Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton took a measured win in the Canadian Grand Prix, bouncing back from being denied a certain win at the last race in Monaco after a strategic error by his Mercedes team.
Hamilton started from pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and built a comfortable advantage over teammate Nico Rosberg by the time he made his only pitstop. After that, it was a fairly simple matter of maintaining a lead of a second or so. Needing to manage fuel and brakes left Rosberg hamstrung in his attempts to exert pressure on the leader. Hamilton completed an error-free race race over two seconds in front.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas finished a distant third, the team’s first podium of the year. Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen held the position for much of the race, but suffered a spin at the hairpin when his Ferrari’s hybrid system kicked in suddenly. That allowed Bottas through from fourth to take the last podium place.
Sebastian Vettel finished fifth behind Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, having battled through from 16th on grid – the result of twin penalties for an engine problem in qualifying and a five-place grid drop for an illegal pass in practice. It was a forceful drive, the German almost coming-a-cropper twice at the last chicane. Early on, he clattered across the kerbs after an optimistic attempt to pass Fernando Alonso, then a similar move on Nico Hulkenberg forced the Force India pilot to spin in avoidance.
Felipe Massa followed in Vettel’s wake, moving up from 17th at the start to sixth at the finish. It was a highly spirited drive, the highlight being a fantastic wheel-to-wheel duel with Marcus Ericsson through the first few corners.
Pastor Maldonado secured his first points of the season in seventh, ahead of the recovering Hulkenberg. Daniil Kvyat was the best of the Red Bulls in ninth, both cars struggling with a severe lack of power. Romain Grosjean was tenth, having run as high as fifth before picking up a puncture in a misjudged attempt to lap the Manor of Will Stevens.
Both McLarens retired, but Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were probably glad of the early finish, having suffered thirsty, down-on-power engines throughout the weekend – Button qualified outside the 107 per cent rule but was allowed to take the start.
Alonso made the situation clear in a response to a request that he save fuel. “I don’t want, I don’t want,” he said. “Already I have big problems now. Driving with this and looking like amateurs. So I’d like to race and then I concentrate on the fuel.”
Hamilton’s win leaves him 17 points clear at the top of the championship standings. The season continues at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on 21 June.
Canadian Grand Prix results after 70 laps
- Lewis Hamilton — Mercedes — 1:31:53.145
- Nico Rosberg — Mercedes — +2.285
- Valtteri Bottas — Williams-Mercedes — +40.666
- Kimi Raikkonen — Ferrari — +45.625
- Sebastian Vettel — Ferrari — +49.903
- Felipe Massa — Williams-Mercedes — +56.381
- Pastor Maldonado — Lotus-Mercedes — +1:06.664
- Nico Hulkenberg — Force India-Mercedes — +1 lap
- Daniil Kvyat — Red Bull-Renault — +1 lap
- Romain Grosjean — Lotus-Mercedes — +1 lap
- Sergio Perez — Force India-Mercedes — +1 lap
- Carlos Sainz Jr. — Toro Rosso-Renault — +1 lap
- Daniel Ricciardo — Red Bull-Renault — +1 lap
- Marcus Ericsson — Sauber-Ferrari — +1 lap
- Max Verstappen — Toro Rosso-Renault — +1 lap
- Felipe Nasr — Sauber-Ferrari — +2 laps
- Will Stevens — Marussia-Ferrari — +4 laps
- Roberto Merhi — Marussia-Ferrari — DNF (driveshaft)
- Jenson Button — McLaren-Honda — DNF (exhaust)
- Fernando Alonso — McLaren-Honda — DNF (engine)
By Only Motors