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Flawless Hamilton hails special triumph at Canadian GP

 

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton has slashed the deficit to rival Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One championship after a flawless lights-to-flag victory in yesterday's Canadian Grand Prix.

On the 10th anniversary of his very first victory in the sport here, Hamilton romped to his sixth win at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to move to within 12 points of Vettel in the title race.

Vettel's afternoon was scuppered by a first-corner incident with Max Verstappen which forced him to stop for a new front wing, and with it, fall to the back of the field.

The Ferrari driver recovered to finish fourth, while Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas crossed the line in second to complete Mercedes' first one-two finish of the season as Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo claimed the final spot on the podium.

This was the perfect retort from Hamilton (right) after he toiled to only seventh at the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago. Indeed fresh from sealing the 65th pole position of his career, to draw him level with the tally of his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna, the 32-year-old Briton led every lap in a masterful display at a track which has been so kind to him over the years.

An ecstatic Hamilton emerged on the podium with a Union Jack draped around his neck.

"I had my first pole here, and my first win here 10 years ago, so to repeat it this weekend is incredibly special," Hamilton said.

"I have to thank my team who made this possible. All the guys back at the factory who have worked so hard to really fix what we had in the last race, to bring it here and really give it to the Ferraris. I am over the moon."

Sir Patrick Stewart conducted the podium interviews before downing champagne from Ricciardo's race boot.

"I am proud of you for doing that," Hamilton said before Stewart, star of stage and screen, replied: "I don't care. I made the podium for the first time so I will drink out of anybody's shoes."

Bottas, who finished second: "Always good to be here. As a team we really needed this one-two. I am very, very proud to be a part of this team. I knew what I had to do in the end, this was good points for us."

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