Hamilton leads McLaren sweep of front row in Canada

Hamilton leads McLaren sweep of front row in Canada

Hamilton leads McLaren sweep of front row in Canada
June 9th, 2007

Montreal, Canada (Sports Network) - Lewis Hamilton won the pole for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. The No.2 McLaren Mercedes driver circled the 2.709-mile course on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence river in one minute, 15.707 seconds.

The pole victory was the first of Hamilton's Formula One career.

Starting on the front row with Hamilton will be his teammate Fernando Alonso who posted a second-best time of 1:16.163.

Nick Heidfeld (1:16.266) and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen (1:16.411) will make up row two. Felipe Massa was fifth quickest.

The first session, won by Raikkonen, saw Anthony Davidson, Ralf Schumacher, Heikki Kovalainen, Alex Wurz, Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers eliminated.

Hamilton took the second 15-minute session, while Rubens Barrichello, American Scott Speed, Jenson Button and David Coulthard were among the six that failed to qualify for the final shootout.

Through five races, the story of 2007 is the resurgence of McLarenMercedes. Led by two-time F1 World Champion Alonso and super rookie Hamilton, the team has been shown great strength.

Alonso, who won his two titles with Renault, has finished on the podium four times including wins in Malaysia and Monaco. Hamilton has become the darling of the media, and deservedly so, after posting five consecutive podiums and becoming the youngest driver to lead the championship.

Ferrari on the other hand has shown flashes of brilliance and own three victories this season, two from Massa and one from Raikkonen. Massa has not finished lower than sixth, while Raikkonen has struggled a couple of times finishing eighth in Monaco (started 15th) and 19th at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari can't afford to slip up as McLaren has already shown they will make very few errors this year.

The race is set to drop the green flag at 1 p.m. (et) on Sunday.

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Sensational F1 rookie Hamilton wins first pole
June 9, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Lewis Hamilton is a phenomenon.

The 22-year-old Mercedes McLaren driver started his F1 career with five consecutive podium finishes - a third in the opener in Australia followed by four straight seconds.

On Saturday, the first black driver in Formula One history took another big step, winning his first F1 pole ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. He took the pole with a lap of 1 minute, 15.707 seconds in the last of three 15-minute qualifying sessions.

``At the end of the day, I didn't make a mistake and I'm just thrilled,'' said Hamilton, who never stopped smiling after stepping out of his car.

Teammate and two-time series champion Fernando Alonso had a lap of 1:16.163, which was just 0.456 seconds slower than Hamilton's final effort on the 2.71-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Nick Heidfeld was third in a BMW Sauber at 1:16.266, followed by the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa at 1:16.411 and 1:16.570, respectively.

Hamilton, who goes into the race on Notre Dame Island tied for the points lead with Alonso, is the first rookie to win a pole since Juan Pablo Montoya won three of them in 2001 with Team Williams.

He came close to a mistake on his fast lap, nearly catching the wall on the final turn.

``For that final lap, the car was really sweet,'' he said. ``That was the fastest I had gone into that turn. I nearly brushed the wall on the exit, but I didn't and that was it.''

Alonso said starting from the outside of the front row alongside his teammate is just fine with him.

``The first row will be enough for today, and tomorrow will be another chance to win the race,'' the Spaniard said.

Hamilton is glad to be the hunted instead of the hunter for the first time in an F1 car.

``I've had experience being in front in other series,'' he said. ``And I've been qualifying fourth for most of the races, so it's good to be further ahead.''

Hamilton appears to be much more than just a precocious rookie.

He's handling newfound fame and all the difficulties that come with it like a veteran.

``I don't pay much attention to all the media reports and things like that,'' the slim, soft-spoken Englishman said. ``I do my job and I know they have a job to do, too. When I'm away from the track, I try to just live my normal life, playing golf with my dad and playing video games with my brother.''

But it isn't easy to ignore all the fuss.

Wherever he goes these days, a horde of media people are bound to be there with notepads, microphones and cameras in hand. It's reminiscent of another breakthrough sports celebrity - Tiger Woods.

F1 veterans say Hamilton could do for F1 what Woods did for golf - raise it to a higher level in public awareness. Hamilton tries to avoid such talk.

``It's an honor to be compared with him, but I'm just Lewis Hamilton,'' he said.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis is confident he'll succeed.

``I don't see why he won't win races this season,'' Dennis said. ``He's obviously got the talent and he's got the equipment.''

Hamilton's biggest competition for a win may come from teammate Alonso, who has won twice this season. And Massa and Raikkonen, who have won twice and once, respectively, are likely to be in the midst of the action.

``I think they will look much better Sunday than they looked today,'' Alonso said of the Ferrari drivers.

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Hamilton wins Canadian GP in landmark victory
June 10, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Rookie Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, the first victory for a black driver in Formula One.

In a race filled with caution flags, the 22-year-old Englishman won in his sixth F1 start and now has six consecutive top-three finishes.

``I'm just having a fantastic day,'' Hamilton said. ``This is history.''

The only one to give the Mercedes McLaren driver any competition during the 70-lap race on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's 2.71-mile road course was BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld. He chased Hamilton all day without catching him. Hamilton beat Heidfeld to the finish by 4.3 seconds.

The youngster, the first driver to start an F1 career in such a formidable manner, scrambled out of his silver and red car, thrusting his arms in the air. He then jumped to the ground, trotted to a barrier and jumped across to dive into the midst of his crew, hugging everyone in sight.

``It's been a fantastic season already,'' he said. ``We've had six podiums and I've been ready for quite some time for the win - it's just been a matter of when and where. The team gave me the best car and I had no problems during the race at all.''

Two-time and reigning F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who started alongside his pole-winning McLaren teammate on the front row, made a mistake on the start when he drove off the course in Turn 1 .

That was just the beginning of a very bad day for Alonso, who was hit with a penalty for pitting too soon during one of the full-course cautions and made two other off-course excursions before being passed two laps from the finish by Super Aguri'a Takuma Sato and finishing seventh.

Hamilton, who came into the race tied with Alonso at the top of the standings, will take the sole lead into next Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis.

``The next dream is to win the Formula One championship,'' he said. ``But, bear in mind, I'm still a rookie and there's bound to be some bad times, too.''

Robert Kubica, a 22-year-old driver from Poland, was involved in a frightening crash just before the halfway point. He escaped serious injury but was taken to a hospital for further examination after being removed from his battered car by medical personnel. Team officials said Kubica apparently sustained only a foot injury.

Considered one of the rising stars of the international series, Kubica was racing with the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa when he suddenly veered off course into the grass as they drove toward the hairpin turn.

Kubica's BMW Sauber slammed into the inside concrete wall, then somersaulted across the track in a shower of debris, hit the outside wall and came to rest with what was left of his car on its side.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were expected to pose a threat for the McLarens, but both had their own problems.

Massa was running fourth when he was disqualified, along with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella, who was eighth at the time. F1 officials said they both ran a red light at the end of pit road during a caution period.

Raikkonen ran through the grass several times and struggled to a fifth-place finish, coming in behind the Williams of Alexander Wurz and the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen. Ralf Schumacher, driving a Toyota, took the eighth and final points position.

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Polish driver injured in spectacular crash
June 10, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Robert Kubica apparently escaped serious injury in a spectacular crash Sunday near the midway point of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Kubica, considered one of the rising stars of the international series, was racing with the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa when he suddenly veered off course into the grass as they drove toward the hairpin turn.

Kubica's BMW Sauber slammed hard into the inside concrete wall, then somersaulted across the track in a shower of debris, hit the outside wall and came to rest with what was left of his car on its side.

Medical personnel removed him carefully from the car and took Kubica to the track medical facility. There were no immediate reports of his injuries, but he was stable and taken to a Montreal hospital by helicopter.

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mvbski wrote:


Polish driver injured in spectacular crash
June 10, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Robert Kubica apparently escaped serious injury in a spectacular crash Sunday near the midway point of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Kubica, considered one of the rising stars of the international series, was racing with the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa when he suddenly veered off course into the grass as they drove toward the hairpin turn.

Kubica's BMW Sauber slammed hard into the inside concrete wall, then somersaulted across the track in a shower of debris, hit the outside wall and came to rest with what was left of his car on its side.

Medical personnel removed him carefully from the car and took Kubica to the track medical facility. There were no immediate reports of his injuries, but he was stable and taken to a Montreal hospital by helicopter.

One of ugliest crashes I have ever seen  :-","xx

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Re: Hamilton leads McLaren sweep of front row in Canada

mvbski wrote:


Polish driver injured in spectacular crash
June 10, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Robert Kubica apparently escaped serious injury in a spectacular crash Sunday near the midway point of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Kubica, considered one of the rising stars of the international series, was racing with the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa when he suddenly veered off course into the grass as they drove toward the hairpin turn.

Kubica's BMW Sauber slammed hard into the inside concrete wall, then somersaulted across the track in a shower of debris, hit the outside wall and came to rest with what was left of his car on its side.

Medical personnel removed him carefully from the car and took Kubica to the track medical facility. There were no immediate reports of his injuries, but he was stable and taken to a Montreal hospital by helicopter.

Kubica leaves hospital after crash in Montreal
June 11, 2007

MONTREAL (AP) -Formula One driver Robert Kubica was released from the hospital Monday, one day after a frightening crash at the Canadian Grand Prix left him with a slight concussion and sprained ankle.

``I feel very good,'' the 22-year-old Pole said as he walked out of Sacre-Coeur Hospital. ``I was very lucky.''

Kubica hopes to be behind the wheel for Sunday's race in Indianapolis.

Kubica's car went off the track on a turn on the 27th lap and smacked a wall head-on before sliding across the course in a stream of debris. He said he remembers the crash but had not seen it on TV.

Glad to hear he is ok  8)

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