Lewis Hamilton secured the forty-fifth victory of his Formula 1 career as he got the better of Sebastian Vettel to win the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday.
Vettel had made a great getaway to lead from third on the grid into the first corner, but the Scuderia Ferrari driver made two trips to the pit lane whereas Mercedes AMG PETRONAS’ Hamilton made only one.
Vettel’s efforts to close down the gap on fresher Soft Pirelli tyres were not helped by a handful of excursions off-track at the final chicane, which cost him a handful of seconds, and ultimately fell 5.011 seconds short at the chequered flag.
The reigning World Champion was untroubled, only making one notable mistake at the hairpin just before his scheduled pit stop to switch from his starting Ultrasoft tyre to the mandatory Soft stint.
Valtteri Bottas secured his and the Williams Martini Racing’s first podium finish of the season after also making an one-stop strategy work, whereas everyone in the points behind him were made to make at least two.
Max Verstappen secured fourth for Red Bull Racing after a brilliant defensive drive over the last few laps as he held off the challenge of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, who had a frustrating day right from the start until the chequered flag.
Rosberg had made a good start and was challenging team-mate Hamilton into turn one, only for the two to bang wheels, forcing the German across the run-off area and losing significant ground, and then while challenging Bottas for a podium position, he suffered a slow puncture that forced him into the pits for an unscheduled stop.
To compound his day, he made a challenge on Verstappen on the penultimate lap at the chicane, but spun into the run-off, meaning he was forced to settle for fifth and having his championship lead over team-mate Hamilton cut to just nine points.
Kimi Raikkonen finished just behind Rosberg in sixth for Ferrari, ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, who was another to be forced to make an unscheduled second stop when his team called him into the pits due to a flat-spot that they believed would cause damage to his RB12 should he have continued.
Nico Hülkenberg finished a lapped eighth for the Sahara Force India team ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, who drove an impressive race to climb up from twentieth on the grid to score two points in ninth for Scuderia Toro Rosso, while the second Force India of Sergio Perez scored the final point on offer in tenth.
Fernando Alonso attempted to make a one-stop strategy work in his favour but missed out on points for the McLaren-Honda team in eleventh, with the Spaniard getting the better of a battle with Daniil Kvyat over the closing laps, the second Toro Rosso driver ending up in twelfth ahead of the Haas F1 Team duo of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean.
Marcus Ericsson finished fifteenth for the Sauber F1 Team ahead of the Renault Sport F1 of Kevin Magnussen, with Pascal Wehrlein of Manor Racing finishing seventeenth ahead of the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr and his team-mate Rio Haryanto.
Felipe Massa saw his run of scoring points in every Grand Prix in 2016 come to an end when he pulled into the pits to retire the second Williams with an engine-related issue, with Jolyon Palmer also having retired in the pits a little earlier in the race in his Renault after a water leak, while Jenson Button was the first to retire when his McLaren’s engine failed on the back straight.
Hamilton ultimately secured another race victory, his fifth in total at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but Vettel in particular will perhaps be ruing the decision to make two stops when the pace of Hamilton showed a one-stop strategy could possible have seen the German to victory.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Race Result
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