Sebastian Vettel capped off what could have been a disappointing weekend, as the German not only won pole but dominated from start to finish the Canadian Grand Prix Sunday afternoon, winning the race by 5.7 seconds over Valtteri Bottas with Max Verstappen picking up valuable points in third.
The victory by Vettel now puts the Ferrari driver one point ahead of Lewis Hamilton after seven rounds of the world championship.
“Perfect is a good way to describe it,” Vettel said. “I said yesterday how much this place means for Ferrari. To have a race like we have today is unbelievable.”
Vettel only managed to stay with the field on the very first lap, when he passed Bottas on Turn 2 and sped away from the grid, lapping every car by the end of the race up to sixth place. The gap between Vettel and Bottas grew as the race progressed, with Vettel himself putting a 4.7-second gap by lap 21. He increased that advantage to nearly seven seconds 20 laps later. The end result was a little under six seconds by the end of the race, which was flagged one lap earlier than expected.
As in the normal Canadian races without much attrition, only three drivers retired this year. The first was on the opening gap when home driver Lance Stroll did not give Brendon Hartley enough room and boxed the Kiwi out, causing both to collide at Turn 5. The incident put both drivers out and marked the second race in a row Hartley retired early. Fernando Alonso was the last to leave when his McLaren encountered an exhaust issue on lap 43.
Daniel Ricciardo could never catch the top three all race, and had to settle for fourth, while Hamilton pitted early, complaining of overheating problems, and finished in fifth. Kimi Raikkonen was another driver who never could get going in the race, and took sixth. Renault improved its chances to finish fourth in the constructors’ championship, with double points by Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. taking seventh and eighth, respectively. Esteban Ocon finished ninth, and Sauber gained one more point with Charles LeClerc taking 10th.
It is the first time since 2004 when a driver won in a car with the prancing horse on it, and Vettel reminded everyone of a driver that drove a car with this brand, that has a resemblance to the name of this circuit.
“Today at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve we had Jacques driving his father’s car earlier, which was very emotional.” Vettel continued. “And to have a win with me driving makes me very proud.”
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A solid performance from Vettel and Ferrari, while more disappointment from Kimi. Yet one has to wonder whether is Mercedes had brought there new engine for this race would things have been different.
Also, if reports are to be believed, that Renault’s engine upgrade responded better to the BP fuel used in the factory team than the Mobil fuel used in the Bulls.
Always something interesting on the technical side of F1.
Even though there is no passing, I still find F1 exciting to watch. The whole package has a different “air” about it. You never hear about inspection issues. The drivers and crew are fairly accessible to short interviews without attitudes. No entourage. That supermodel friend of Hamilton looked weird. The commentators for SkySportsF1 are starting to act like the Waltrips.