* Hamilton wins in Canada for McLaren
* Briton is seventh different winner in seven races
* Grosjean second for Lotus in career best
(Adds quotes, detail)
By Steve Keating
MONTREAL, June 10 McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
stormed to a Canadian Grand Prix victory on Sunday to become a
magnificent seventh winner in seven Formula One races this
season and seize the championship lead.
The Briton had to mount a ferocious charge after his second
pits top, banging in a series of fastest laps to reel in Red
Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was second in a Lotus, a career
best, with Mexican Sergio Perez third in a Sauber after
overtaking Alonso - a driver he may end up partnering next
season if he continues to impress.
It was Hamilton's third win in Montreal, an island circuit
where he took his first grand prix triumph in 2007, in five
The 2008 champion, who also stood on top of the podium in
Canada in 2010, had his most worrying moments in the two pits
tops - McLaren's weak point this season - but on the track he
"What a great feeling, this is where I won my first Grand
Prix and I knew today would be a tough, tough race but I loved
every single minute of it," said Hamilton, who now has 88 points
to Alonso's 86 and Vettel's 85.
Brandishing the British flag as he stepped out of the car
after a gripping finale, he hugged his mechanics while
girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger kissed his visor.
"It's been five years since I won here the first time but it
feels just as good. It feels great to be on the top step, we
never take it for granted," he said.
"This for me feels like one of the very best races I have
had for a long time."
Vettel had started from pole, just like last year, and led
the early part of the 70 lap race but lost pace over the final
laps to finish fourth in a grand prix that his Red Bull team
have yet to win.
The German was fortunate to get to the chequered flag after
skimming the wall three laps from the end.
Spaniard Alonso, bidding to give resurgent Ferrari a victory
on the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of former-Ferrari
great Gilles Villeneuve but struggling on worn tyres at the
finish, had to settle for fifth.
The race began under brilliant blue skies and threats by
student protesters to disrupt the Grand Prix but heavy security
at all entrance points to the island circuit made sure the race
unfolded without incident.
On the track the race was also run without any major
incidents, the safety car remaining parked - a rarity for
Montreal - while the red flag was never waved.
Much of the 70 lap race was an enthralling battle between
three world champions, Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton who all had
turns at the front.
Vettel led from the start and remained in the lead until the
first pit stops rejoining behind Alonso and Hamilton.
Hamilton pushed his way into the lead fighting off
challenges from Red Bull and Ferrari until making his second pit
stop while Alonso and Vettel continued despite McLaren assuring
Hamilton that they would have to come in.
But with their tyres failing and pace slipping, Hamilton
obeyed his team's instructions to 'give it everything' and
reeled them in to give McLaren their second win of the campaign
after Jenson Button's victory in Australia.
Button, who last year surged past Vettel on the final lap to
claim a dramatic victory in a rain-hit race, was not a factor
and finished 16th, baffled with his car's lack of pace.
Hamilton was joined on the podium by two youngsters both
making their second appearances in the top three in this most
unpredictable of seasons.
Grosjean, who rated the Gilles Villeneuve circuit his
favourite after learning it with a video game, gave Lotus their
fourth top three finish of the season.
"Starting 15th the last thing you would think about is to
end up on the podium," said Perez, who had a second in Malaysia.
"We went quite aggressive, the stops were very good and I
managed to take over some cars with some difficult moves.
"It is the second time we get in the (podium) points and
hopefully we can keep going."
Germany's Nico Rosberg was sixth, while his team mate
Michael Schumacher had another miserable afternoon and retired
with a rear wing failure.
Australian Mark Webber was seventh for Red Bull, Finland's
Kimi Raikkonen took eighth place for Lotus and Japan's Kamui
Kobayashi was ninth for Sauber.
Brazil's Felipe Massa took the final point for Ferrari.
(Editing by Alan Baldwin)