It was a hard-won victory for Robert Kubica at Sunday June 8th's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. He considers his first win for BMW Sauber "fantastic" and "amazing."
In a post-race interview, Kubica told reporters, "I never struggled so much. I was pushing so much to do it and I managed to do it so it was a great race." He went on to say, "It was very fantastic to win my first race for BMW Sauber, which I joined from the beginning. We grew up together." The last laps were very, very difficult. The team was telling me to stay calm and not push too much, but I wasn't pushing for 10 or 15 laps. It was just amazing."
Harsh Penalty for Lewis Hamilton
Ever the optimist, Hamilton walked away from the Montreal race with a positive outlook. The McLaren driver received a 10 place grid penalty for an accident caused primarily by a rule he described as "silly." The accident occurred as Hamilton was leaving the pits. Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was stopped at the red light waiting to re-enter the race and Hamilton rear-ended him. The McLaren team's managing director, Martin Whitmarsh said, "We warned him, but we could have done it earlier." The 10-place grid penalty means Hamilton will start the French Grand Prix 10 places behind his qualifying position.
It's a harsh penalty, but Hamilton said, "The rule is silly. We are in the race, how can you red light at the end of the pit lane? But that's the rule and I accept it." Whitmarsh also stated, "When you come in first and come out third, I'm sure you're anxious to see if you can jump past those people, and I'm sure that distracted him."
As a direct result of the incident, Hamilton lost his lead in the Formula One championship to Robert Kubica. Hamilton told British newspapers, "This will make no difference."
Hamilton expressed his regrets to Raikkonen saying, "I apologize to Kimi if I ruined his race. I would rather neither of us be out. I was so quick I was breezing it."
He expects to run the French Grand Prix in his usual style, stating "With the car we have right now, there is no stopping us. It is not going to take me a day to recover or anything. I am really looking forward to Magny-Cours."
Raikkonen's Reaction to Hamilton's Mistake
Kimi Raikkonen was quite upset following the accident at the red light on the pit lane. He said, "I'm not angry but what Hamilton did was inexplicable. More, it was stupid." He went on to say, "I'm not the right person to talk about a shunt, given what happened at the Monaco Grand Prix race but it is one thing to collide on the track in the heat of the race and another in the pit lane when you are stopped at a red light." For the second race in a row, Raikkonen has received no points toward the championship title.
Red Light on Montreal Formula One Track
It is located at the end of the pit lane and is only used when the safety car and other drivers are about to pass the pit lane exit. This rule was put in place for the safety of drivers exiting the pit lane as well as drivers already out on the track. Although managers or pit crews inform drivers of potential collisions, or the light being red, occasionally a driver misses these warnings.
The top-10 final standings for the Canada Formula One race in Montreal were as follows:
1. Robert Kubica
2. Nick Heidfeld
3. David Coulthard
4. Timo Glock
5. Felipe Massa
6. Jarno Trulli
7. Rubens Barrichello
8. Sebastian Vettel
9. Heikki Kovalainen
10. Nico Rosberg
For more information about next year's Monaco Grand Prix and a Monaco map visit yourmonaco.com