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Kubica Leads After Hamilton Pit Lane Error

Jun 13, 2008
Once again it was another supremely exciting weekend in the world of Formula 1. Fans, sponsors and merchandise producers will be impressed with what may be regarded as one of the most bizarre and treacherous Montreal Grand Prix in history. The eventual winner of the race was BMW's Robert Kubica, after taking advantage of mid-race chaos from the other major competitors. The result was surprising for many commentators who expected McLaren to dominate the entire weekend, something they almost did had it not been for a moment of madness. So overall how did the race weekend pan out?

The merchandise suppliers and sponsors to McLaren must have been jubilant after qualifying saw them on pole position in the form of Lewis Hamilton. The young Brit had put in a sparkling lap that not only stunned the competition but even his own fans. In places he was nearly a second faster that than the Ferraris. This was expected to be a good track for the McLaren car as they had dominated here in past years but the sheer speed of Hamilton astonished even his own team. Despite Hamilton's blistering pace, Heikki Kovaleinen the other driver for McLaren could not match his team mate's velocity. Something the merchandise suppliers and sponsors will be acutely aware of as Heikki has failed to amaze the Formula 1 world just yet.

It looked as if Hamilton was going to convert his pole and take the win on the Formula 1 circuit where he recorded his maiden win. But with sections of the track that needed replacing over the weekend and a host of safety cars this Formula 1 race will be remembered for an incident in the pit lane rather than on the racetrack. After Adrian Sutil had needed to pull over due to engine problems the safety car was deployed, a frustrating fact for race leader Hamilton who had built up a six second lead.

Next was to be one of the most memorable events of the season, an incident that will not be forgotten by sponsors, merchandise producers and commentators alike. As the safety car was lifted the top five cars poured into the pit lane for the first round of stops, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkenon had just pipped Hamilton to the exit; however, as the rest of the pack were still filing past after the safety car exit from the pit stop was not allowed. This fact was missed by Hamilton as he careered into the back of the Finn, ending not only his own race but also that of his main rival.

Sponsors, merchandise suppliers and fans of the young Brit will be unhappy to hear that since the incident he has been heavily penalised by Formula 1 officials. After the stewards investigated the video evidence they came to the conclusion that it was Hamilton's mistake and he will have to pay for the error. The next Formula 1 race in France will see the British driver take a ten place penalty after qualifying; a fact that should please Ferrari and Kimi, who were understandably miffed by Hamilton's error.

That said it should not be forgotten that sponsors, fans and merchandise companies associated with Robert Kubica and BMW will be ecstatic. This is the maiden Formula 1 race win for the German team this season. Granted it was a win that took advantage of the misfortune of the main competitors but nothing should be taken away from Kubica who quelled his own demons at the Montreal circuit where he had crashed horrifically last year. His performance was solid and now he finds himself at the top of the Formula 1 driver standings. As we move to France it will be interesting to see how much the ten place penalty will impede Hamilton and whether his main rivals will be able to take the initiative and really punish the Brit for his mistake.
About the Author
Motor sport expert Thomas Pretty looks at the reasons why Formula 1 merchandise produces, sponsors and fans of Lewis Hamilton will not be pleased this week.
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