Hamilton’s fifth Canadian GP victory edges him closer to Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix for a fifth time, beating Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to the chequered flag.

Having qualified on pole position, Hamilton lined up on the front row of the grid alongside team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. When the lights went out it was Vettel in the Ferrari who got the best start, however. The Ferrari driver darted around the outside of Hamilton who then was forced to fend off a challenge from Rosberg.

Rosberg was forced wide at the first corner and dropped down the order compromising his race. Vettel enjoyed a brief lead before pitting on lap 11 during a Virtual Safety Car period, putting on the Supersoft tyres. This committed him to at least a two stop as the Soft compound tyre was mandatory during the race and he had started on the Ultrasoft compound.

Hamilton stayed out but it was advantage Vettel as with fresher tyres he started to bring the gap at the front down. He locked up a number of times, however, struggling to get the tyres working as conditions were not ideal. After the race Vettel jokingly complained about the wildlife, in particular about two ‘seagulls’ who caught his attention causing him to lock-up at turn one.

The German was unable to close the gap to Hamilton and it was the Mercedes driver who crossed the line first for his fifth Canadian Grand Prix victory. Vettel finished five seconds down but well clear of Bottas in third – giving Williams their first podium of the year.

Max Verstappen held off Rosberg to finish fourth with the latter getting himself into a spin on the final lap of the race at the final chicane. This came after he had been forced to make a late stop due to a slow puncture, further compounding his difficult race. Kimi Raikkonen was a quiet sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. Carlos Sainz put in an impressive drive to rise from 20th on the grid to finish ninth with Sergio Perez getting the final point.

Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren on a day that saw his team-mate’s race come to a smoky end. Jenson Button managed just nine laps before he was forced to pull over with flames coming from his car. Daniil Kvyat was 12th ahead of the twice lapped cars of Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Nasr, and Rio Haryanto.

Felipe Massa had been the only driver to finish in the points at every race so far this year but that came to an end when he retired with Power Unit issues. Jolyon Palmer also retired.

The result means Hamilton is now just nine points behind Rosberg in the championship standings with Vettel slotting into third. The next race is this weekend’s European Grand Prix at the Baku Circuit in Azerbaijan.

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