Canadian GP – Hamilton’s Maiden Victory

OK, first up, I skipped the Monaco GP. One of my favourite circuits, but this year I was somewhat disappointed by the result and the ensuing media hype and couldn’t really bring myself to say anything about it.

Hamilton victorious

So coming into the Canadian GP I was excited to see how it would play out, often an interesting circuit that throws things into chaos with the ever present walls, and Hamilton fresh to this track whilst desperate for his maiden win, and maybe, just maybe after the last race – something to prove as well?

When it came to the qualifying it was pretty evident that Hamilton wanted to stamp his authority over it, but Alonso seemed to have the measure of him and could come back, but come the final session Hamilton mastered it, his line through the final chicane was both awesome and brave, handling it perfectly and thus relegating Alonso to 2nd when he was ahead through the first 2 sectors but failed to nail the final chicane with such aplomb.

Come race day I was concerned with the hype pre-race, it seems to be a nasty trait we British have of pinning too many of our hopes on to people, hyping it too much, and ultimately destroying it. I’ll be honest, it filled me with fear, and yet at the same time I was full of hope that Hamilton could do it. We hit race time, the lights went out and they were off, Hamilton took the sensible option of going defensive against Heidfeld, and then as Alonso surged forward I thought that was it, another Alonso win was on the way. And then as they snaked round Turn 1 on to Turn 2, Alonso was across the grass and almost collected. Hang on, Hamilton was in the lead, oh yeah!

After that, I just can’t believe how much went on, so many people I know tell me F1 is boring, just a procession of cars going round and round, well this was the race to prove those doubters wrong. I can’t remember such an eventful race for a long time. The safety car was out 4 times, Hamilton’s 20 second lead was dropped to nothing first time out. One of the worst crashes we have seen for a long time. 2 cars black flagged (Massa and Fisichella) for exiting the pit lane under a red light, cars into the wall (Sutil was first with that honour). Alonso losing it and struggling through the whole race, was he struggling whilst outclassed by his team mate? He’s either on top beating his team mate, or he really struggles, after his dominance in Monaco, were the cracks starting to appear this time? Later he received a 10 second stop and go penalty along with Rosberg for pitting under the safety car, falling foul of new rules for 2007. Granted, he performed a valiant fight back to grasp what points he could.

Personally I quite enjoyed Raikonnen struggling, you can’t help but wonder if Ferrari are scratching their heads? What did they pay all that money for? Massa appears the better driver. Ralph Schumacher with another poor performance, although he managed to salvage a point by the finish, will this be his last season? Finally one of the best things towards the end of the race was Takuma Sato getting into the points in the closing laps, and then incredibly making up places – most of all, passing Alonso! That must be a moment that will stay with him for some time, and maybe one that will stay with Alonso too.

I’ve come away from this race impressed by Sato, thankful that Kubica came away from his accident with just a sprained ankle and mild concussion (Well done to the medical teams and marshals in their response, and it just goes to show what excellent work the FIA do on safety) , but of course most of all ecstatic to see Hamilton’s well deserved maiden victory under extreme conditions. If he can keep his head under those circumstances whilst driving in only his 6th F1 race, what does the future hold for him once he has some experience under his belt?

I really can’t wait for the American GP now, maybe I’m asking too much but I can’t wait to see if Hamilton can manage the double, and are we looking at a rookie starting to build his first championship win? Maybe, just maybe.


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