Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on in Montreal.
Lewis Hamilton’s love affair with the Canadian Grand Prix continued unabated on Sunday as he won the race for a sixth time and slashed Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One championship lead to 12 points. He then lost bits of his front-wing to a bold move around the outside of the first corner by the fast-starting Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull clipped the Ferrari as he swept past.
The Briton might have cut Vettel’s lead further if not for an inspired charge by the German who fought his way to fourth after a damaged front wing forced a pitstop and dropped him to the back of the field early on.
Hamilton has a great start to thank for winning the eventful race on Sunday which came exactly 10 years after his first ever pole and victory on the same track. “The team came away from Monaco scratching their hands, but everyone just wanted to work and pull together, which we did”.
“Also we know now, after the last race, where to develop this vehicle moving forwards which I think is really going to make a difference in winning this championship”. Force India’s Sergio Pewrez and Esteban Ocon were fifth and sixth with Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari seventh.
That was the final act as he joined his team-mate Swede Marcus Ericsson among the early departures together with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren Honda, in 16th, local hope Canadian teenager rookie Lance Stroll of Williams in 17th and Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas.
“I’ve got the stamp, I posted it the other day”, he said, before a prod from Vettel at his side made him see the unintended pun.
Hamilton made the most of the re-start and resisted another Verstappen attack before Vettel, his front wing clearly damaged, pitted for repairs. There was no stone left unturned: aero, mechanical balance, set-up work, the tyres themselves, the way the drivers drove the vehicle. “I think it was clear that today we could have been better than fourth, but that’s how we finished and what is done is done”, said Vettel.
Vettel finally claimed fifth when Ocon ran off at Turn One, after being blocked by Perez, and the German then ran off again himself and recovered.
Sainz caused an opening lap crash with Massa, bringing out the safety auto, and will carry a three-place grid penalty over to the next race in Azerbaijan.
Not since the heyday of Hamilton’s childhood hero Ayrton Senna’s intense rivalry with his McLaren team-mate Alain Prost almost 30 years ago has a battle for glory so comprehensively captured the imagination.
“I tried to be aggressive and get ahead of the Ferraris“, said Bottas. The 18-year-old was among the five drivers eliminated in the first 15-minute qualifying session, finishing 17th at 1:14.209 and will start the race second row from the back.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (44) leads at the start of the race. I was flat out and when you are chasing other cars you lose quite a lot of grip, then you are sliding.
The “squabble” between Ocon and Perez gave Vettel the opportunity to pass Ocon and soon after, Perez.