Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Kubica takes race and points lead after Hamilton's mistake in Canada

Kubica takes race and points lead after Hamilton's mistake in Canada

Robert Kubica grabbed his first Formula One victory and the overall points lead Sunday after Lewis Hamilton made a huge mistake that took him and world champion Kimi Raikkonen out of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who got his first F1 win here last year, slammed his McLaren into the rear of Raikkonen's Ferrari in the pits early in the race, taking out both leaders and giving the 23-year-old BMW Sauber driver a clear road to victory in his 29th F1 start.
It was a great day for the BMW Sauber team, winning for the first time in its 42 races as an F1 team and sweeping the top two spots with Nick Heidfeld finishing second, well ahead of Red Bull Racing's David Coulthard in third.
As Kubica crossed the finish line 16.4 seconds ahead of his teammate _ so far that the runner-up wasn't even in sight on the 2.71-mile track _ a member of his team said on the radio, "That's a historic win, Robert. You are leading the championship points."
The Polish driver's simple answer: "Thanks."
But he did show his excitement in the cockpit, pumping one fist in the air and then the other. Then hugging everyone within reach after getting out of his car.
But, even after finishing second twice this season, Kubica likely would have still been looking for that first win if not for Hamilton's surprising pit road gaffe.
Hamilton started on the pole for the second straight year at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and led until the safety car came out and the leaders pitted on lap 19 of the 70-lap race. That followed Adrian Sutil parking his Force India entry on the grass alongside the track.
Raikkonen, who came into the race trailing Hamilton by three points in the world championship standings, came out ahead of the McLaren driver, along with Kubica, who had been in between Hamilton and Raikkonen. Raikkonen and Kubica stopped side-by-side at a red light at the end of pit road and Hamilton, picking up speed, rammed into Raikkonen's car, knocking off the rear wing. Nico Rosberg then hit the rear of Hamilton's car.
Both Hamilton and Raikkonen quickly climbed from their damaged cars and the Finnish world champion tapped Hamilton on the helmet as he walked past, pointing toward the light. Hamilton, obviously angry at himself, pushed past several cameras in the McLaren garage.
"All of a sudden they stopped," Hamilton said after cooling down a bit. "It's not exactly a racing incident, just one of those things. It's a lot different if you crash into the wall. This sort of thing happens.
"I would rather neither of us be out," the Englishman added. "Next time."
Kubica was untouched in the pit road crash and, after everyone else on the lead lap finally made their first pit stops, he found himself in the lead for good on lap 42.
"The last car (that) went in for the first pit stop was (Timo) Glock and that left me with a clear track," Kubica said. "I knew I had to make a 21-second gap and I managed to get 24, so it was really a great race."
The Pole easily stayed out front as he made his last pit stop on lap 49. After getting back on track just over 4 seconds in front of Heidfeld, Kubica steadily pulled away to the end and never had a close call on a very treacherous track that caused problems for numerous drivers throughout the race.
"The last laps were very, very difficult," Kubica said. "(The team) was saying `Don't push so much' and I was already not pushing already for 10, 15 laps. It was just amazing, as soon as you go offline, you have tires destroyed. It was like sandstorm. It was very, very difficult."
Glock finished fourth in a Toyota, followed by the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, the Toyota of Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello's Honda and, in the final points position, Sebastian Vettel of Toro Rosso, who had to start at the back of the 20-car field after crashing in Saturday's practice.
Heading into the French Grand Prix in two weeks, Kubica leads the standings with 42 points, followed by Hamilton and Massa tied for second with 38 and Raikkonen with 35.


Updated : 2021-05-17 21:02 GMT+08:00