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Alonso, Ferrari struggle in Canada 10 Jun 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2007

Difficult race for champion, but Ferrari rivals do little better

While team mate Lewis Hamilton is busy celebrating his maiden victory, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will undoubtedly be trying to forget his own Canadian Grand Prix. After failing to capitalise on the numerous dramas in Montreal, Alonso eventually crossed the line in seventh.

Although the Spaniard started the race alongside pole-sitter Hamilton, he made a critical mistake at the first corner. Running wide, he handed second place to BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, who quickly began to pull away.

Unfortunately for Alonso it was only the first of a series of errors as he battled with braking problems on his MP4-22, the most costly being his first pit stop, which he made under the safety car. The resulting 10-second stop-go penalty relegated him further down the order.

With the underside of his car almost certainly damaged from his various trips over the kerbs, Alonso struggled for pace, particularly in the closing stages when his super-soft Bridgestones seemed to be providing little grip. The result was the unusual sight of a McLaren being passed by a Super Aguri, that of Takuma Sato.

The result means Alonso is now trailing race winner Hamilton by eight points in the driver standings. His only consolation was the fact that his Ferrari competition also fared poorly. With Kimi Raikkonen’s fifth place and the black-flagging of Felipe Massa, Alonso is still seven points ahead of the third-placed Brazilian and 13 ahead of the Finn.