The 2007 Canadian Grand Prix will be best remembered for several reasons. Firstly, Lewis Hamilton scored his maiden victory just six races into his F1 career.
Another memorable moment was Takuma Sato’s overtake on Fernando Alonso in the closing stages to finish sixth for backmarkers Super Aguri. It was also the race in which Robert Kubica survived one of the biggest crashes in the sport’s recent history.
Hamilton secured his first ever pole position on Saturday, beating his team-mate Alonso by four tenths of a second. Nick Heidfeld put his BMW Sauber third on the grid, ahead of the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.
When the lights went out, it was Heidfeld and Alonso who had the best getaways from the line. Hamilton covered the former on the inside, with the latter taking the outside line for the first corner. However, the Spaniard braked too late and ran onto the run-off area, dropping to third.
Hamilton stormed off into the distance and soon had a comfortable lead at the front. Scott Speed made an early exit after a clumsy collision with Alexander Wurz at turn eight. Alonso failed to keep up with Heidfeld in the early stages and a mistake on lap 14, at turn one again, dropped him further back.
A similar error three laps later cost him fourth to Massa. Hamilton pitted for the first time on lap 22, just prior to his lead being wiped out due to a safety car. It was deployed to clear Adrian Sutil’s damaged Spyker, after the German driver hit the wall at turn four.
Alonso and the Williams of Nico Rosberg were forced to pit during the safety car period to avoid running out of fuel and both were given a 10 second stop/go penalty. Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella left the pit lane when the red light was on and were later disqualified.
The race had only just restarted when Kubica tangled with Jarno Trulli on the run to turn 10. His car veered off to the right and was launched into the air by a bump. He collided heavily with the inside wall twice before rolling across the circuit, with the car eventually coming to rest on its side.
Fortunately Kubica escaped with only a concussion and a sprained ankle. The safety car was deployed once again and stayed out for six laps before releasing the field. Hamilton soon eked out a sizeable advantage, as his team-mate and Rosberg served their penalties. Anthony Davidson was briefly up to third for Super Aguri before an unscheduled pit stop, after he hit a groundhog, dropped him to 17th.
Hamilton’s second stop took place on lap 49, just before the third safety car period to clear the debris from Christian Albers’ crashed Spyker. A fourth was needed to recover Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Toro Rosso after the Italian found the wall at the final chicane.
This was extended when Trulli hit the turn one barrier despite the safety car still being on the circuit. The race resumed on lap 60 with Hamilton leading from Heidfeld and Barrichello, who promoted Alexander Wurz to third when he made a late pit stop.
The top three remained the same at the chequered flag. It was a truly dominant display from McLaren’s young rookie to score his first F1 win in only his sixth race in the sport. Heidfeld impressed in second, finishing four seconds behind Hamilton, with Wurz climbing from 19th on the grid to the final podium spot after using a one-stop strategy.
Heikki Kovalainen finished fourth for Renault, after also starting at the back of the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fifth. Sato was a strong sixth for Super Aguri after passing Alonso with three laps to go. The Spaniard eventually finished seventh, with Ralf Schumacher picking up the final point.