A controversial decision which handed Sebastian Vettel a five second penalty for driving across the grass on lap 48, meant that Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix despite Vettel crossing the finish line first.
The win gives Hamilton his seventh victory here in Canada and it’s the first time he’s won the same Grand Prix seven times in his Formula 1 career, which is quite an achievement. It is also Hamilton’s fifth win of the season out of seven races and 78th career victory, extending his lead still further in the Drivers’ Championship.
Other notable achievements at the Canadian Grand Prix, included local driver Lance Stroll who didn’t even make it into Q2, crossing the finish in ninth place, which he also did in Canada two years ago and achieved in Australia and Azerbaijan this year.
Valtteri Bottas failed to make the Canada podium for the first time since 2014, finishing fourth. However, he did score a valuable extra point for the fastest lap of the race
Lewis Hamilton said after the race: “I’m really, really grateful – I had a crash on Friday, so I was on the backfoot, and then this morning we had an engine problem. The guys worked so hard and did a great job to fix it, so they truly deserved to have a car out there. I was trying to drive for them and really wanted to get the best result I can for them. It’s not easy to follow around here, so I was trying to build the pressure on Sebastian to maybe push him into an error and he made one. I still wanted to win the right way and overtake him on the track, so I was fighting until the finish line, but my tyres were gone. Ferrari did a fantastic job this weekend, they were so fast on the straights and Sebastian drove a great race, it took absolutely everything from me to try and keep up with them. It’s not a great feeling and ultimately that’s not how I want to win races, but I drove my heart out today to make my team proud and I feel like I did that.”
Sebastian Vettel drove a superb race here in Montreal having secured pole yesterday but had to reluctantly settle for second place after his five second penalty was applied at the end of the race. His teammate Charles Leclerc managed to take third place which was perhaps some consolation for the Italian team. This was Leclerc’s second podium of the season.
Vettel got away well at the start of the race and held his pole position into Turn 1 and stayed out in front until he pitted on lap 26 for fresh hard tyres, having started on the medium compound.
It was on lap 48 that Vettel lost the rear of his car at Turn 3, re-joining at Turn 4, having gone off on the grass, but held on to the lead. The stewards deemed that Vettel had re-joined the track unsafely, forcing Hamilton off the track and therefore handed out the 5 second penalty which was added to his total race time thereby giving Hamilton the race win.
Sebastian Vettel said after the race that: “I think we had a great race and the stewards’ decision is too harsh. In Turn 3, I lost control of my car and I had to run long onto the grass, re-joining at Turn 4 ahead of Lewis. I couldn’t see where he was, as I was too busy trying to keep my car on track without crashing and I didn’t squeeze him on purpose. I think given the way things went this weekend and even though our rivals’ race pace was very strong, we deserved the win, and I get the impression that lots of the spectators here today at the circuit agree with me. It’s always nice to race in Canada, I feel a lot of support from the people and it would have been wonderful to have given all our fans the first big result of the season.”
Renault F1 Team
The Renault team secured its first double points finish of the season with Daniel Ricciardo finishing the Canadian Grand Prix sixth and Nico Hülkenberg a close seventh.
Daniel Ricciardo commented after the race that: “I did all I could out there and I’m happy with the end result. It’s the team’s first double points of the year and it’s a big one in sixth and seventh, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. There are definitely positive signs this weekend. We know the top teams are superior at this stage, but still, it was a lot of fun to battle Valtteri for a few laps out there. We’re realistic in our approach, but the team should be proud of this weekend. They have that drive and determination to push on now and that’s really encouraging.”
Haas F1 Team
It proved to be a disappointing Canadian Grand Prix for the Haas F1 Team, with Romain Grosjean finishing in 14th, the same position he qualified in and Kevin Magnussen finishing 17th, having started from the pit lane in 20th following a car rebuild as a result of his accident in qualifying the day before.
The results also mean that the team has dropped from sixth to eighth in the Constructors’ Championship on 16 points.
Team Principal, Guenther Steiner said afterwards that: “The weekend didn’t end better than yesterday. We got two cars to the end, but the result is quite disappointing.”
So the top ten finishers were: Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll and Danniil Kvyat taking the last point.
Round 8 of the World Championship heads to Europe and France for the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet on the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd 2019.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office and Haas F1 Team