Defending series champion pulls to within nine points of teammate Nico Rosberg
A decision to stay out on worn tires late in the race gave Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes a five-second victory over Sebastian Vettel Sunday afternoon at the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. For Hamilton, it is his second victory in a row, his 54th of his career and his fifth win at this historic race venue. For the second season in a row, Valtteri Bottas took third.
Points leader Nico Rosberg finished fifth, while America-led Haas F1 Team got a 13th-place finish from Esteban Gutierrez and 14th from Romain Grosjean.
“I had a bad start and I don’t know why,” said Hamilton. “Sebastian and Nico had a great run, and my tires were cold and I had a big understeering. The car worked great from the engineers and mechanics.”
Vettel caught Hamilton sleeping at the start of the race as the Ferrari pilot passed the Briton around the inside of him and took the lead for a good portion of the race. Hamilton tapped his Mercedes teammate and series leader Rosberg around the first corner, which never saw the German return to the front of the grid. Vettel held a 10.3-second lead up to lap 34 and six laps later, with a gap of under 10 seconds coming in to pit, Hamilton took the lead in which he never conceded.
In a race that usually has safety cars out an average of three times or more, only one virtual session emerged on lap 11, when Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda encountered a fire, which was quickly extinguished by marshals. Besides the Briton, only two other drivers, Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Massa, retired from the race.
Max Verstappen just held off Rosberg for fourth, as the German spun his car just one lap from the finish, trying to overtake the 18-year-old Dutchman. Kimi Raikkonen finished in sixth, while Daniel Ricciardo took seventh. Eighth was taken by Nico Hulkenberg, while ninth went to Carlos Sainz Jr. Sergio Perez, who took third at the last round in Monaco, grabbed the last point position.
Hamilton’s victory gives the current world champion second place in the standings, trailing Rosberg by only nine points. Hamilton, however, realizes that work still needs to continue for more success.
“There is still work to do,” said Hamilton. “We are going to work to improve this car. We are just trying to keep it on the road. These guys are getting faster at Ferrari and Red Bull, so we are going to keep our heads down, and I am just overwhelmed.”
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