F1: Canadian Grand Prix liveblog 2010

By Andy & LJH

CalendarSunday, June 13th, 2010

 
 

For the first time this season there isn’t a Red Bull driver on pole, but Lewis Hamilton got his McLaren out front during qualifying in part by gambling on the softer type of tyre – will he pay for that decision during the race?

Chances are, his tyres will degrade faster than those of his closest rivals and he’ll have to pit to change them sooner.

But the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is famous for the number of safety cars its races throws up, and if one appears at the right time it could give the 2008 world champion just the break he needs.

Hamilton has one less factor to worry about because Red Bull have been forced to change the gearbox on Mark Webber’s car, dropping the Aussie from the front row to the fourth. Instead, Hamilton will have Sebastian Vettel beside him – a potentially volatile mix at the first corner.

Elsewhere in the field, Force India and Ferrari will be looking to exploit a circuit that seems to suit their cars well, while Webber and the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher all start lower down the field than they would normally expect and will want to make up ground.

Plus, there is a realistic chance that one of the new teams may, for the first time, beat one of last year’s contenders in a straight fight as Lotus are very close on the tail of Sauber.

Stick with us as we live-blog the action, leave comments or find us on Twitter as @britsonpole. Hit refresh to see the latest below this line.

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Post-race: McLaren score their first one-two in Canada since 1988 – that one featured Senna and Prost, a pair of team-mates that make Button and Hamilton, or Webber and Vettel, look like teenage sweethearts.

Lewis Hamilton: “This was one of the toughest races so far.” Button says tyre strategy was his biggest concern and admits that, for about 20 laps, Vettel pushed him extremely hard.

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Lap 70: Lewis Hamilton comes round to take the win. Behind him is team-mate Jenson Button for a smashing McLaren one-two. Good job, lads. Alonso is third, Vettel in his ailing car limping home fourth. Webber fifth and Rosberg sixth. Kubica seventh, Buemi eighth with a great result for Toro Rosso, the two Force Indias ninth and tenth. Schumacher reaps his karmic reward for pushing and shoving and does not score a point.

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Lap 69: Schumi cuts a corner in order to keep Liuzzi behind him. It works.

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Lap 68: Liuzzi catching Schumi – but he might want to avoid those sickles bolted to the Mercedes GP driver’s wheels.

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Lap 67: Schumi and Massa incident added to the growing list to be investigated post-race. Former F1 and CART champ Emerson Fittipaldi, helping out the stewards this week, will not be having his tea until much later on.

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Lap 66: Did we say Rosberg was having an uneventful race? Suddenly Kubica is going madly fast and catching him. Meanwhile, up at the front, Vettel in fourth wants to let it off the leash. However, he is told: “We have a car problem, short shift, keep it low on revs.”

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Lap 65: Massa pits with his broken wing. He’s out of the points as a result of that. Thanks, Schumi, me old pal.

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Lap 64: Whoa – Massa has a look at Schumacher and is forced into the wall for his pains. He nearly has to resort to the pitlane entrance but stays on track albeit with his front wing hanging off. If he doesn’t go in next lap that could be a black flag.

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Lap 63: Hamilton opens up another second on Button and is being warned yet again about his tyres.

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Lap 62: Possible that Schumi is overtakable because his tyres are going off. Down the road from him is Massa. Rosberg has had a beautifully uneventful race and, as a result, is sixth and in for a nice points haul.

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Lap 61: Hamilton is responding to the challenge from Button and Alonso, putting in the fastest lap of the race so far. His lead was 2.4 seconds.

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Lap 60: Now we’re within 10 laps of the end. Kubica pits again. Only three seconds separate the top three cars, so the racing might not yet be done. Buemi is having a hell of a go at passing Schumacher – and he makes it stick, forcing Schumi to give way. Something you don’t see every race. That’s worth a point or two to Buemi and Toro Rosso.

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Lap 59: Button charging up on the back of Hamilton. Webber a bit under 9 seconds behind Vettel with Alonso hanging on gamely in the middle.

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Lap 58: Button and Alonso lap Schumacher. Webber now nearly a second faster on Hamilton but he’s five places back. Alonso hanging onto the back of Button.

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Lap 57: Now things could get really interesting…

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Lap 56: Webber is 11 seconds down on Vettel but has just set a personal best for the race. And Button has overtaken Alonso while the TV director’s attention was elsewhere. The McLaren driver got ahead as they passed backmarker Chandhok.

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Lap 55: Button continues to catch Alonso…

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Lap 54: As Massa and Sutil lap Kovalainen they touch yet again. But the Ferrari driver is, wait for it, out in front… Massa looking as if he might be on for a point. Rob Smedley on the radio: “Good move, kiddo, well done.” Sao Paolo-on-Tees…

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Lap 53: Alonso’s lap times are slipping – he’s down on Hamilton and Button is also going faster than him… Will Button be in a position to get past?

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Lap 52: A relatively calm lap compared to the last couple. Red Bull not coughing to what the issue they are managing on Vettel’s car is.

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Lap 51: Less than 4 seconds between the top three of Hamilton, Alonso and Button. Red Bull manage a three-second stop for Webber but he’s stuck in fifth with soft tyres that will need to last 19 laps.

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Lap 50: Jonathan Legard: “Webber is on the back foot… the back tyre, really…” Hamilton is straight off down the road, vanishing into the distance. Now Alonso tries for a tow in the same spot as Hamilton but Webber takes it out of his hands by pitting.

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Lap 49: Massa passes Liuzzi in what is starting to seem like a rerun of Groundhog Day. Hamilton tries to take Webber for the lead, appears to have got it and then makes it stick. Alonso is also having a look.

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Lap 48: Webber’s lead is all-but gone – under two seconds. Still no safety car!

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Lap 47: Trulli climbs out of his smoking Lotus. Vettel saying how can I pass when I’m getting slower? He’s told ‘we’ve managing an issue’ – a supremely unhelpful answer.

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Lap 46: Hamilton and Alonso still catching…

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Lap 45: Webber’s lead is draining away – remove the lapped cars from the equation and he’s barely hanging on, with a pitstop still to take. Christian Horner himself comes on the radio Vettel to tell him to overtake if he can.

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Lap 44: Alguersuari comes in for his third stop. Hulkenberg defending against Sutil as the pair come down the straight. Alonso sets the fastest lap and none of this is helping Mark Webber who is being backed up behind the Williams/Force India fight. His chances of doing better than fifth at the flag are draining away.

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Lap 43: Hamilton now less than 9 seconds behind Webber who is coming up on traffic. Massa pits and comes out in 14th.

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Lap 42: Massa overtakes and is now in a Force India sandwich. Maybe wrapped in a Force India naan?

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Lap 41: Webber’s tyres are going which means he can’t prosper by staying out any longer and needs to get himself into the pits. 15 seconds separate the top five of Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Vettel.

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Lap 40: Hamilton has taken a second off Webber’s lead – it’s a bit over 10 seconds. This race is a long way from being settled with 30 laps to go. Further back, Massa has still not made any impression on the Force Indias.

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Lap 39: Hamilton’s responding to the burst of speed from Button by putting his own foot down. Webber doesn’t currently have enough of a lead to get himself in and out of the pits and keep the lead – that’s estimated at about 16 seconds. Thus the two McLarens, Alonso and Vettel are attempting to rein him back in. It’s also estimated he will have to do a testing 20-25 laps on his soft tyres.

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Lap 38: Massa and Liuzzi are having another set-to, a lot faster than the two cars in front of him.

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Lap 37: Suddenly Button hits the afterburner in pursuit of Alonso – these guys need to go to the end without a stop behind Webber so must overtake on track. Now Rubens and Alguersuari face an investigation.

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Lap 36: Massa – remember him? – is fastest down in 14th but this race is coming down to who deals with their rapidly-diminishing supply of tyres best. Kubica and Sutil being investigated after the race for the Renault driver’s dive into tthe pits in front of his braking Force India rival.

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Lap 35: Vettel is not expected to stop again while Webber pulls 11 seconds clear at the front.

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Lap 34: Webber being tipped for victory on the grounds that the track is becoming more amenable and therefore saving the soft tyres will prove to be the right call.

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Lap 33: Webber, as you would expect, is trying to build enough of a lead to allow him a free pitstop. He’s got nine seconds on Hamilton right now.

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Lap 32: Pedro de la Rosa parked at the end of the start-finish straight with a blown engine. Yellow flag.

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Lap 31: Hamilton thought to have no hard tyres left and is being told to look after them.

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Lap 30: Force Indias duel for places with Sutil getting past Liuzzi. Webber has still to use his soft tyres but he has a lead of nearly nine seconds.

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Lap 29: Alonso comes out in third between the McLarens. Top 10 is Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Vettel, Buemi, Kubica, Rosberg, Schumacher, Hulkenberg. Then J-Alg, Sutil, Liuzzi, DLR, Barrichello, Massa and Kovalainen. Bringing up the rear are Trulli, di Grassi, Petrov, Glock and Chandhok.

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Lap: 28: Button and Vettel both pit. Car 10 penalty for speeding in the pitlane – that’s Hulkenberg. Alonso now pits.

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Lap 27: Hamilton must now therefore be on a three-stopper. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Sutil appears on the racing line having cut a corner, nearly causing a crash. He was knocked off course by a late pitting decision from Kubica.

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Lap 26: Alonso moves on Hamilton as they lap a Virgin. They are duellng side by side – and suddenly, immensely surprisingly, Hamilton dives into the pits. It would appear to be deliberate since his mechanics are out.

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Lap 25: Kubica’s car is damaged from being shouldered aside by Schumi. That’s costing him downforce and therefore speed. Sutil and Buemi are coming up behind him for the start of a good, old-fashioned convoy.

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Lap 24: Vettel, asked about his tyres, reports back to his engineers that his rears are starting to go off.

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Lap 23: Petrov has got another drive-through – this time for causing a collision. Maybe he should just park the car and go home. Meanwhile, Mark Webber is the fastest driver on the track in fifth place. He’s catching Sebastian Vettel – and the two are on different tyres. Vettel is on the softs, Webber has his softs yet to come.

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Lap 22: Webber and Vettel are setting personal best laps. Webber is faster but Vettel is in front. Happy days…

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Lap 21: Track is rubbering in and getting less unpredictable, not necessarily great news for the spectators…

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Lap 20: Hamilton is around half a second ahead of Alonso at the front. Then there’s gap of nearly three seconds back to Button.

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Lap 19: Petrov, having taken his drive-through penalty, is back in the pits for “a new front nose”. We don’t want to know about his rear nose, thanks.

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Lap 18: Now everyone has a pause and looks around them. Schumi finds himself once again lining up Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari in his sights. Could be a long afternoon…

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Lap 17: Order is now Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Vettel, Webber. Everyone is on hard tyres except Vettel and the track conditions are so severe that yet another tyre stop may be necessary.

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Lap 16: Buemi pits just as Hamilton sails past Alonso which means the McLaren driver has regained the lead. Hispania’s Senna is in the garage and out of his car. Virgin’s Glock is also out.

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Lap 15: Schumacher pits following his coming-together with Kubica. Alonso makes a move on Buemi but the Swiss driver holds him off. Alonso has another go but Buemi holds the inside line, allowing Hamilton to come sniffing around… as you were.

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Lap 14: Vettel pits and gives Buemi the lead ahead of Alonso and Hamilton. That Toro Rosso sure did look like a Red Bull there. Vettel is putting the softer tyre on.

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Lap 13: Schumi pits for a new set of boots and emerges side-by-side with Kubica. Sharp elbows and they touch, run across the grass. Continue with minor damage. Webber pits.

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Lap 12: Barrichello pits from 18th for a new nose. And more tyre stuff – everyone who changed them is now faster than the Red Bulls. Schumi pits for a new set and emerges side-by-side with Kubica. Sharp elbows and they touch, run across the grass.

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Lap 11: Petrov cuts a chicane, loses time and lets Rosberg past. Vettel, Webber, Schumacher and then Buemi who is closing fast on the Mercedes GP driver. Alonso being told he is faster than the Red Bulls. Petrov is given a drive-through penalty for the jump start. His weekend’s gone pretty much to hell.

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Lap 10: Vettel is pulling away from Webber at half a second a lap. Meanwhile there’s some incident to do with the start – a jump start from car 12 (Petrov) is being investigated.

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Lap 9: Alonso and Hamilton both sail past Kovalainen to pick up a place – they are sixth and seventh. All those who started on hard tyres are gaining on all those who didn’t. Kubica pits from third.

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Lap 8: Pitlane drama as Alonso and Hamilton have a shoving match all the way down the road after their stops. Alonso takes the place. They come out seventh and eighth.

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Lap 7: This Hamilton/Vettel thing is looking like an upcoming festival of carbon fibre. Button and Sutil both pit. That sounds like a wise decision from Button. Vettel tries again and is blocked again. Webber, meanwhile, is over the back of Alonso. Webber and Vettel both try overtakes at the moment that their opponents, Hamilton and Alonso pit. Now it’s a Red Bull one-two.

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Lap 6: Vettel catching Hamilton – McLaren’s softer tyres visibly going off. Trulli and Rosberg both pit. Button is far from safe from Kubica and Schumacher is catching them up. Vettel tries to pass Hamilton but is not close enough to pull it off.

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Lap 5: A replay of the start shows that Petrov spun, taking out de la Rosa, while Massa and Liuzzi touched no less than three times. Meanwhile, back on the racetrack, Webber is past Button and straight down the road. Kubica is also desperate to get past.

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Lap 4: Webber has a crack at Button but not on an overtaking bit of the track. But he has certainly served notice. Hamilton a second clear of Vettel but Button has nothing on Webber and Kubica looks like he would have a crack at both.

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Lap 3: Alonso is on the back of Vettel with Hamilton opening up just a little bit of leeway. Button’s some way back with Webber hassling. Yellow flag – debris clearance? Kobayashi out of his car and walking back to the pits. Rosberg down to 13th.

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Lap 2: This lap starts with an incident between Hulkenberg and Kobayashi that has seen the BMW Sauber driver lose his front wing. De la Rosa, Massa, Liuzzi have all pitted following their incident at the beginning. Debris on the track following that.

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Lap 1: Christian Horner looking incredibly tense on the pitwall. Everyone away – Vettel defends from Alonso but holds his place but Liuzzi, far from being on for a win, has been in a spin that appears to involve Massa. Order at the top is Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Button, Webb , Kubica, Sutil, Schumacher, Hulkenberg and Kobayashi.

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Parade lap: Massa is in the right place on the grid despite his earlier excursion into the garage. All cars are away safely.

Lee McKenzie catches up with Jenson Button and asks him if he is happy to have gained a place at the expense of starting from the dirty side of the grid. He says he’s just happy to have one less car in front of him.

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Grid walk: Alonso spares a couple of words for Brundle and says that his goal is a podium – especially now Mark Webber is out of the way.

Ron Dennis is on the grid and says retirement is for other people, not him. Although he says he did encourage Brundle to give it a go in 1994. John Button confesses that his son is in the toilet and claims to have spread superglue on the clean side of the grid. Some Force India mechanics are tipping Liuzzi for a win, which suggests they might have caught a bit of sun.

Sebastian Vettel says he is happy that Red Bull has a viable tyre strategy and that he’s confident of his chances of winning the race. Brundle leaves him to his race preparation and pops over to have a close-up look at the Ferrari’s brake ducts, which present a technical challenge that hasn’t been covered much, thanks to all this fuss about tyres.

Martin Brundle tells us that the shortest run down to the first corner in a F1 race will contribute to the likelihood of an early safety car. He meets Sir Jackie Stewart who predicts Lewis Hamilton will win and lets on that he will be driving Jim Clark’s Lotus at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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Pre-race: Massa is being pushed back into the Ferrari garage with 25 minutes to go, which would suggest he has spotted something he doesn’t like…

Fernando Alonso is on the telly implying that they understand the Latin temperament a lot better at Ferrari than at some other teams he’s driven with. Which is not something that sounds at all unlikely, actually.

Nigel Mansell has been in touch with the BBC F1 crew following his 200mph crash less than 20 minutes into the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We hear he has concussion and will be resting until his headache’s gone – but he’s basically fine, which is fantastic news. He promises fans that Beechdean Mansell will soon be back in business.

Mark Webber is facing a five-place grid drop because he has needed a gearbox change. This means that the front row consists of Lewis Hamilton and Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso is third and Jenson Button fourth.

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• Is there something you’ve always been dying to know about how Formula One is fuelled – the rules, science and technology that surround what the world’s most expensive race cars put in their tanks? Now’s your chance.

Brits on Pole has been given the opportunity to put your questions to the people who design and make the fuel that powers Ferrari’s cars at every single Grand Prix weekend – and we really want to hear from you. More here.

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