Hamlton leads Mercedes 1-2 at Canada

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Lewis Hamilton has led the Canadian Grand Prix from start to finish to take an utterly dominant victory at Montreal. Valtteri Bottas underlined Mercedes' dominance with an unthreatened second place finish, largely ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

The start of this Canadian Grand Prix was immediately spectacular, as both Bottas and Verstappen made incredible starts. Bottas got ahead of Vettel on the left, while Verstappen did the same through the outside of turn 1. Vettel seemed surprised, and Verstappen's turn-in caused damage to the right side of Vettel's front wing. This would lead into an early stop for the German Ferrari driver 4 laps later, after the loose parts broke off and caused him to lose too much time.

On the exit of turn 2, Sainz touched with Grosjean, sending himself off into a spin and a slide over the track at turn 3 to end up in the tyres. While crossing the track, he took Massa out as well. The latter had no idea what happened, and suddenly found himself out of the race. Fernando Alonso narrowly managed to avoid the same fate

The damage caused to the barriers required a brief safety car for 2 laps.

The restart saw Verstappen threaten Hamilton for the lead, but being on the outside on the entry of the final chicane, he had to back out, and eventually defend his position to Bottas.

Lap 12 saw an early end to Verstappen's race as he came to a halt after turn 7. This required a virtual safety car. While Verstappen chose to park his car off the racing line, it meant it was a bit far away from the closest marshalling post, requiring the marshalls to push the car on track up to a point where it could be moved into the grass.

3 laps later, the race was on again, this time with Vandoorne becoming the biggest loser, as he lost 3 places in the next lap. The Belgian had previously emerged ahead of Alonso after the start, but soon dropped behind him. His loss of positions seemed to suggest a car problem, especially given that he didn't do any effort at all to defend his position.

Meanwhile, at the front, Hamilton continued ahead, leading Bottas by 6.3 seconds. Ricciardo followed in third, ahead of Perez, Ocon and Raikkonen. Next up were Alonso, AMagnussen, Stroll, Hulkenberg and Vettel, the latter extremely busy trying to work his way past slower cars.

The pitstops that followed, first from Raikkonen, then Ricciardo and Perez saw Ocon move up to third, and Alonso briefly up to 4th until getting passed by Ricciardo and Perez in the same lap. Raikkonen did the same another lap later as Alonso continued to lap on the ultra soft tyres, just like the Mercedes cars and Ocon.

Bottas pitted on lap 24 and changed to soft, just like Ricciardo did earlier on. Most others, including Vettel on lap 4, changed to super soft.

On lap 28, Vettel passed Alonso for 7th position while at the same time, Magnussen lost a place to Hulkenberg, followed by Kvyat passing the Dane as well, even despite fierce defensive efforts from the Haas driver.

Only on lap 32, Hamilton and Ocon pitted. Both changed to super softs. Hamilton easily kept the lead by 9.5 seconds over his team mate while Raikkonen slotted back into 6th, about halfway in between both Ferrari drivers. This promoted Ricciardo back up to third, two seconds ahead of Perez.

On lap 42, two laps after Hamilton got told by his engineer he still expected all cars to be on single stop strategies, Raikkonen pitted to exchange his super softs for another set of ultra soft tyres. One lap later, Alonso pitted for the first time, changing ultra softs to super softs.

Meanwhile, the battle for third place was heating up as Ricciardo was unable to put the cars behind him at bay. Perez was challenging while Ocon and Vettel were closing in as well. Raikkonen followed in 7th, 13 seconds down but on newer tyres.

Vettel similarly pitted later as well, but as he lacked new ultra soft tyres, he opted for super soft for his final stint. Vettel herewith dropped to 7th, 5 seconds behind Raikkonen.

The train for third saw an interesting discussion unfold between Perez, Ocon and Force India, with Ocon requesting his team to move Perez out of the way, hoping he'd have a better chance at overtaking Ricciardo. Perez on the other hand argued he would attempt towards the end of the race, while the team informed both that they were losing time, and both Ferraris behind them were closing in.

On lap 62, Raikkonen went straight on in the final chicane, surprising the Finn who wondered where in fact his car was taking him. Vettel on the other hand didn't mess about and arrived at the back of Ocon on lap 64. Two laps later, Vettel got past Ocon after the latter got the door shut by Perez. This put the Frenchman in a difficult position, and with Vettel aggressively going for the inside of Turn 1, Ocon opted for safety want cut the second corner.

Two laps later, Alonso retired from the race with engine failure. The Spaniard was set to score the team's first point of the season, but another dramatic Honda power unit failure prevented him from doing so. The reaction was amazing however as Alonso simply went into the public and threw away his handgloves.

Vettel eventually got past Perez as well to take 4th, with the Mexican finishing just a few tenths ahead of his probably faster team mate during the second half of the race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTimePts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG701:33:05.15425
277Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG70+19.783s18
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer70+35.297s15
45Sebastian VettelFerrari70+35.907s12
511Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes70+40.476s10
631Esteban OconForce India Mercedes70+40.716s8
77Kimi RäikkönenFerrari70+58.632s6
827Nico HulkenbergRenault70+60.374s4
918Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes69+1 lap2
108Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari69+1 lap1
1130Jolyon PalmerRenault69+1 lap0
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari69+1 lap0
139Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari69+1 lap0
142Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda69+1 lap0
1594Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari68+2 laps0
1614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda66DNF0
NC26Daniil KvyatToro Rosso54DNF0
NC33Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer10DNF0
NC19Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes0DNF0
NC55Carlos SainzToro Rosso0DNF0