Victory in Canada means as much as first win for Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton said his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix meant as much to him as his maiden victory at the same track five years ago.
The McLaren driver became the seventh different winner in as many races in 2012 and takes the championship lead, two points ahead of Fernando Alonso.
"Every victory is special, every victory is new and fresh," he said.
"We've had incredible victories and it feels just as special as my first one here, if not a little bit more."
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“I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough race, I knew the Ferraris and Red Bulls were very strong with their long runs
Hamilton took the 18th victory of his career after a race-long fight with Ferrari's Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
But Hamilton's two biggest rivals slipped down behind Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Sauber's Sergio Perez at the finish after their gamble on doing one pit stop, compared to Hamilton's two, failed to come off.
Vettel took fourth after making a late second stop for fresh tyres, while Alonso was fifth after sticking it out with fading grip.
Hamilton admitted the victory had come as a relief after waiting so long for his first win of the year, despite starting the season with the fastest car.
"When I came across the line, I was like: 'Finally, thank goodness, thank God,'" he said.
"Great, incredible feeling. I don't know what to say. I'm so excited and so happy.
"I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough race, I knew the Ferraris and Red Bulls were very strong with their long runs."
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