PHENOMENAL Lewis Hamilton stormed to the top of the drivers’ championship leader board with a special win in the Canadian Grand Prix.
The McLaren ace becomes the seventh different driver to top the podium this season after overhauling rival Sebastian Vettel to seal a second Canadian triumph in three years.
Hamilton’s first ever career win came at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007, and with Jensen Button clinching a first place finish last season, McLaren’s monopoly of Canada now stretches all the way back to Robert Kubica’s win in 2008.That emotion inside, it’s like an explosion. It’s really just incredible. It’s what I love best about motor racing
Efficiency in the pits combined with Red Bull’s reluctance to stop more than once paved the way for Hamilton to collect 25 valuable points and hoist him above Fernando Alonso and into pole position in the standings.
After securing the 18th win of his career and the first of an up and down season, Hamilton said: “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.”
Hamilton twinned aggression and maturity to edge his war of attrition with Vettel.
His two-stop strategy proved pivotal as he capitalised on his rivals’ fading tyres to move from third to first in the final few laps.
“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, and at that point I already felt sure I’d be involved in 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.”