Poland's Kubica takes first win in Canada

Sun Jun 8, 2008 3:15pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Poland's Robert Kubica took his and BMW Sauber's first grand prix victory in Canada on Sunday to wrest the Formula One championship lead from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on a miserable afternoon for the Briton.

Hamilton, who enjoyed his breakthrough win on the same course last year, inexplicably drove into the back of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in a pit-lane collision that put the top two drivers out of the race.

In their absence, Kubica seized his chance.

He took the lead on lap 43 when Toyota's Timo Glock pitted and took the checkered flag ahead of German team mate Nick Heidfeld in a momentous one-two finish for the Swiss-based team.

"Fantastic race, fantastic for the team, for me and for my country and for the fans who I thank for cheering for me here in Canada," said Kubica after the Polish anthem had been played for the first time at a Formula One race.

The win capped an amazing turnaround for the 23-year-old Kubica, the first Pole to race in Formula One, after surviving a horrific crash in last year's race on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Scot David Coulthard, the oldest driver in the race at 37, rolled back the years to finish third for Red Bull ahead of Glock with Ferrari's Felipe Massa fifth.

"I would never have expected a podium this weekend - I've had a horrible start to the year," commented Coulthard after scoring his first points of the season.   Continued...

<p>BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica of Poland wins the Canadian F1 Grand Prix in Montreal June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>