Controversial Penalty To Vettel Hands Canadian Grand Prix Victory To Hamilton

by Aaron Gillard
Vettel - Podium - Ferrari - Canada

Lewis Hamilton claims the Canadian Grand Prix victory after a controversial penalty decision by the race stewards denied Sebastian Vettel the win after being handed a five-second penalty for re-entering the track in an unsafe matter.

Vettel led majority of the race throughout and took the chequered flag first, but a penalty was handed to the German after he went off at Turn 3 and rejoined the track. The stewards felt the Scuderia Ferrari driver rejoined unsafely and nearly putting Hamilton into the wall. The decision ultimately decided the outcome of the race as Hamilton needed to stick with Vettel to claim the win.

The Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver kept the gap within five seconds in the final stages of the race and claimed the win, his fifth win of the season. Charles Leclerc rounded off the podium positions with third place

After the race, Vettel was furious over the decision and refused to park his car onto the podium and went back to his Ferrari motor home. He eventually attended the podium alongside Hamilton and third place Leclerc, but not without changing the podium boards, switching his second place board for Hamilton’s number one.

Vettel started with the lead of the race on the opening lap ahead of both Hamilton and Leclerc. Daniel Ricciardo retained his fourth place ahead of Pierre Gasly, whilst Valtteri Bottas lost a place to the Renault F1 Team of Nico Hülkenberg. Alexander Albon lost his front wing at Turn 1 when he made contact with the Alfa Romeo Racing and Racing Point cars.

Both Max Verstappen and Lando Norris dueled with each other for eighth place. The British rookie in the McLaren F1 Team car locked up heavily at the hairpin, allowing the Red Bull pass but Norris managed to find his way back through Verstappen down the back straight. On Lap 6, Verstappen managed to make his way through Norris for the position before the final chicane.

Gasly in the Red Bull Racing became the first of the front runners to make a pit stop on Lap 7, swapping the Soft tyres for the Hards. A lap later, Ricciardo pitted in for the Hards and retained his position ahead of the Frenchman. On the same lap, Norris’ right rear tyre started to fall off due to a fire from the brake disc, the wheel was hanging on by a thread and was forced to become the first retirement of the race.

Hülkenberg made his stop at the end of Lap 16, swapping the soft tyres for a set of hard compounds, allowing Bottas to have a clear track. The German came out behind of his team-mate Ricciardo but ahead of Gasly, who was stuck behind the Racing Point of Lance Stroll who was yet to make his stop.

Ferrari made the call to race leader Vettel and Leclerc to switch to a ‘Plan B’ strategy. After the call from the pits, Leclerc began reducing the gap to second place Hamilton by three seconds at the end of Lap 22. Vettel on Lap 26 was later told to push with his Medium tyres and made his stop at the end of Lap 27 for Hard tyres.

Mercedes told Hamilton to stay out on track for two laps as Vettel began to ate away the gap to the Brit. Eventually, Hamilton made his stop and came out behind Vettel by 4.6 seconds, but ahead of team-mate Bottas in third place. Then race leader Leclerc went long on his tyres until Lap 33, when the Monegasque driver pitted for Hard tyres and rejoining in fourth place behind Verstappen, who was yet to make his stop.

Bottas closed down Ricciardo for fifth place with the Finnish driver attempting to pass the Renault down the back straight with the DRS, but Ricciardo held his ground and kept the position in their fight at the half way stage of the race. Bottas managed to find his way pass the Australian, but not without a late defending maneuver on Bottas which nearly caused a collision.

Hamilton soon managed to get within DRS distance to race leader Vettel by Lap 40 and stayed behind the back of the Ferarri throughout. Vettel then lost the rear of his car at Turn 3 which sent the Ferarri off track and onto the grass. Hamilton attempted to pass the German as the Ferrari rejoined the track, but the German kept his lead of the race by the narrowest of margins. The stewards investigated the incident and handed a five-second penalty to Vettel for an unsafe re-entry.

With the penalty, Vettel attempted to produce a five second gap to Hamilton to hold the race win whilst complaining over the radio, stating his point over what he was suppose to do and where he was meant to go when rejoining the track. Hamilton kept within a second to Vettel throughout the final stages of the race and onto the final lap, where Vettel crossed the line first but Hamilton took the overall win.

After the race, Vettel parked his Ferrari outside of the FIA garage and refused to go to podium ceremony along with Hamilton and Leclerc. The German stormed off to his Ferrari motor home after the race whilst Hamilton celebrated his seventh Canadian Grand Prix win.

Bottas claimed fourth place ahead of Verstappen, who drove well to recover a result after a bad qualifying. Both Renault drivers of Ricciardo and Hülkenberg grabbed sixth and seventh place, beating Red Bull’s Gasly.

Canadian driver Lance Stroll performed a strong recovery drive with a one-stop strategy to claim ninth place in front of his home crowd. Toro Rosso Honda‘s Daniil Kvyat rounded off the points paying position.

Pos.No.DriverNat.TeamTime
144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:29:07.084
25Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow+3.658
316Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow+4.696
477Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport+51.043
533Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing+57.655
63Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault F1 Team+1 Lap
727Nico HülkenbergGERRenault F1 Team+1 Lap
810Pierre GaslyFRAAston Martin Red Bull Racing+1 Lap
918Lance StrollCANSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+1 Lap
1026Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+1 Lap
1155Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team+1 Lap
1211Sergio PérezMEXSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+1 Lap
1399Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing+1 Lap
148Romain GrosjeanFRARich Energy Haas F1 Team+1 Lap
157Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing+1 Lap
1663George RussellGBRROKiT Williams Racing+2 Laps
1720Kevin MagnussenDENRich Energy Haas F1 Team+2 Laps
1888Robert KubicaPOLROKiT Williams Racing+2 Laps
1923Alexander AlbonTHARed Bull Toro Rosso HondaLap 62/Retirement
204Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 TeamLap 11/Damage

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