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GP Week : Issue 120
Team-By-Team: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal Coming from last place to first in 30 laps, and fourth to first in five laps underlined just how great a drive Button put in on Sunday, albeit aided hugely by the numerous safety car periods. His pace was unmatched in the final five laps and he was able to reel in and pass Schumacher, Webber and Vettel to take his tenth career win. Lewis Hamilton endured another character-building weekend after a tough qualifying and then retiring after clashing with Button. He had earlier tangled with Webber and was lying 7th when he retired. Despite leaving Canada with extended leads in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships, Red Bull were mourning the loss of another victory that was within their grasp after Vettel made a crucial error on the final lap to let Button through for the win. Vettel had led all the way but couldn’t hold off under pressure. Webber finished in third after passing Schumacher late on, having earlier been compromised by a spin caused by Lewis Hamilton at the first corner. Although he quickly recovered, he didn’t have the pace to challenge for the win in the final laps. Vitaly Petrov kept Renault’s points tally ticking over in fifth place, but it could have been much more had Nick Heidfeld not retired from sixth place with just 15 laps to go. The team-mates had been racing line astern throughout the race, with Heidfeld ahead, but the German crashed on lap 56 when his front wing detached after hitting Kobayashi. Petrov was then able to overtake Kobayashi to secure fifth in the final ten laps when the Japanese driver ran wide, but didn’t have the pace to catch fourth-placed Schumacher. It’s the first time he has scored points in three races. It was a bitter-sweet Canadian Grand Prix for seven-time winner Michael Schumacher, who scored his best finish of the season in fourth, but missed out on the podium having been second in the closing laps. Pitting earlier than most for intermediates at half-distance proved pivotal to his result, before setting incredibly quick laptimes to bring him into contention. He wasn’t as quick on slicks though, and dropped behind Button and Webber in the closing laps. Having failed to match his team-mate’s pace, Rosberg was on for a solid points finish until the closing stages when he damaged his front wing off Kobayashi’s Sauber at the hairpin. The wing came free altogether on the last lap and he dropped to 11th. Rubens Barrichello was disappointed to finish only ninth after feeling he could have finished as high as sixth. He lost three places while trying to avoid contact with Kobayashi who had run wide while passing a backmarker and although he gained a place when Rosberg dropped back on the final lap, he was still lamenting the loss of more points. Maldonado should have been in the points too but crashed at turn 2 after overcooking his exit from the pitlane. He had damaged his front wing after colliding with Rosberg in the Kobayashi scramble. Having looked as the main challengers to Red Bull for victory after pushing them hard in qualifying, Ferrari failed to deliver after getting strategy calls wrong in the rain. Alonso made an error in pitting for intermediates too early, essentially costing him two stops, before then getting tapped into a spin by Button which ended his race. Massa was on course for a podium finish until he spun into a wall while lapping a HRT. He required a new nose, but marched back through the field to gain five places in the last ten laps for sixth. 30