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Sun, 10 June, 2012Hamilton makes it seven from seven in Canada

  • Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) on the podium. © McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton made Formula One history in Canada on Sunday by becoming the seventh driver to win in the first seven races after coming from third in the closing stages to record a much-needed victory. The Briton pitted from the lead with 20 laps to go, before excessive tyre degradation for Alonso and Vettel ahead allowed the McLaren to pounce for the win.

Vettel led in the opening stages from pole position, but was caught and passed by both Hamilton and Alonso at the first round of stops. The trio remained closely matched throughout their second stints, with no more than six seconds between them, until Hamilton made his second trip down pitlane on lap 50, expecting his close rivals to follow suit soon after.

But, with Grosjean lurking not far behind in fourth, Alonso and Vettel both gambled to stay out and fight for the win. After being caught and easily passed by Hamilton on lap 62 however, Vettel made a late dash to the pits, dropping him from second to fifth at the time, but it was Alonso who lost out most as he plummetted from the lead to fifth in just seven laps.

The Spaniard stayed in the lead until lap 64 when the fast-charging Hamilton, on fresher tyres, easily overhauled the Ferrari, with Alonso subsequently hitting the infamous cliff with his soft Pirelli tyres, costing him over a second a lap. He was passed by Grosjean, Pérez and Vettel within sight of the flag, with the finish coming just soon enough to stay ahead of Rosberg.

Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Sauber's Sergio Pérez were the biggest benefactors from Alonso and Vettel's demises, as they claimed their second podium finishes of the year in second and third. Grosjean, despite being stuck behind slower cars for the majority of the race, came from seventh on the grid on a one-stop strategy to finish just 2.5 seconds behind Hamilton, while Pérez came from 13th on the grid to finish 2.7 seconds further adrift.

Alonso's fifth place keeps him well in contention for the championship fight, just two points shy of new leader Hamilton after leading home a tight battle between Rosberg, Webber and Räikkönen. Like Hamilton and Vettel, Webber made two pitstops due to the unexpectedly high tyre wear, and spent his entire final stint stuck between Rosberg and Räikkönen, with no overtaking despite the powerful DRS zone.

Rounding out the points scorers in ninth and tenth were Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Ferrari's Felipe Massa on one- and two-stop strategies respectively. Force India's Paul di Resta finished 11th some 12 seconds off Massa.

Four drivers failed to make the finish. Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan all retired with brake problems, while Michael Schumacher had to retire his Mercedes when his DRS jammed open just after half distance.

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