Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory in action packed Canadian Grand Prix

After an exciting race at the Canadian Grand Prix, Chris Soulsby looks at the race which saw Lewis Hamilton claim his sixth win around the circuit.

Coming off a win at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out, Sebastian Vettel was looking to emulate his performances for Ferrari at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, hoping to secure his fourth win of 2017 at the Canadian Grand Prix. After practice showed that Mercedes were much closer to Ferrari than what was initially expected, Vettel’s aim to secure another win did not seem to be so straightforward, especially when Lewis Hamilton secured the 65th pole position of his career. With both Hamilton and Vettel being closely matched in terms of performance however, the Canadian Grand Prix was shaping up to be an exciting battle for the win.

Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory in action packed Canadian Grand Prix

When the lights went out for the start of the race, it was Lewis Hamilton who had the better start of the drivers on the front row, but the best start had to be that of Max Verstappen, who moved into second place by the first corner after starting in fifth. Verstappen got the perfect launch from his grid slot and jumped both Ferrari drivers and Valtteri Bottas at the start, passing them around the outside of turn 1 and cutting in front of Vettel into turn 2, damaging the German’s front wing.

It was not long until the yellow flags were waving on the track however, and the safety car was soon deployed following an accident involving Carlos Sainz Jr, Romain Grosjean, and Felipe Massa, with Sainz clipping Grosjean on the entry to turn 3 and spinning into the back of Massa on the corner.

As soon as the safety car peeled into the pits at the end of lap 3, action once again took to the track, with Verstappen attempting to pass Hamilton around the outside on the entry to the iconic chicane corner and then falling into the clutches of Valtteri Bottas after the failed overtake, with the Finn then challenging the Dutchman into the first corner. Raikkonen also fell down the field, falling back to sixth place after an off allowed Sergio Perez to overtake. Sebastian Vettel then pitted one lap later onto the supersoft tyres in order to repair the damage to his front wing, rejoining in 18th place.

The virtual safety car was deployed on lap 11 to clear up the stricken Red Bull of second placed Verstappen, when a battery failure caused the driver to grind to a halt from second place, promoting Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer, and  Marcus Ericsson to pit from the midfield.

When the green flag waved on lap 14, Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll overtook Stoffel Vandoorne. A battle for eighth place then erupted when Nico Hulkenberg joined the pair on lap 17, with Stroll looking at Magnussen into the chicane while Hulkenberg eyed up Stroll going into turn 1, although the positions did not change.

Ferrari then pitted Kimi Raikkonen on lap 17, aiming to perform the undercut strategy on third placed Daniel Ricciardo. This was then covered off by Red Bull, pitting Ricciardo on lap 18 while Force India tried the overcut strategy, pitting Sergio Perez on lap 19. The positions remained the same however, despite the strategy calls going on.

After pitting on lap 4, Vettel then began to make his way through the field, overtaking Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, and Kevin Magnussen to move into eighth place, just before Valtteri Bottas pitted from second onto the soft compound tyre to rejoin in third.

After Hulkenberg passed Stroll and Magnussen, the race leader then pitted, with Hamilton fitting the supersoft tyre to his Mercedes, rejoining in the lead with second placed Esteban Ocon pitting on the same lap.

Raikkonen pitted for the second time of the race on lap 42 onto the ultrasofts, with Ferrari hoping that the faster compound would allow the Finn to make his way through the ensuing battle for third between Ricciardo, Perez, and Ocon to finish on the podium. Ferrari then pitted Vettel on lap 49 after putting in an impressive stint on the supersoft tyres having been on them since lap 4.

With the battle for third shaping up as the Ferrari pair began to close in on the scene, a row over team radio ensued in the Force India garage, with Ocon believing that he had the pace to overtake Ricciardo while Perez believed that he did, leading to the team considering swapping the drivers out on track.

Daniil Kvyat then became the fourth casualty of the race for Toro Rosso, with the Russian driver pitting on lap 58. Raikkonen then also hit difficulties on lap 61, suffering with a brake issue which allowed Sebastian Vettel up into sixth place before he overtook the Force India pair in the final laps to move up into fourth. With only two laps to go of the race, Fernando Alonso also joined the list of retirees in the race, suffering from an engine failure while being on course to secure the first points finish of 2017 for McLaren.

On lap 70, Lewis Hamilton led home a Mercedes 1-2 finish at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, winning the Canadian Grand Prix for the sixth time of his Formula 1 career, ten years on since his first ever win in Formula 1. Valtteri Bottas crossed the finish line in second place while Daniel Ricciardo held onto third place for Red Bull Racing, marking the driver’s third consecutive podium finish in a row.

Sebastian Vettel finished in fourth place for Ferrari, ahead of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who headed up a Force India 5-6. Kimi Raikkonen struggled on with brake issues for the rest of the race to finish in seventh, holding off Nico Hulkenberg who finished in eighth place for Renault. Lance Stroll secured the first points of his short Formula 1 career for Williams at what was his home race while Romain Grosjean finished in tenth place, being promoted to the points following Alonso’s DNF.

There are a number of candidates for driver of the day, including Lewis Hamilton for storming to a fantastic sixth in Canada and Sebastian Vettel for making his way back through the field after a difficult start to the race. My driver of the day however, is Lance Stroll for securing the first points of his F1 career for Williams, performing spectacular overtakes in the race to break inside of the top ten.

Results from the Canadian Grand Prix:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 25 points
  2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 18 points
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 15 points
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 12 points
  5. Sergio Perez, Force India, 10 points
  6. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 8 points
  7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 6 points
  8. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 4 points
  9. Lance Stroll, Williams, 2 points
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1 point
  11. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 0 points
  12. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 0 points
  13. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  14. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 0 points
  15. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 0 points
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Ret
  17. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Ret
  18. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Ret
  19. Felipe Massa, Williams, Ret
  20. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, Ret

Drivers Standings after the Canadian Grand Prix:

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 141 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 129 points
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 93 points
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 73 points
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 67 points
  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 45 points
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 44 points
  8. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 27 points
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 25 points
  10. Felipe Massa, Williams, 20 points
  11. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 18 points
  12. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 10 points
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 8 points
  14. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 4 points
  15. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 4 points
  16. Lance Stroll, Williams, 2 points
  17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 0 points
  18. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  19. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 0 points
  20. Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, 0 points
  21. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 0 points
  22. Jenson Button, McLaren, 0 points

Constructors Standings after the Canadian Grand Prix:

  1. Mercedes, 222 points
  2. Ferrari, 214 points
  3. Red Bull Racing, 112 points
  4. Force India, 71 points
  5. Toro Rosso, 29 points
  6. Williams, 22 points
  7. Renault, 18 points
  8. Haas F1, 15 points
  9. Sauber, 4 points
  10. McLaren, 0 points

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