Breakthrough win for Kubica

Pole assumes Championship lead on disastrous day for Brit

Kubica: breakthrough

Robert Kubica has scored both his and BMW Sauber's first Formula One victory after leading home team-mate Nick Heidfeld in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The race proved disastrous for Lewis Hamilton who, after starting from pole position, collided with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen after both drivers made their opening pit stops.

Red Bull's David Coulthard finished third, ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, with the second Toyota of Jarno Trulli sixth.

Honda's Rubens Barrichello finished seventh with Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel taking the final Championship point.

The victory was the Pole's first since his debut at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix and also sees the 23-year-old from Krakow seize the lead in the Drivers' Championship from Hamilton.

It also comes 12 months after Kubica endured a massive accident at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, amazingly suffering little more than a sprained ankle after colliding head-on with a wall at 185 mph.

The race has developed something of a reputation for such incident and, with the hairpin bend at Turn Ten having been resurfaced after it started breaking up in qualifying, the potential was a shock result was certainly there.

And the race lived up to expectations. However, its main talking point will be Hamilton, whose own reputation for calmness under pressure - forged in taking his first F1 win in Canada last year - might be dented after what appeared to be an elementary error.

It all appeared to be going so well at first, with Hamilton pulling out a five-second gap over Kubica by the end of lap ten, Raikkonen 3.6 seconds further back.

A lack of grip quickly became apparent around the hairpin, with cars starting to exit with rallycross-style powerslides. However, the corner was not to blame for the appearance of the safety car on lap 18.

It came following the retirement of Adrian Sutil - the front left brake on his parked Force India having caught fire - with Hamilton seeing his six-second lead disappear as a result.

Red light

The McLaren then led a swarm of cars into the pits at the end of lap 19 but disaster promptly struck: with Kubica and Raikkonen exiting ahead of Hamilton, the Ferrari and BMW Sauber stopped for a red light at the end of the lane.

However, Hamilton did not and slammed straight into the back of Raikkonen. Meanwhile, the following Nico Rosberg, who had been running fourth, hit the back of the McLaren. His Williams needed only a new nosecone; the Championship protagonists were out on the spot.

Racing resumed on lap 22 with the top three now Heidfeld, Barrichello and Kazuki Nakajima. The leading driver to have made a stop was Kubica, who was running 10th while Rosberg and Massa - who was forced to make two stops after originally pitting at the same time as Raikkonen - were 16th and 17th.

Heidfeld quickly pulled out a huge gap over the heavily-fuelled Honda - the German's lead up to 9.9 seconds by lap 25. With the top nine runners yet to make stops, the question now was where their strategies would eventually leave them relative to Kubica et al.

The leader stopped at the end of lap 28 and, fuelled to the end of the race, he emerged right in front of Kubica. The BMW Saubers swapped places two laps later, with Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen keeping Heidfeld company.

Barrichello now led Nakajima - the Japanese driver dropping to 11th after stopping on lap 34 - Coulthard, the Toyotas of Trulli and Glock, with Vettel ahead of Kubica and Heidfeld.

The Scot led lap 36 before pitting, the Red Bull rejoining fifth behind Heidfeld, with Alonso getting ahead of Coulthard soon after. The Toyotas now ran first and second, with Trulli and Glock stopping on laps 39 and 42 respectively.

Kubica assumed an 11.6-second lead over Heidfeld, with Alonso in hot pursuit. The Spaniard briefly got ahead of the German at the hairpin on lap 44 but his race ended on the following lap after a spin into the wall at Turn Seven.


With Nakajima retiring in comical circumstances - his Williams getting caught up in its own nose **** and hitting the pit wall after running into the back of Jenson Button - Kubica held a 25.1-second lead when he pitted at the end of lap 48.

He rejoined comfortably ahead of Heidfeld and, with BMW Sauber lapping one-two ahead of Coulthard, Massa jumped into fourth in style on lap 51, passing both Barrichello and Kovalainen at Turn 10 as McLaren attempted to pass Honda.

Giancarlo Fisichella lost control of his Force India on lap 52 but the safety car failed to appear, meaning that Massa and Kovalainen lost out when pitting on the same lap; the Ferrari fell to seventh behind Barrichello and the Toyotas, while the McLaren dropped to 10th.

Glock and Trulli passed Barrichello after the Honda ran wide on lap 59 with Massa getting ahead of his countryman three laps later. His excellent recovery drive was sealed when Trulli was picked off with two laps remaining.

Canadian Grand Prix, result:

1. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:36:24.447
2. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber +00:16.495
3. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull 00:23.352
4. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 00:42.627
5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:43.934
6. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 00:47.775
7. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 00:53.597
8. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso 00:54.120
9. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren 00:54.433
10. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams 00:57.749
11. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 01:07.540
12. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 01:11.229
13. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso 1 lap
r. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India 19 laps
r. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams 24 laps
r. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 26 laps
r. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 31 laps
r. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 51 laps
r. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 51 laps
r. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 57 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen, 1:17.387, lap 14.


Pos Driver Pts

1 Robert Kubica 42
2 Felipe Massa 38
3 Lewis Hamilton 38
4 Kimi Raikkonen 35
5 Nick Heidfeld 28
6 Mark Webber 15
7 Heikki Kovalainen 15
8 Jarno Trulli 12
9 Fernando Alonso 9
10 Nico Rosberg 8
11 Kazuki Nakajima 7
12 David Coulthard 6
13 Sebastian Vettel 5
14 Rubens Barrichello 5
15 Timo Glock 5
16 Jenson Button 3
17 Sebastien Bourdais 2
18 Nelson Piquet Jr 0
19 Adrian Sutil 0
20 Anthony Davidson 0
21 Takuma Sato 0
22 Giancarlo Fisichella 0