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Michael Taylor 12th Jun 2010 - 21:35

Hamilton on the pace for second successive win

Lewis Hamilton pulled out the finest lap of his season so far in Montreal to finally end the Red Bull dominance of pole position.

Hamilton found the groove early in his improved McLaren, leading the way throughout Q1 and Q2 before snatching the pole with a blistering final lap in the dying embers of Q3.

The 2008 world champion now has plenty of reason for celebration as he hunts for a second successive grand prix win after being handed the victory thanks to Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel's late spat in Turkey two weeks ago.

The real good news for McLaren fans though comes not from Turkey rather the manner in which Hamilton's car finally appeared to have enough genuine pace to consistently challenge the Red Bulls.

Unfortunately Jenson Button couldn't quite eek as much pace from his McLaren but he'll be fairly happy with his fifth place on the grid and even happier if he can pass Fernando Alonso's Ferrari early on.

The defending world champion never really got to grips on the soft tyres and while he improved the longer the sessions went on, he realistically looked only a shadow of his teammate.

Vettel could be the one to watch after an error strewn qualifying yet he once again pulled it out when it mattered as he hauled his Red Button on to the second row of the grid (3rd).

The German has a lot to make up for following his disastrous performance in Turkey, however unless he manages a rapid turnaround it's hard to see how he can claim anything more than the bottom step on the podium.

He was edgy through the corners, a fair bit slower than Webber and his third place was a little bit flattering in the end.

It all makes his price at 7/2 look far too short in a GP that could very well pan out as a straight battle against current drivers' championship leader Webber and Hamilton.

Hamilton is a worthy 11/10 favourite, the only issue has to come down to tactics with the McLarens and Red Bulls both using different strategies.

Hamilton starts on the soft tyres, Webber and Vettel on the harder compound meaning if one of the Red Bulls can get past Hamilton early then it could turn into a simple procession.

However if the pole sitter gets the jump and can control the pace then it seems impossible to imagine anyone can pass him.

I prefer that option, especially given the new found optimism in the McLaren camp meaning the fav has to be the sensible bet - Webber is the only other reasonable pick at 5/2.

As for the long term picture there has to be real consideration for getting on board with Martin Whitmarsh's McLarens for the season constructors championship at 6/4.

A few weeks ago it was a one horse race, now the Red Bulls have a serious rival you have to think about all the missed chances and catastrophes endured by the current leaders.

Car failure and moments of madness have kept it tight on the top and with McLaren on the rise it could pay dividends to have confidence in further progression.



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