By Jayme Monsanto, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal last weekend to move into the lead in the 2010 Formula One Season with 109 points. The race was held at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit last Sunday, and the 25-year old Brit was joined on the podium by his teammate and reigning World Champion Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who finished in third position.
The weather in Montreal was bitterly cold in the lead up to the race, but on Sunday the weather quickly changed. Racing on a hot sunny day can complicate the durability of F1 tires, making them wear badly, quickly. Since the top ten cars on the grid are required to start the race on the same tires they used in the final qualifying stage, this complicated the strategies of several teams, giving an extra edge to the other drivers and helping to create an open and memorable race.
Hamilton claimed pole position after qualifying and was chased closely throughout the race by Alonso and Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Webber even managed to take the lead on lap 28, keeping in front until lap 40, when he had to change his badly worn tires and Hamilton took back the lead.
It was not to be a good day for the Brazilian drivers, meanwhile, with Felipe Massa suffering an accident on the first lap when his Ferrari hit a Force India car meaning he dropped down to last position. Massa was in the process of a good recovery race, but eventually succumbed to further mechanical problems and was only able to finish in 15th place. Rubens Barrichello of Williams completed the Montreal circuit just one position ahead of him in 14th.
The other two Brazilian drivers had even worse days at the track. Bruno Senna had to retire from the race on the 23rd lap after his Hispania’s gearbox broke down. Lucas di Grassi finished the race in the last (19th) place, five laps behind Hamilton.
It was the second straight victory for Hamilton, who also won the Turkish Grand Prix on May 30th. The Brit also took the championship lead from RBR driver Mark Webber, who finished the Grand Prix in 5th. Webber is now in 3rd place in the rankings with 103 points while Jenson Button, reigning world champion, is in 2nd place with 106 points. Fernando Alonso now sits in 4th on 94 points, while Sebastian Vettel is in 5th, with 90.
The next event of the F1 Racing Season is the European GP, which takes place on June 27th in the Valencia Street Circuit, in Valencia, Spain.