Robert Kubica from Poland won Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, the first-ever win for both he and his BMW team. It was also the first-ever F1 win for a driver from Poland. Nick Heidfeld made it a BMW 1-2.
Polesitter Lewis Hamilton ran up the back of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen while the Ferrari was sitting stationary for a red light at pit exit, ending the race for both drivers.
"I'm very happy at having won the first race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. I'm also happy for Poland and all my fans,â said an elated Kubica. âIt was a very difficult race for me. I started on the dirty side of the track and Kimi Raikkonen was nearly able to pass me, but I just managed to keep him behind. The timing of the Safety Car was unlucky for me, because I wanted to pit, but then the yellow light went on just about three seconds too early, so I had to continue.
âWhen the pitlane was open, almost everybody pitted together. I stopped at the exit because the light was still red. Kimi stopped beside me, and then I heard the noise when Hamilton crashed into his car. I have to be grateful to Lewis as he chose Kimi and not myself. After this pit stop I was stuck behind the one-stoppers and lost a lot of time. Timo Glock was the last one of them to stop, and only then could I push. I had just eight laps to increase the gap to 21 seconds, which was a huge challenge. I finally managed to get a 24 second lead, which meant I was able to stay ahead of Nick.
âFrom this moment on I took it a bit easier, but even then it's very easy to make a mistake, particularly because of the tarmac that was destroyed in some places. But it all worked out and I'm just happy!"
The face of the race changed dramatically when a caution flag came out on lap 18 for the spun car of Adrian Sutil. On lap 19 when the pitlane opened, most of the front-runners pitted, but when the cars arrived at the pit exit the light was still red, so Kubica and Raikkonen stopped to wait for the green light - but when Hamilton arrived at the scene at speed, he failed to see a wall of cars stopped in front of him and plowed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen.
Nico Rosberg followed also had brain fade and plowed into the back of Hamilton and broke his front wing, but continued around to the pits again for repairs. Both Hamilton and Raikkonen were out with damage.
David Coulthard was third in his Red Bull Ferrari.
The press was immediately as forgiving of former championship leader Lewis Hamilton as was the angry Kimi Raikkonen, after the pair exited the Canadian grand prix in a bizarre pitlane crash.
The major American news network CNN described the incident as "Lewis' Canadian calamity", after the McLaren driver failed to spot a red light before re-entering the circuit and careened into the rear of Raikkonen's stationary Ferrari.
The German news agency DPA said 23-year-old Hamilton's was a "rookie mistake", and reigning world champion Raikkonen clearly agreed, waggling his finger at Hamilton and pointing derisively at the pitlane traffic light after dismounting their damaged cars.
"It was one of those things I guess," Hamilton said in the pitlane, after regaining his composure following the short walk from the crash scene to the McLaren garage.
"I apologize to Kimi if I ruined his race but that sort of thing happens," the Briton added.
Stewards are investigating the crash, but Hamilton's immediate thoughts were no doubt focused on the lost opportunity, after scoring a dominant pole on Saturday and leading the race until the safety car interruption.
"I was breezing it. Next time," he said.
Hamilton and Raikkonen's absence left the door wide open for BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld to secure an historic maiden triumph and one-two.
Heidfeld, second, was visibly the less excited of the white-outfitted pair on the podium and in the press conference, and he admitted that at one point on a heavier fuel-load, he did "not make it too difficult" for winner Kubica, 23, to pass him.
Pole Kubica, on the other hand, is now in a position to defend his new four-point championship lead over Hamilton and Felipe Massa in the forthcoming races.
"I hope the team will give me 100 per cent support to defend it until last race," he said.
An historic day for the Hinwil based marque, which took advantage of the Hamilton-Raikkonen pitlane carnage to secure its first win with a dominant one-two. "I have to be grateful to Lewis as he chose Kimi and not myself," debut winner Robert Kubica, who now leads the drivers' championship by four points, joked. Nick Heidfeld was less delighted, probably because - with a very heavy fuel load - he let Kubica pass him at one stage, despite possessing very good pace during the race. 'It is done!' the post-race statement proclaimed, referring to the team's pre-season goal of securing a victory in 2008.
David Coulthard shook off his disastrous start to the season by standing on the podium at the end of the eventful Canadian grand prix, but then admitted in the post-race press conference that he is in a "reflective" mood about his future. Mark Webber has been the point-man for RBR all year so far, but he had an off-color run to a lowly 12th, worsened by his two-stop strategy that was hindered in traffic and the timing of the safety car.
Timo Glock's unspectacular start to his Toyota career got a boost in Canada, where he has looked the measure of his teammate Jarno Trulli; he even led at one point after the safety car muddled up the order, and ultimately held off Felipe Massa's Ferrari for fourth at the flag. Trulli was also in the mix, but a slight error by Glock allowed Massa to slip past him and snatch fifth place as they raced in formation.
Kimi Raikkonen, whose fastest lap remained unchallenged at the checkered flag, was angry with Lewis Hamilton after their pitlane smash, which means he has dropped 7 points off the championship lead. Felipe Massa queued behind Raikkonen for service in the safety car period but no fuel went in, requiring another pitlane visit and limiting his run through the field to just fifth place.
In the wake of the safety car shakeup, Rubens Barrichello was running fourth, but he was then passed on track by both Toyotas and Massa's Ferrari -- perhaps due in part to his struggle with a cold. "Yesterday I didn't know if I was going to be well enough to race," the veteran revealed. Jenson Button started the race from the pitlane following a gearbox change, and at the flag was in front of only Webber and Sebastien Bourdais.
'From pitlane to a point', read STR's post-race press statement, documenting Sebastian Vettel's fortunes in the eventful Montreal race, notwithstanding a disrupted pitstop. Bourdais capped off his difficult weekend by finishing dead last. "This was the worst race ever for me, the worst weekend of my entire career. I have never experienced anything like it," said the Frenchman, who really struggled to deal with the crumbling track.
Lewis Hamilton's fall from grace in Canada was spectacular; after dominating the weekend, he failed to see a red light in pitlane and smashed into Raikkonen's Ferrari, wiping away his championship lead and incurring a ten-place penalty for Magny Cours in two weeks. Heikki Kovalainen's difficult weekend culminated in a lowly ninth-place finish. "A race to quickly forget," said Mercedes' Norbert Haug.
Nico Rosberg's pace was a feature of the Montreal weekend, but - like Hamilton - he incurred the stewards' wrath on Sunday by ignoring the pitlane red light and crashing. He finished tenth, following a separate puncture. Kazuki Nakajima was high on the leaderboard after the safety car shakeup, but he damaged his front wing in a tag with Jenson Button and then crashed in the pitlane when it folded underneath his car.
Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella both failed to finish; Sutil with a gearbox problem on lap 13, which ultimately triggered the problematic safety car period, and Fisichella on lap 51 with a spin and stall.
The French team's two drivers were ostensibly in a strong position following the safety car, but Nelson Piquet went out with brake failure. Fernando Alonso was extremely scathing of the "terrible" decision to pit him during the safety car, which he thinks robbed him of contention for the podium. He retired from the race with a crash.
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: Raikkonen, 1:17.387