Belfast Telegraph

Canada dry for Hamilton as he loses race and title lead to Vettal


Number one: Sebastian Vettel celebrates after winning the Canadian Grand Prix
Number one: Sebastian Vettel celebrates after winning the Canadian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton

By David Tyne

Lewis Hamilton was left to rue a Mercedes engine problem after he lost the lead of the Formula One championship to Sebastian Vettel in Canada last night.

Vettel ruled from lights-to-flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in an emphatic display as he crossed the line ahead of Valtteri Bottas with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in third.

But Hamilton, so often the master here in Montreal, had to settle for fifth on a weekend to forget for the defending champion and his team.

The Englishman, who arrived in North America with a 14-point lead over Vettel, will now head to the next round in France trailing his Ferrari rival by one point. Daniel Ricciardo took the chequered flag in fourth ahead of Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen sixth for Ferrari.

Unlike all of their rivals, Mercedes failed to bring a planned engine upgrade to the seventh round of the championship, and it would cost Hamilton dearly.

Hamilton, running on a seven-race-old engine, reported he was down on power in the opening exchanges, and had to pit earlier than planned as his Mercedes team added coolant to his overheating machinery.

Hamilton, fourth at the time, headed into the pit lane on lap 16 of this 70-lap race, but the early change of tyres allowed Ricciardo to usurp the Mercedes car.

In contrast, Vettel, armed with a fresh engine, flew to victory to claim Ferrari's first win in Canada for 14 years and the German's first in five races.

His win was never in doubt after he surged off the starting line and controlled the race to claim his 50th grand prix win - despite the chequered flag accidentaly being waved one lap before the finish by Canadian model Winnie Harlow - and apply the championship pressure back on to Hamilton.

Bottas did well to finish second, while it was a much-needed quiet afternoon for Verstappen following his series of accidents as he finished a comfortable third.

Vettel joins only Michael Schumacher, the last Ferrari driver to triumph in Canada, Hamilton and Alain Prost to win a half-century of races.

It is 40 years since Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, of whom the circuit is named after, won the first F1 race in Montreal in a Ferrari car.

"It is unbelievable," Vettel said. "I have already said what this place means to Ferrari.

"To have a Ferrari winning today, and me driving it, makes me very proud and honoured.

"It is a day to remember for the great Gilles Villeneuve.

"There is still a long way to go [in the championship] but it is a good side effect.

"After a long stretch that Ferrari have not won here, the people will be super-happy, and they will have a blast tonight."

Bottas, who crossed the line the best part of seven seconds down, added: "That was the maximum today.

"Maybe from pole, it could have been different, but we maxed out with second, so I am happy with that."


1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 121; 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 120; 3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 86; 4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 84; 5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 68; 6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 50; 7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 32; 8 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 32; 9 Carlos Sainz Renault 24; 10 Kevin Magnussen 19; 11 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro 18; 12 Sergio Pérez Force India 17; 13 Esteban Ocon Force India 11; 14 Charles Leclerc Sauber 10;

15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 8; 16 Lance Stroll Williams 4; 17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2; 18 Brendon HartleyRed Bull Toro 1; 19 Romain Grosjean Haas 0; 20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 0

CONSTRUCTION: 1 Mercedes 206; 2 Ferrari 189; 3 Red Bull Racing 134

4 Renault 56; 5 McLaren 40; 6 Force India 28; 7 Red Bull Toro 19; 8 Haas F1 Team 19; 9 Sauber 12; 10 Williams4

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