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GP Week : Issue 157
32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Sebastian Vettel’s second pole position of the year wasn’t quite enough to give him his second win of the year after failing to make his one-stop strategy work. He was the first of the front-runners to pit, ultimately dropping him to third, before a second pitstop just seven laps from the finish removed him from the top three although he was able to pass Alonso before the finish. While Vettel’s move to a two-stop came late on, Webber ’s two-stop strategy was set much earlier on after struggling with tyre degradation, but it was traffic in the middle of his middle stint that cost him dearly, ultimately dropping him behind Rosberg in the fight for sixth. Mercedes’ expected performance advantage on Montreal’s long straights never manifested itself at the weekend, as Rosberg and Schumacher never truly challenged the frontrunners. Rosberg’s race was running to plan in sixth place until he came across an ailing Massa, with the resulting jostle for position at the final chicane costing the German a place to Perez. With Perez ultimately going on to finish on the podium, the incident was a costly one for Rosberg who finished only sixth. Schumacher failed to reach the finish yet again after a mechanical problem with his DRS forced his retirement from 12th. Lewis Hamilton celebrated McLaren’s 300th Grand Prix being powered by Mercedes engines to take a crucial victory in his championship challenge and return to the top of the drivers’ standings. He took the lead after the first round of stops having leapfrogged Vettel in the pits and passing Alonso on-track, but lost the lead when he pitted for a second time. With fresh tyres he was able to breeze past both Vettel and Alonso to take the win though. Button continued to struggle with tyres and ended the race 16th, same as Monaco, finishing more than 100 seconds behind Hamilton. Lotus recorded their fourth podium finish of the campaign courtesy of another admirable drive by rookie Romain Grosjean from seventh on the grid. The Frenchman one-stopped his way to second place after doing an outstanding job to conserve his tyres on a mammoth 49-lap stint to the finish. He may even have challenged for victory if he hadn’t been caught behind Rosberg for the first half of the race. Raikkonen scored four points in eighth after a problematic qualifying put him only 12th on the grid. He wasn’t quite quick enough on the super soft tyre on his final stint to take advantage of Webber’s second pitstop. Ferrari scored their second double points finish in a row on Sunday, with Alonso in fifth and Massa in tenth, but it could have been so much more. Alonso ran second for much of the race, but unexpectedly high tyre degradation in the closing laps of the race saw him fall from the lead to fifth in six laps, although he remained firmly behind his team’s strategy after the race. Massa also looked like challenging for the podium after climbing to fifth on the second lap, but dropped to 12th on lap six when he spun at turns 1 and 2. He was closing on Webber at the time but finished tenth, ten seconds behind the Aussie. Force India failed to score a point for only the second time this year after taking the chequered flag in 11th and 12th places on Sunday. Di Resta was hoping for points from eighth place, but didn’t have the pace on the soft tyre to take the challenge to the cars around him. Degradation on the supersoft forced an early pitstop from fifth and ultimately dropped him from the fight for points. Hulkenberg was similarly left wanting for pace, after failing to make his two-stop strategy work. He finished nine seconds behind his Scottish team-mate. Red Bull Mercedes McLaren Lotus Ferrari Force India TEAM-BY-TEAM: CANADIAN GRAND PRIX F1 >>> CANADA