2012 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX – #montrealhattrick
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Sunday June 10
“A master of his craft at the peak of his form”
300th grand prix together for McLaren, Mobil 1, Mercedes-Benz and Enkei
177th victory for McLaren
73rd victory for McLaren, Mobil 1, Mercedes-Benz and Enkei
29th victory for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
18th victory for Lewis Hamilton
Fastest lap 1m17.020s (+1.268s, 6th)
Pitstops Two: laps 17 and 50 [Opt-Pri-Opt]
Points 88 (1st)
“It’s a phenomenal sensation to come back to Canada and put on a performance like we did today. This win feels as good as my first Formula 1 victory back in 2007. In fact I’d say it’s one of the best races I’ve had for a very long time.
“I feel fantastic, to be honest. Just brilliant. I could hardly believe it when I was driving across the line. That emotion inside, it’s like an explosion. It’s really just incredible. It’s what I love best about motor racing.
“I always knew today’s race was going to be incredibly tough. So, in the first stint, I was really pleased that I could keep up with Seb [Vettel], and at that point I already felt sure I’d be involved the fight for victory. Our strategy was always for a two-stopper: we knew it was going to be the fastest way to get to the finish. I looked after my tyres really well today, and I used them knowing we were going to two-stop.
“I had 100 per cent control and understanding of what was happening in the race – it was one of our best races for that. I told my race engineer, Andy [Latham], to keep the information flowing, and he was fantastic today. I always knew where I was losing or gaining time, which really helped.
“Every win is different. Every victory is new, special and fresh. And to see the team all wearing their Vodafone ‘rocket red’ victory T-shirts, knowing the guys back at the factory are doing the same, makes everything feel even more special.
“Finally, the support from the fans has been amazing – this victory is dedicated to them. I’m so grateful to be here today.”
Fastest lap 1m17.843s (+2.091s, 16th)
Pitstops Two: laps 15, 33 and 52 [Pri-Opt-Opt-Pri]
Points 45 (8th)
“First of all, big congratulations to Lewis and to the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team – they found a lot of speed today and Lewis did a great job.
“For me, though, I didn’t find the speed today, and I couldn’t seem to look after the tyres.
“Generally, the past few Grand Prix weekends haven’t been great for me. But every time you make changes to the car, you’re hopeful that it’s going to go well and give you an improvement, so hopefully we’ll be able to solve it sooner rather than later.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“A hat-trick of Canadian Grand Prix wins for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes [2010, 2011, 2012]! Five wins out of the past seven Canadian Grands Prix for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes [2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012]! The 13th Canadian Grand Prix win in our history – more than any other team! A third Canadian Grand Prix win for Lewis [2007, 2010, 2012]! And Lewis is now leading the Drivers’ World Championship! And all of that in the historic 300th Grand Prix of the McLaren-Mobil1-Mercedes-Enkei partnership!
“So, yes, today was a very good day. Lewis drove brilliantly. He shadowed Seb for the first dozen-or-so laps, then closed right up on him as the first pitstop window approached. When Seb took on fresh rubber on lap 16, Lewis really got the hammer down, made his stop on lap 17, and rejoined the race just ahead of Seb. Then, when Fernando [Alonso] made his pitstop, and re-emerged just ahead of Lewis, he [Lewis] showed his innate racer’s instinct by passing him [Fernando] in short order and then steadily pulling away. It was a majestic performance by a master of his craft at the peak of his form.
“For Jenson, by contrast, today was another day on which we, his team, failed to provide him with the tools with which to do the brilliant job we all know he’s capable of, and which he did so superbly here last year. He lost track time on Friday through no fault of his own, was unable to qualify as well as he would have done had he not lost that track time, and may have been further troubled today by a suspension set-up, different from Lewis’s, that left him with excessive rear tyre wear. We’ll have to check that out.
“Lastly, I want to pay tribute to Akebono, whose brake callipers coped brilliantly on the circuit that by some margin poses the biggest braking challenge of the Formula 1 year.”