Lewis Hamilton became the 7th different race winner of 2012, by chasing down both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to take his third Canadian Grand Prix victory. Both the Ferrari and the Red Bull would drop further back after trying to make a one-stop strategy last too long, which led to the Lotus of Romain Grosjean and the Sauber of Sergio Perez taking the other podium spots respectively.
The first rounds of stops became a heavyweight battle between Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel. The German led initially, but dropped to third after his stop, with Alonso emerging out in front. Lewis would pounce and pass the Ferrari, slowly edging into a comfortable lead position.
Pitstops would be the order of the day in terms of track position – indeed, having the correct strategy would be crucial in being competitive.
With the second round of stops due to commence, Hamilton blinked first, but it became clear that Fernando and Sebastian were going for one-stop-strategy, complete with a very long second stint. It would ultimately prove to be one step too far.
The McLaren would make light work of Vettel, and the closed down and passed Alonso for first, which he would hold on until the end. Vettel would stop again with 7 laps to go – more for damage limitation than anything else – promoting Romain Grosjean to 3rd. This then became 2nd as Alonso struggled for grip and was passed easily, the Lotus showing how a one-stop should be done.
Sergio Perez, also only stopping once, got himself into the mix late on. With Vettel behind him, he too passed the ailing Ferrari of Alonso to take a surprising 3rd place from 15th on the grid. Vettel would rescue his afternoon by snatching 4th. Fernando would eventually wind up way down in 5th.
The rest of the points scoring positions were filled by Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, who finished 6th and 7th respectively, both trying to conventional two-stop that was baulked by slower traffic, and by Kimi Raikkonen (8th), Kamui Kobayashi (9th) and Felipe Massa, who did well to take the final championship point on offer after spinning out of a strong 4th place early on.
One notable retirement was Michael Schumacher, who had to park his car in the Mercedes garage after his DRS flap became stuck open. That’s 5 retirements in the first 7 races for the German legend – surely his luck will change soon?
Canadian Grand Prix – Result
1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes 1h32:29.586
2. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault + 2.513
3. Sergio Perez, Sauber-Ferrari + 5.260
4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault + 7.295
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari + 13.411
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes + 13.842
7. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault + 15.085
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault + 15.567
9. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari + 24.432
10. Felipe Massa, Ferrari + 25.272
11. Paul Di Resta, Force India-Mercedes + 37.693
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes + 46.236
13. Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault + 47.052
14. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:04.475
15. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault + 1 lap
18. Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
19. Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
20. Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps