Perhaps realising that not much is 'better than sex', as he so eloquently described his maiden Formula One pole position, Lewis Hamilton was forced to re-evaluate his pleasure scale after taking victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Briton took a consummate success in a race marked by four safety car periods, two disqualifications and a serious-looking accident for Robert Kubica, to open out an eight-point lead in the championship as his rivals all appeared to self-destruct.

Never headed from the start, Hamilton consistently pulled out an advantage over the chasing pack but, importantly, kept his head when the safety car continually negated his lead. With 13 laps to run to the flag, he again pulled away from chief rival Nick Heidfeld to give himself room to celebrate as he took the flag.

"I was just trying to control myself, to be honest," he said of the final lap, "I wanted to stop the car and jump out and just do, I don't know, cartwheels or something! I just had to keep it going. The last few laps, I was just counting them down. I'm the type of guy who usually pushes right to the end, but it's a tricky circuit and, if you make one mistake, you get on the marbles and you're in the wall, so I quietened down towards the end and just enjoyed it. It really was about just enjoying the whole moment.

"It was extremely emotional. To get all way into Formula One and to have my first pole, my first win and... who had fastest lap? It has been a fantastic day. This is history. We've had six podiums and I've been ready for the win for quite some time. It was just a matter of when and where. The team gave me the best car. I had no problems during the race at all, apart from a few safety cars which sort of made it a little bit boring at some points. But, as soon as we got going, it was exciting again. I have to dedicate this win to my Dad because without him this would not have been possible."

Hamilton admitted that negotiating the safety car periods had been both tedious and a mental issue, but praised his team for their part in his success.

"I thought it was quite a good challenge, to be honest," he noted, "I think it was an eleven-second lead from the start and then we got the first pace car. Fortunately, the team did a great job pulling me in a lap before, and I have to say that was just a very good call from them, because I think that was earlier than I was supposed to stop, and I think some other people got caught out with the pace car. I came out just behind Felipe [Massa] and then it was again all about trying to get the gap."

Asked how the victory rankled in comparison with his now infamous post-qualifying assessment, Hamilton was stuck for words. Egged on by more experienced podium partners Alex Wurz and Nick Heidfeld - who suggested that the Briton was too young to know what he was talking about - Hamilton showed his only hesitation of the weekend.

"Yesterday it was a joke, but it's a completely different feeling, that's for sure," he smiled, slightly embarrassed at having his swords come back to haunt him,..

"It will be a great evening and there is plenty of time to enjoy it. I am definitely on a different planet. It's just really hard to grasp everything, it just keeps getting better and better. Going into this weekend, I really didn't think it would be my time.

"There's really a big thank you to the team going into Indy and, obviously, I go there with great confidence. We have to try and continue with the performance that we have, and I have no doubt we can do that."

 

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