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Hamilton wins Canadian Grand Prix

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Jun 11, 2007 at 11:00am IST

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New Delhi: Lewis Hamilton won his maiden Grand Prix at Montreal in Canada on Sunday in his sixth race on the circuit.

The 22-year-old McLaren driver, in his debut season, had finished on the podium in all the races and with his first win has overtaken teammate Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.

Hamilton is on 48 points, eight ahead of Alonso who finished seventh in the race.

FIRST WIN: McLaren Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reacts after winning the Canadian GP.

"He deserves it. He's worked hard for it," Hamilton's father Anthony Hamilton said.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld came in second and Alexander Wurz rounded off the podium finish coming in third.

With the win Hamilton, who is the first black man to race in F1, created another history as he has now made it to the top-three finishes in all the six races of the season, a feat that has never before been accomplished at the start of an F1 career.

Hamilton has been in great form and it showed on Sunday when he started from the pole for the first time and only lost the lead for three laps when he made his first of two pit stops.

After that there was no challenge for Hamilton as he won the race easily with only Heidfeld giving him some competition, who finished the race 4.3 seconds behind him.

"I think I had a very good chance to finish second even in normal race conditions, without so many safety cars (on the track) and without Fernando (Alonso) being penalised," Heidfeld was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Alonso had more trouble in store for him and was penalised for pitting too soon during one of the full-course cautions.

The penalty pushed him back to the 14th spot and though he managed to climb upo to the sixth place by was passed by Super Aguri'a Takuma Sato just two laps from the finish and finished seventh.

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But the winner of the race knows he will have to work hard to stay at the top of the driver's championship.

"The next dream is to win the Formula One championship. But, bear in mind, I'm still a rookie and there's bound to be some bad times, too," Hamilton said.

Robert Kubica, a 22-year-old driver from Poland and Heidfeld's teammate, was involved in a frightening crash just before the halfway point. He was flown by helicopter to a Montreal hospital, but team officials later reported he was sore but not injured.

A rising star in F1, Kubica was racing with the Toyota of Jarno Trulli and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa when he suddenly veered off course into the grass as they drove toward the hairpin turn.

Kubica's car slammed into the inside concrete wall, somersaulted across the track in a shower of debris, hit the outside wall and came to rest with what was left of the car on its side.

The Ferraris of Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were expected to pose a threat for the McLarens, but both had problems.

Massa was running fourth when he was disqualified, along with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella, who was eighth at the time. Officials said they both ran a red light at the end of pit road during a caution.

Raikkonen ran through the grass several times and struggled to a fifth-place finish, coming in behind the Williams of Alexander Wurz and the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen.

Ralf Schumacher, driving a Toyota, took the eighth and final points position.

(With inputs from AP)

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