Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton wins to take Championship gap to 9 points

There was one eye on the weather as the lights went out in Canada. With the worry of getting enough heat in the tyres on the short run up to turn 1on this cold, cold day In Montreal. No one was disappointed about the 40% chance of rain – Canada and rain have produced some of the most phenomenal races in GP history.

Vettel was cheekily confident after his 3rd place qualifying, a hint he had something up his sleeve, but no one could predict the blistering start he made leaving the Mercedes looking sluggish off the line. The confusion caused them to touch wheels, shunting Rosberg off the track, rejoining in 5th. Further down the field, Verstappen made a move on his team mate Daniel Ricciardo to climb to 3rd.

The replay showed how easy it was for Vettel to pass the Mercs, both far too interested in each other to be looking in their mirrors.

McLaren’s woes continued on lap 10, when Jenson Button pulled over with engine failure, safely exiting the car while the fire marshals took care of the flames. Ferrari took what seemed to be advantage of the virtual safety car to pull in Vettel for his 1st pit stop. He was however only entering the pit lane when the VSC was lifted. He returned to the track in 4th, but the pace with which he then passed the Red Bulls showed again the improvement this engine has.

By the time Hamilton pitted on lap 25, coming back out on the required soft tyres intending this one stop to do the job, Vettel had to push to give himself a chance to stay ahead when he pits for his softs later. Still though, no sign of the rain…

By lap 28 only Magnusson and Perez were yet to pit. Perez, who had started on the obligatory softs, was providing valuable insight into the wearability for the drivers who were gambling on one stop strategys on the tyre.

Raikkonen was doing a good job at making himself as wide as possible, with a queue of cars behind him prior to his pit stop keeping any pressure off his team mate. It was nice to see a return to form in his reply to his engineer.

Meanwhile, William’s fortunes were as mixed as McLaren’s. While Bottas passed Ricciardo to take 4th, Massa drove in to the pits and in to the garage with an engine failure, his temperatures going through the roof.

Nico Rosberg continued to struggle, his championship hopes taking a beating again this afternoon. His steering wheel had alarms going off all over it as he tried to make an impression and get past Bottas and by lap 52 he had to make an unscheduled stop, for a right rear puncture.

Lap 60… there is no doubt, that the expectancy is that Rosberg in 5th is more than capable of taking the final podium spot, and his championship challenge needs it, however… the 2 drivers in 3rd and 4th have been very, very quietly driving the most accomplished race. Bottas in 3rd and Verstappen in 4th did not put a foot wrong. The Red Bull seemed to get wider and wider as Rosberg tried time and again to pass the teenager. Finally Rosberg made a huge mistake trying desperately to pass the Red Bull skidding off at the chicane, so Verstappen deservedly took 4th. All this allowed Bottas a trial free run to the end. The quiet Finn putting a huge smile on Frank William’s face.

Hamilton took his 5th Canadian victory in a deserved win, staying clear and calm towards the end of the race, under no pressure from the Ferrari or himself while Vettel stressed and struggled to take the race to the Merc, making one mistake after the other.

Chapeau to Carlos Sainz who, following a gear box change, started 20th but brought the Torro Rosso home in 9th.

2016 Canadian GP Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
  2. Sebastian Vettel FERRARI
  3. Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS
  4. Max Verstappen RED BULL
  5. Nico Rosberg MERCEDES
  6. Kimi Raikkonen FERRARI
  7. Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL
  8. Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA
  9. Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO
  10. Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA
  11. Fernando Alonso MCLAREN
  12. Daniel Kvyat TORO ROSSO
  13. Esteban Gutierrez HAAS
  14. Romain Grosjean HAAS
  15. Marcus Ericsson SAUBER
  16. Kevin Magnussen RENAULT
  17. Pascal Wehrlein MANOR
  18. Felipe Nasr SAUBER
  19. Rio Haryanto MANOR

DNF: Felipe Massa (Williams); Jolyon Palmer (Renault); Jenson Button (McLaren)

Formula One returns next weekend with the Baku GP.

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