Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Vettel replaces Hamilton atop standings with Canada triumph

Lewis Hamilton F1 news GETTYLewis Hamilton is apparently decided on his future
Kristopher Love | 11 June, 2018, 08:35

Brazilian soccer great Pele famously reacted too late when Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won at Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit in 2002, brandishing the flag instead as the later finishers appeared.

This left Vettel and Bottas out in front, 24 seconds ahead of Verstappen, but still running on their original ultra-softs.

An opening-lap collision saw Brendon Hartley and home favourite Lance Stroll take their leave nearly immediately, while Fernando Alonso's 300th grand prix was not an occasion to celebrate as he, too, retired early. Vettel got a superb start after the resumption and Bottas never looked like making up ground - especially after a slight error with around a dozen laps to go which effectively ensured the German could cruise home.

Hamilton, who was fifth on Sunday, fell from the top of the Formula One standings and now trails Vettel by one point, 121-120.

"Pole position is always important", said Vettel. "Gilles Villeneuve, the favourite driver of Enzo Ferrari".

"I'm just so happy because all of a sudden at the start I was down on power".

Lewis Hamilton F1 news
GETTYHamilton is one point behind Vettel in the world championship standings

Max Verstappen, who was quickest in all three pre-qualifying practice sessions, placed third and will start in the second row next to Hamilton, whose run of three straight Canadian poles ended.

Hamilton, who had engine problems in the race, said: "It could have been a lot worse".

Stroll, 19, was in is second Canadian GP.

"The team has been extremely strong in the past at keeping reliability on a high level so that is not a part that worries me, it is more we have seen today a Ferrari that is the stronger auto - strong in qualifying, strong in race and at no time we had a chance to fight for the win". With the improvements we made for this weekend, mostly on the power unit, introducing a new engine helped us around this track probably a bit more than other tracks, but it was a team effort. That might provide an internal headache for Red Bull, a team that has been known for financially rewarding its drivers for claiming the fastest lap of the race. "Ferrari was better than us this week, with the Red Bull very close to us, so I think there was nothing we could have done better". Daniel Ricciardo took the chequered flag in fourth ahead of Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen sixth for Ferrari.

It was Ferrari's first win in Canada since 2004 and came from their first pole there in 17 years.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso chalked up 300 career grands prix but the Spaniard had little to celebrate as the two-time world champion's day came to an early end, his McLaren coasting to a stop midway through the race with a mechanical failure.