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Kubica claims Canadian Grand Prix

Robert Kubica, who survived a spectacular crash a year ago at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, posted his first Formula One victory at the Canadian Grand Prix in his Sauber BMW on Sunday.


Robert Kubica, who survived a spectacular crash a year ago at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, posted his first Formula One victory at the Canadian Grand Prix in his Sauber BMW on Sunday.

The 23-year-old from Poland, who profited from a pit lane crash that took out series leaders Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen early in the race, completed the 71-lap event in with a 16.4 second lead over teammate Nick Heidfeld in a first-ever one-two finish for the Swiss/German team.

David Coulthard was third for Red Bull, Timo Glock was fourth for Toyota, Felipe Massa of Ferrari was fifth, Jarno Trulli of Toyota was sixth, Rubens Barrichello of Honda was seventh and Sebastian Vettel, who started from pit lane, was last in the points in eighth place.

Kubica, who was in the top four in the last five races, finally got his victory in his 29th career F1 race. The 10 points he earned moved him past Hamilton, Raikkonen and Massa into first place in driver's standings after seven races, four points ahead of Hamilton.

Hamilton, who scored his first F1 win here last year, started from pole position and had a 6.8-second lead erased by the safety car and was knocked out of the race only 20 laps in after a crash in pit lane.

The top seven drivers used the break to go into the pits, but on exiting, Raikkonen's Ferrari and Kubica's BMW-Sauber were held up by a red light. Hamilton crashed his McLaren-Mercedes into the back of Raikkonen, taking out the event's top two attractions.

Rosberg was able to continue.

Hamilton kept top spot off the start and Kubica held off Raikkonen to retain second place, but what was unusual was that all 20 cars made it around the sharp first turn without incident.

For the first time in memory at the usually crash-filled Canadian Grand Prix, it took until Lap 15 for the first car to go off, as Adrian Sutil's Force India came to a stop at the side of the track and started on fire. The driver escaped unhurt, but it brought out the safety car.

After the pit lane incident, the restart saw Formula One step back 10 years in time as veterans Barrichello, Coulthard and Trulli took turns with the lead. All three are more often backmarkers these days.

It took until another blast from the past, Timo Glock, took his first pit stop for Kubica to take over the lead on Lap 42, with Heidfeld running shotgun just behind.

Just after Fernando Alonso overtook Coulthard for third place, the two-time F1 champion from Spain lost his brakes, hit a wall and retired on Lap 45.

Kubica built a long lead and was able to make his second stop after Lap 48 and return to the track still with the lead.

Massa made a daring move on the inside to pass both Barrichello and Heikki Kovalainen for fourth place, going partially on the grass on the inside line on Lap 52, but he then went for a pit stop and came out seventh.

A lap later, Giancarlo Fisichella's Force India hit a wall, bringing out another safety car, but Kubica quickly rebuilt his lead

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Jenson Button of Honda both started from pit lane due to problems from qualifying.

The track was repaired in two spots overnight after some crumbling during qualifying on Saturday, but held up fine for the race . As a precaution, drivers were asked to take the outside line on hairpin turn during the formation lap to preserve the track for the race. Also, support races Sunday morning were shortened.

Barrichello got permission not take the formation lap, reportedly due to a sore throat.

 
 
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