Vettel takes Championship lead after Canadian GP win

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel cruises to a dominant victory in Canada ahead of Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as McLaren’s Fernando Alonso retires on his 300th GP start.


Qualifying Result

1.Vettel  2.Bottas  3.Verstappen  4.Hamilton  5.Raikkonen  6.Ricciardo  7.Hulkenberg  8.Ocon  9.Sainz  10.Perez  11.Magnussen  12.Hartley  13.Leclerc  14.Alonso  15.Vandoorne  16.Stroll  17.Sirotkin  18.Ericsson  19.Gasly*  20.Grosjean

Gasly* originally qualified in 15th but had to take a 4 place grid penalty after a power-unit change.


Sebastian Vettel sits on pole for the first time in Canada since 2013 but can he convert that into a win? Well see. Vettel leads into turn 1 as Valterri Bottas defends from Max Verstappen. Down into turn 6, there’s massive contact made between Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll. Hartley tried to go round the outside of Stroll round turn 5 as Stroll oversteered wide. Huge contact is made with both ending up at turn 6 and out of the race. Such a shame for home-favourite Stroll.

The Safety Car is deployed with Vettel leading Bottas, Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Charles Leclerc is now 11th after starting 13th with Sergey Sirotkin is now 13th after starting 17th. Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson have made pit-stops at the end of lap 1 with both going onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 4, the Safety Car is in and racing resumes on lap 5.

Contact is made between Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz with Perez skidding and managing to avoiding any contact with any other driver. Perez is now 14th as the incident between Hartley and Stroll is under investigation by the stewards. Also the incident between Perez and Sainz is under investigation as Vettel leads by 2.2 seconds.

Lap 10, Perez pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 12, Esteban Ocon pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 15th. Vettel’s lead has increased to now 4 seconds ahead of Bottas who is nearly 2 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Lap 14, Nico Hulkenberg pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins ahead of Ocon in 13th. Lap 16, Sainz pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 13th – behind team-mate Hulkenberg but ahead of Ocon.

Lap 17, Verstappen and Hamilton pit. Both go onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoin in 5th and 6th. Can Ricciardo jump Hamilton? The Australian pits on lap 18, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and jumps Hamilton for 5th! Lap 20, Fernando Alonso pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 14th. Ferrari tell race leader Vettel to switch to “Plan B”.

Lap 23, Vettel’s lead to Bottas is now 4.8 seconds with Raikkonen 13 seconds behind Bottas in 3rd. Kevin Magnussen pits, goes onto the Supersoft and rejoins in 15th. Mercedes tell Hamilton that he might be jumped by Raikkonen by the time the Ferrari driver makes his pit-stop. Meanwhile, after battling hard earlier in which Leclerc was able to hold of Alonso, the Spaniard is now ahead of the Sauber driver after the round of pit-stops.

Lap 29, Vettel’s lead has come down to 3.5 seconds ahead of Bottas with Raikkonen now over 14 seconds behind Bottas. Raikkonen is driving very well and can jump Verstappen, Ricciardo and Hamilton for 3rd when the Ferrari driver make his pit-stop. Mercedes reveal that Hamilton was suffering a drop-off in power due to a cooling problem before his first pit-stop and sounds like he is still dealing with the apparent issue.

Lap 34, Raikkonen pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins behind Hamilton in 6th. Mercedes tell Hamilton that it’s “Hammer time!”. Vettel’s lead is now 6 seconds ahead of Bottas, the only three drivers who are still left to pit in this race. Lap 36, Bottas pits from 2nd, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in a comfortable 2nd ahead of Verstappen. Lap 37, Vettel pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins comfortably in the lead.

So Vettel leads from Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Grosjean, who hasn’t pitted and Ocon. Lap 42, Alonso is retiring from his 300th GP start in F1. The team tell him to return to the pits and retire from the race. Lap 46, Perez pits, goes onto another set of Supersoft tyres and rejoins in 14th. Lap 50, Romain Grosjean pits, goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 12th.

Vettel still leads by 5 seconds ahead of Bottas with Verstappen holding down 3rd. Ricciardo in 4th has dropped off from the back of his team-mate and his now 7 seconds behind Verstappen. Hamilton is right behind Ricciardo with Raikkonen a further 5 and a half seconds behind Hamilton in 6th. Leclerc benefited from Grosjean’s pit-stop and is now 10th but only 3 seconds ahead of Pierre Gasly in 11th.

Lap 56, Bottas was catching Vettel but by lapping Sainz, the Finn ran wide and undone all of his hard work as the gap is back up to 6 seconds. McLaren confirm that it was an exhaust failure that forced Alonso to retire and both Stroll and Hartley have been to the Medical Centre with Hartley going to hospital for further checks.

Lap 65, Vettel leads by 7.8 seconds while Bottas is coming under threat by Verstappen who is only 2.3 seconds behind the Mercedes driver. Lap 67, the gap is now 1.6 seconds between Bottas and Verstappen as Ricciardo and Hamilton are lapping drivers. Lap 69, under a second now – the fight is on! Onto the final lap, Vettel comfortably leads and crosses the finish line to win and take the championship lead. Bottas beats Verstappen to 2nd with Ricciardo holding onto 4th ahead of Hamilton. Leclerc scores points in 10th for Sauber.

Race Result

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 68 Laps (Fans Driver of the Day & 50th GP win)
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +6.496s
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +7.702s (DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +19.625s
  5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +21.408s
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +27.308s
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  8. Carlos Sainz, Renault, + 1 Lap
  9. Esteban Ocon, Force India, + 1 Lap
  10. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, + 1 Lap
  11. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  12. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 Lap
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, + 1 Lap
  14. Sergio Perez, Force India, + 1 Lap
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +2 Laps
  16. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +2 Laps
  17. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, +2 Laps
  • Fernando Alonso, McLaren, DNF
  • Lance Stroll, Williams, DNF
  • Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, DNF


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