LEWIS HAMILTON returned to the top of the drivers’ championship for the first time in 18 months after leading a second successive McLaren one-two in a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix.
The 2008 champion put in a superb drive to claim back-to-back wins and go three points clear of team-mate Jenson Button in the overall standings.
Defending F1 champion Button himself secured second with a brilliant pass of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari on lap 56, but couldn’t quite get close enough to challenging Hamilton, who held on for a 14th career win.
“It’s been a tremendous weekend,” Hamilton said: “Things have just gone so well. I’ve had incredible support, so many Brits in the crowd, which is great to see. The race was one of the tightest so far, but the team did an incredible job and I’m so happy and proud of the team.”
In arguably the most exciting race of the season so far, the lead changed hands several times with tyre strategies key. McLaren gambled at the start, taking the softer Bridgestone, and it paid off as pole-setter Hamilton held onto his lead at the first corner.
But it wasn’t to last long as both McLaren’s came in, following swiftly by the Red Bull of Vettel, leaving the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi holding the lead for the first time in his career.
Hamilton then made his move to reclaim the lead after Alonso failed in an attempt to pass Buemi, but after pitting against on lap 26, Alonso and then Mark Webber led the way.
The Australian pulled out a lead of 11.8 seconds at one point, but then his tyres began to go off and Hamilton and Alonso gave chase.
Hamilton eventually sneaked past on lap 50 before Webber eventually pitted, and after Alonso began to tail away, Button saw his chance to take the Spaniard and seal a perfect weekend for the McLarens.
“It’s another one-two for the team,” Button summised. “I’d rather it was the other way around, but Lewis put in a phenomenal lap yesterday in qualifying that I couldn’t touch.”
CANADIAN GP | RACE STANDINGS
1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:33:53.456
2. Jenson Button (McLaren) +00:02
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +00.09
4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +00:37
5. Mark Webber (Red Bull) +00:56
6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +00:57
STANDINGS | DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Lewis Hamilton (GB) 109pts
2. Jenson Button (GB) 106pts
3. Mark Webber (Ger) 103pts