Vettel Wins Canadian GP and Takes Championship Lead
Sebastian Vettel won the Canadian GP and took the championship lead, with a third of the season completed.
The Ferrari ace started on pole and never relinquished his lead throughout the race for his third win of the season and 50th of his career.
It was also Ferrari’s first Canadian GP win since Michael Schumacher won it back in 2004
“Like every grand prix there’s not one person to dedicate it to,” said Vettel. “I dedicate it to the team and to the Canadian fans.”
Vettel said he was “not too bothered” about the fact he was back in the lead of the championship, saying the first Ferrari win since 2004 at a track that is synonymous with the team because of the Canadian icon Gilles Villeneuve – a Ferrari driver from 1977-82, before his death at the Belgian Grand Prix – was more important.
“I think they’ve waited long enough for Ferrari to do well here. Forty years after Gilles won his Grand Prix here, I think it’s great to show that Ferrari’s still alive, winning races. I’m extremely proud to become part of that story. Hopefully a bit more in the future,” he said.
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The opening lap had a crash whereby Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley and Williams’ Lance Stroll collided with each other.
Defending champion, Lewis Hamilton, who has won the Canadian GP in the last three years and six times in total in the last 10 years, only managed to secure a fifth place finish after suffering engine temperature issues in the early part of the race.
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes finished second while Max Verstappen of Red Bull came in third. Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who won the previous race in Monaco, settled for fourth.
40 years after Gilles Villeneuve won his home race for Ferrari, his son Jacques drove his car around the Montreal circuit before the race. Father Gilles sadly lost his life in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg – Renault, Carlos Sainz – Renault, Esteban Ocon – Force India and Charles Leclerc – Sauber completed the top ten.
The duo from Renault dealt a striking blow to McLaren in their battle for fourth in the championship.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who was on his 300th grand prix, had to retire with 30 laps to go, ruining what would have been a memorable weekend.
In a bizarre end, the chequered flag was waved a lap too early by model Winnie Harlow, only for Vettel to say over team radio: “Tell them not to wave the flag when it’s not done.”
The French GP is next on the calendar, on the 24th of June.