Hamilton holds off teammate to win Canadian GP

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the second time in four years, holding off McLaren teammate Jenson Button on Sunday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to take the season points lead from Mark Webber.

Hamilton, the McLaren driver who raced to his first Formula 1 victory in 2007 on the 2.71-mile track, also won two weeks ago in Turkey in the previous race. The 2008 series champion started from the pole en route to his 14th career victory.

"I don’t know why I do well here," Hamilton said. "I love it here. It’s a great track, great city, great food and great weather today. … I’m just able to dial in my car here and have a better feel here than some other places."

Hamilton took the lead from Red Bull’s Webber on the 50th of 70 laps. Webber then pitted for the second time after giving up considerable time on badly worn tires.

"It was an interesting race," Hamilton said. "It was difficult to know who much to save your tires and how much to push. It was very, very challenging. It was the ultimate challenge, for me at least."

Button, also second in Turkey, finished 2.2 seconds back.

"It was a really fun race," said Button, a two-time winner for McLaren this season after winning the world title last year for Brawn GP. "It was very difficult to judge when to push with the tires. I think I kicked it in a bit early on the last stint, but it got me P2, so I’m very happy with that."

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third, followed by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Webber, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, Renault’s Robert Kubica — the 2008 winner in the last race in Montreal — and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi.

Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, the seven-time F1 champion and also a seven-time Montreal winner, finished 11th after starting 13th.

After starting the race on Bridgestone’s super-soft compound tires, Hamilton gave up the lead on the seventh lap to switch to the more durable medium compound. "We felt comfortable with the fact we’d have to stop in the first 10 laps," Hamilton said.

Webber, dropped from second to seventh on the starting grid because of a gearbox change, pitted for the first time on the 14th lap, electing to stay with the medium compound, and had little tread left when he hit the pits again on the 50th circuit.

Hamilton pitted for the final time on the 26th lap, putting on another set of medium-compound tires. He rejoined the race in fifth place, quickly worked his way to second and patiently reeled in Webber – more than 11 seconds ahead at one point.

"I really just tried to maintain the correct balance … and get through traffic without losing too much time," Hamilton said. "It was very tricky, but we managed to deal with it."

Hamilton has 109 championship points through eight of 19 races, giving him a three-point lead over Button and six-point advantage over Webber. In the constructors’ standings, McLaren has a 215-193 advantage over Red Bull.