The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix
proved a battle of nerves as much as it was of wits, once it became clear that Ferrari
and Red Bull
were gambling on a one-stop tyre strategy after all.
But Lewis Hamilton
was convinced that he was always in with a good chance of victory on one of his favourite circuits.
"I never had a doubt in my mind that there would not be a possibility to win," he said. "It's a phenomenal feeling to be able to give a performance like that."
It seemed that Hamilton had been one of the first to latch on to the possibility that Fernando Alonso
and Sebastian Vettel
would both try going for the one-stop strategy, even as his team was reassuring him that they wouldn't.
"I had a feeling that Fernando would be doing one stop," he said. "I knew I had to make a gap while looking after the tyres, even though Fernando was picking his pace up. It was one of the best stints I had."
Despite Alonso and Vettel gambling on a one-stop strategy, Hamilton had never been tempted to try the same: "I was not able to do one stop," he admitted. "I think a two-stop was just right. We went into the race knowing we would be doing two stops."
He was particularly relishing being back on the podium in Montreal, for the third time in five years.
"It's been five years since I first won here but it feels just as good. I'm massively proud of the team for continuing to push," he said. "It feels great to finally be here on the top step. It feel like one of best races I've had for a very long time."
As a result of his win in Canada, Hamilton now leads the drivers championship: which means that as well as being the seventh different driver to win a Grand Prix in seven races so far in 2012, he's also the sixth different drivers to top the championship table.
"It's still sinking in," he said as the celebrations started in the McLaren