Robert Kubica made history in the landmark 2008 Canadian Grand Prix - the 40th anniversary of the race's debut and its 30th appearance in Montreal - by doing just as Lewis Hamilton had done this time last year, and keeping his head whilst many around him lost theirs'.

On a chaotic day when drivers were being requested to stay away from the apexes at turns two, five and seven - with fears over the disintegrating track surface - and thunderstorms threatening (though happily never materialising), the Pole produced a supremely fast, composed and mature performance to secure his breakthrough Formula 1 victory at only his 29th attempt - at the track where just twelve months ago he had suffered the most terrifying crash of the season and one that kept him out of action for two weeks.

BMW-Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld made it a one-two for the Munich and Hinwil-based concern, with David Coulthard racing to the bottom step of the rostrum to deliver RBR their first podium of the campaign and kick-start his season with a vengeance.

Hamilton retained his pole position advantage as the lights went out to signal the start of the race, with no trouble through the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's notorious opening two corners, though Fernando Alonso was forced over the kerbs as he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, surrendering a position to the aggressive Nico Rosberg in the process.

Also in aggressive mood was Felipe Massa, who in attempting to mitigate a tardy getaway forced McLaren rival Heikki Kovalainen out wide, the Finn consequently losing a place to Honda's Rubens Barrichello, though he would grab the position back again before the first lap was out.

Duelling similarly hard were the two Toyotas, repeatedly going side-by-side as Jarno Trulli found a way past team-mate Timo Glock, with Heidfeld the next to be frustrated by the fast-starting Barrichello, though the German would also make his way by the Brazilian before much longer, dropping the Honda back into the clutches of Kazuki Nakajima's Williams and the Red Bull Racing pairing of Mark Webber and Coulthard.

With Hamilton pulling away out front to the tune of four tenths of a second a lap, and Kimi Raikkonen making precious little impression on second-placed Kubica, Massa was looking the raciest as he began to pile the pressure on Rosberg and Alonso just ahead of him.

Indeed, the Brazilian's attentions on the back of Alonso allowed Rosberg some breathing space, whilst Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen was almost a full eight seconds adrift of Hamilton with only nine laps run. Further back, the under-pressure Nelsinho Piquet put a good move on Glock into turn one for 14th spot, leaving Trulli just ahead the next man in the Renault rookie's sights.

A brave move up the inside of the hairpin from a long way back - giving Trulli the option of either getting swiftly out of the way or else coming together - earned the 22-year-old 13th place, as he threatened to begin turning his season around in much the same manner as did his predecessor Kovalainen this time last year, though the Finn was enjoying no such good fortune this time around, coming under increasing pressure from Heidfeld behind and lagging some 22 seconds adrift of team-mate Hamilton.

As Sutil dropped out on lap 15, parking his smoking Force India neatly on the grass between turns two and three, Raikkonen suddenly seemed to wake up, setting fastest lap as he homed in on Kubica's BMW.

By lap 18 the safety car had been deployed to clear away Sutil's car - wiping out Hamilton's 6.8-second advantage in one fell swoop, and earning Jenson Button a penalty for pitting before the pit-lane had officially opened.

As soon as it was open, the top five poured in en masse, and suddenly the pressure was very much on. As the cars rejoined, however, the drama ensued. Both Kubica and Raikkonen successfully jumped erstwhile leader Hamilton - the BMW and Ferrari leaving their pit boxes literally side-by-side - but then as they waited for the red light to change at the end of the pit-lane, Hamilton, presumably not expecting the light to be on, slewed into the back of his arch-rival for the championship, removing both from the action on the spot.

In the subsequent confusion, the following Rosberg could not quite stop in time before nudging the back of Hamilton's stationary McLaren, and the young German had to go around for another lap before being able to replace his broken nose cone. As a crestfallen Hamilton trudged back to his pit garage, those less charitably-inclined might have recalled to mind his post-race quip in reference to his father Anthony recently writing off a Porsche: "How do you crash a car at 30mph..?"

All of that incredibly left Heidfeld in the lead from Barrichello and Nakajima, with the RBRs of Webber and Coulthard fourth and fifth, the Toyota duo of Trulli and Glock - still duelling hard - sixth and seventh, and Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella inside the points in eighth place, whilst curiously Massa pitted again on the very next lap.

Within three laps Heidfeld had pulled out a gaping advantage of almost ten seconds, with Barrichello leading a train of cars behind him in second place, and Kubica in traffic a full three seconds a lap slower than his team-mate. Piquet - having been given a hurry-up over the team radio to keep pace with Alonso in the sister Renault - spun, and on rejoining very nearly took out the following Massa for good measure.

By the time Heidfeld pitted, he had nurtured a massive 26.3-second gap over Kubica, and his stop promoted Barrichello into the lead. Indeed, as the German rejoined he did so just ahead of Kubica, and scrabbling around for grip and struggling to get the power down, he only narrowly preserved the place. With Kubica now running behind his fuelled-to-the-end team-mate, and a particularly racy-looking Alonso behind the pair of them, the Pole knew he had to find a way past soon if he was to still stand a chance of winning this grand prix.

Clearly spurred on, Kubica dived up the inside of Heidfeld at the start of the following lap to steal the place, leaving his team-mate to deal with fending off the advances of Alonso and Kovalainen. Barrichello's subsequent pit-stop elevated Coulthard into the race lead, ahead of Trulli, Glock and Sebastian Vettel, who had begun the grand prix from the pit-lane.

Coulthard's subsequent pit visit allowed the Toyotas to run one-two for the only the second time in the Japanese manufacturer's seven-year F1 participation - the first being when Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis had done so in the 2003 British Grand Prix - but with the flying Kubica right with the pair of them.

Trulli pitted for his sole stop with 32 laps remaining, promoting Glock into the lead at the same place where four years ago the young German - yet to score in 2008 prior to Canada - had made his F1 debut. The delayed Massa passed Nakajima all the way around the outside of turn one, whilst up front Kubica - tucked up behind the Toyota still - had only succeeded in pulling ten seconds clear of Heidfeld, who he was in effect racing for victory.

The ever-ragged Alonso very nearly smashed into the back of Heidfeld into the hairpin as for the umpteenth time the Spaniard left his braking dangerously late, whilst further back the other Renault of Piquet was being parked in the pit garage, his Renault's sidepods covered in black brake dust giving away the story in a race famous for punishing the cars' brakes.

As Glock pitted, Kubica had ten laps left to pull out the necessary 15 seconds he would need to re-emerge from his second pit-stop still in the lead, and once released his pace was simply stunning, as he lapped two seconds faster than he had been able to do behind the Toyota. Playing in Kubica's favour was the fact that Heidfeld still had his mirrors and hands full of Alonso's ever-present Renault, but that problem was solved shortly afterwards when - after going too deep into the hairpin one too many times - the former double world champion dropped it in turn seven, hitting the barriers and bringing a premature end to his charge.

That amazingly left Coulthard in third position, ahead of Barrichello, the most experienced driver in the field having to use all of his guile to fend off the challenges of Kovalainen and Massa in significantly quicker machinery behind. A little further back, Nakajima hit the back of the second Honda of Button at the hairpin, and was forced into retirement after his front wing got trapped underneath the car as he entered the pit-lane and pushed him into the pit wall.

With 23 laps remaining, Kubica's lead was some 22 seconds, and it had increased to more than 25 seconds by the time he made his stop, rejoining comfortably a couple of seconds ahead of the #3 BMW. Behind them, Barrichello was still doing an extremely impressive job of holding off both a McLaren and a Ferrari, or at least he was until Kovalainen dived past into the hairpin, but with the Finn being unable to slow his car down in time with no traction on the marbles on the exit, the opportunistic Massa swept past the pair of them in a superbly aggressive move that earned the Brazilian fourth place.

That left the Ferrari ace chasing down third-placed Coulthard - 7.9 seconds ahead with 19 laps left to run - with Button now also right with Barrichello for sixth place, and Glock completing the top eight at this stage.

As Kubica edged away once more, the next action came when Fisichella got it all crossed-up and dumped his Force India into the wall, though this time it was deemed by the race stewards that a safety car intervention was not necessary. Surprisingly, Massa, Kovalainen, Button and Webber all pitted again, putting Barrichello up in fourth place once more - now under pressure from Glock - and handing Coulthard some very welcome breathing space in the final prospective podium spot.

The Scot survived a minor scare as he ran slightly wide with twelve laps to go as his brakes got increasingly hot, whilst Rosberg and Kovalainen were pushing Vettel extremely hard in the battle over seventh place in the race's closing stages. A grassy moment for Barrichello, meanwhile, allowed both of the chasing Toyotas past up into fourth and fifth, and left the Brazilian at the mercy of the charging Massa.

A side-by-side tussle between the defensive Vettel and Rosberg towards the end of the back straight allowed Kovalainen to power past the Williams on the exit, and the pair would swap places a couple more times over an entertaining following lap.

Barrichello's once highly promising race continued to fall apart as compatriot Massa found a way by too into sixth, and with Trulli ahead struggling with his brakes, the Ferrari man clearly fancied a couple more places before the chequered flag fell. Rapidly closing down a five-second deficit, he would get past his quarry into turn two, as Glock got out wide on the marbles with three laps remaining and in correcting came across right in front of his team-mate, with the subsequent loss of momentum for Trulli allowing Massa to breeze by into fifth.

Further back, Vettel, a gripless Kovalainen and Rosberg were threatening Barrichello's seventh position - making it look questionable whether the latter would even score any points at all from the afternoon.

He would hold on, though, to cross the line seventh, ahead of Vettel - who straight-lined the chicane twice in his efforts to preserve the final points-paying spot from the frustrated Kovalainen and Rosberg - whilst behind them Webber spun inconsequentially from eleventh place.

Ahead of that battle, Glock refused to succumb to the pressure that Massa was applying to him behind, as the Ferrari took the chequered flag fifth, the meat in a Toyota sandwich. The result that everyone was talking about, though, was the fact that Formula 1 had a new winner, with Kubica continuing serenely on to the end to not only become the first of his countrymen ever to triumph in the top flight, but with it seize the championship lead.

A slightly subdued Heidfeld came home more than 16 seconds behind at the close, with Coulthard an elated - and no doubt highly relieved - third for Red Bull, taking his first points for the year into the bargain.

As one experienced hand showed that there's life in the old dog yet, two steps higher up on the rostrum a young pup was proving that one year on from the crash that some had feared would kill him, a star had most definitely been born.

To see the race result in full, click here