One victory.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2007 03:14 IST
Hindustan Times

Britain's Lewis Hamilton completed a dream weekend by winning Sunday's dramatic Canadian Grand Prix, his first Formula One victory.

The 22-year-old rookie McLaren driver had earned his first pole position in Saturday's qualifying event and was able to convert that advantage into a race win with a display that confirms his drivers' world championship credentials.

On his debut race at Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve circuit, Hamilton held off BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and dealt with the safety car being deployed on four occasions to underline his sparkling talent and return to the top of the championship.

It was McLaren's second win in a row after Spaniard Fernando Alonso's victory at Monaco, their third of the season and their 151st in total.

In the sixth race of the season this was Hamilton's sixth consecutive podium finish, a record for a rookie, but it is the maiden victory that will have delighted him the most.

Germany's Alex Wurz of Williams was third ahead of Finns Heikki Kovalainen of Renault and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

When the lights went green Hamilton was forced to desperately defend from Alonso and Heidfield who charged into second.

Heidfeld's fast start forced Alonso to slide on to the grass but he managed to return to the track in third place while Hamilton immediately set about opening up a large lead.

The young Briton made his first pit stop after 22 laps and seconds after he re-emerged, the safety car was deployed when the Spyker of German Adrian Sutil slid into a wall.

When the racing resumed Hamilton led from Heidfeld and Alonso but there was little time for overtaking as Poland's Robert Kubica slid off the circuit and crashed into a wall causing another yellow flag.

Kubica's BMW Sauber flew across the track and barrel rolled before hitting another wall on the other side of the tarmac. He was later confirmed to be in a conscious stable condition with a leg injury.

Racing began again after 33 laps and Hamilton set about restoring a good margin from Heidfeld with Australia's Mark Webber third in a Red Bull.

Hamilton and Heidfeld pitted for a second time after 48 laps and the Englishman was able to re-emerge over nine seconds ahead of Webber.

But his lead was again reined in by the safety car after 50 laps. During this period the race was ended for Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault and then Felipe Massa's Ferrari who were each shown black flags for exiting the pits on a red light.

The safety car withdrew with 16 laps to go with Hamilton still in front from Heidfeld but Vitantiono Liuzzi soon crashed in his Torro Rosso and drew another yellow flag.

Now just ten laps remained and Hamilton again began to open up a gap from Heidfeld. This time there was to be no drama and Hamilton took the chequered flag 4.3 seconds ahead of Heidfeld.

It was McLaren's tenth victory in this race and the 15th time a driver on pole has won the Canadian Grand Prix.

First Published: Jun 11, 2007 00:48 IST