четверг, 14 июня 2007 г.

2007 Formula 1 World Championship, 6th round in Montreal: Canadian Grand Prix - Maiden Victory for Lewis Hamilton

* Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes lead both World Championships
* Fernando Alonso seventh following an extra pit stop due to a stop-and-go penalty
* Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

Montreal and took his maiden Formula 1 victory in only his sixth race. After 70 laps with four Safety Car periods, Lewis won 4.3sec ahead of Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) and Alexander Wurz (Williams Toyota). Fernando Alonso ended up seventh following an extra pit stop due to a 10sec stop-and-go penalty. It is the 47th victory for the McLaren Mercedes partnership. In the drivers' championship, Lewis Hamilton took the lead with 48 points ahead of Fernando Alonso with 40 points. After six of the season's 17 races, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes heads the constructors' table with 88 points ahead of Ferrari on 60.



The start: Lewis Hamilton started the race from his first Formula 1 pole position with Fernando Alonso lining up alongside him in second place on the front row of the grid. The Spaniard had the better start; however, he ran wide at the first corner and dropped to third, behind Lewis and Heidfeld.

The race : On lap 22, Lewis came in for his first routine stop and resumed in fourth place after 9.0sec. The Safety Car was deployed one lap later following an accident of Adrian Sutil (Spyker Ferrari). Fernando now made his first pitstop (7.8sec).

When the race was re-started at the end of lap 26, Lewis was in the lead again ahead of Heidfeld and Fernando. Only one lap later, the Safety Car came out again after an accident of Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber).

The next re-start followed at the end of lap 33. Due to an 10sec stop-and-go penalty for pitting too early during the first Safety Car period, Fernando came in on lap 36. The Spaniard dropped to 13th. On lap 46, he posted the fastest lap of the race (1min16.367).

Lap 48: Second routine stop of Lewis (6.0sec); he maintained the lead. After an accident of Christijan Albers (Spyker Ferrari), a third safety car period followed on lap 51. Fernando made his second regular pit stop on lap 53 5.7.sec). The race was re-started one lap later.

Safety Car period number four started on lap 56, when Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Toro Rosso was stationary on the front straight with the re-start following on lap 60. After 70 laps, Lewis took the chequered flag for his first Grand Prix victory; Fernando came home seventh.

Comments

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m on another planet after this – I simply can’t find the words to describe what it feels like to win my first Formula 1 race. The team has done a fantastic job and I’m so happy to be part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes family. I made an OK start off the line – nothing spectacular but managed to get a good exit out of the first corner and whilst mayhem was happening around me I was able to keep my cool and focus. Obviously I’m pleased that my good friend Robert is OK after his accident. It seemed like every time I opened up a bit of a gap the Safety Car came out and I had to start all over again. It was only a few laps from the end I realised that victory was within my grasp and I started noticing things like the fans cheering and when I crossed the finishing line it was amazing. I now have to stay focused and keep up the good work. It’s been an incredible start to my Formula 1 career so far but I know there is a tough season ahead of us. Finally thanks to the entire team at McLaren and Mercedes-Benz for all the hard work they have put into the car – it’s an absolute pleasure to drive and be part of such a winning combination.”

Fernando Alonso: “I think this was a strange race with the Safety Car being deployed so many times which worked to Lewis’ advantage today and my disadvantage. I came into the pits for the first time on lap 24 as I had no more fuel so basically there was nothing I could do. It was a shame as this resulted in a ten second penalty but I guess that unfortunately those are the rules but there was no alternative other than to stop on track with no fuel. After that I had to push as hard as possible because I was stuck in the middle of the field and when you push to the maximum you sometimes go off track but at that stage there was nothing to lose. Whilst it was a difficult race for me I’m pleased for the team and Lewis that we were able to secure some important points and Lewis winning his first race and also that Robert is OK. I hope for a bit more luck for the US Grand Prix next week and at least I can leave having scored two points more than .”

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: “The whole team worked so hard to achieve the optimum result today. The frustration and disappointment of receiving a stop-and-go penalty having been forced to stop in the pitlane when the pitlane was closed in the first safety car period was obviously immense. However this in no way should detract from a mature and disciplined drive by Lewis to claim his first Grand Prix win. His family should be justifiably proud of his achievement and whatever McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have contributed only compliments his talent and commitment. Fernando was truly unlucky today but there is still a long way to go in the World Championship and we appear to be extremely competitive. The entire team is obviously delighted that Robert Kubica is OK.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Lewis took his first Grand Prix victory in his sixth Formula 1 race. He did the best job of all and kept cool throughout. Congratulations and compliments to him. Fernando fell victim to the new Safety Car rules and received a stop-and-go penalty because he had to refuel as the pits were still closed during the first safety car phase, but when the tank is empty you have no other choice than to come in. He posted the fastest lap of race and was a contender for the podium, but at least he scored a couple of points under difficult circumstances. We have won three out of the six races and finished all the race laps with both cars so far this year and are the only team to have finished every race in the points. Thank you to everybody in the team for their great efforts to make this possible. We now look forward to the US Grand Prix in in one week’s time. The most important news today is that Robert Kubica is OK after his horrifying accident.”

Source: DaimlerChrysler

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