Lewis Hamilton has taken his seventh win at the Canadian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel was awarded a five-second penalty after he re-joined the track unsafely after a battle between the Mercedes and Ferrari in the closing stages.
Hamilton was chasing Vettel down with twelve laps to go when they fought for the lead. The German looked in control of the race from the very start, then Hamilton got alongside through the chicane and ran wide. He then went across the grass scrambling across the grass and lost the place.
Hamilton was forced to back off before the stewards intervened and awarding Vettel the penalty. He was furious and accused the race stewards of stealing the win away from him. The Mercedes driver only had to stay within five seconds to equal Michael Schumacher’s seven wins in Montreal.
Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc was third, a further second behind. Ferrari has failed to win in the first seven races this season, this weekend they have managed to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes and the debate about who should have won will be debated for years to come.
The stewards may well have used precedent to inform the decision, such as when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was penalised in the same fashion for forcing then-Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen off the track in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Ferrari has already indicated that they may appeal the penalty of the stewards through the FIA courts, should new evidence come to light surrounding the incident Ferrari could still have the decision reviewed if stewards agreed.
The precedent for this incident goes back to the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix when Hamilton was found guilty of gaining an unfair advantage when he cut the final chicane. The penalty is, however, is not has harsh compared to the incident, and McLaren’s appeal against the penalty was rejected by the courts.
Ferrari have until Thursday evening to launch proceedings against the stewards.
Hamilton said, “It was unfortunate, but this is motor racing. I took the corner normally but when you come back on the track you’re not supposed to go straight on the racing line, you’re supposed to come back safely.”
Vettel added “Well I think, first of all, I really enjoyed the race and the crowd on every lap. Seeing them cheer me on it was very intense. I think you should ask the pitwall what they think we had a great show and Lewis showed some good respect.”
Valtteri Bottas finished the race fourth after his poor qualifying left him sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. The three men were locked in both a tight on track and strategic battle throughout the race, but the Finn managed to take fourth and the fastest lap.
Verstappen had started the race in ninth but ran a long opening stint on the hard tyres before passing the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. Verstappen hung on taking fifth following his late stop and teammate Pierre Gasly finished eighth.
The two Renaults locked horns cleanly, Ricciardo withstood Hulkenberg’s challenge late in the race, both staying ahead of Gasly.
Lance Stroll was ninth at his home race, despite his Racing Point being fitted with an older-spec engine after a fiery failure in final practice. Daniil Kvyat completed the point scorers for Toro Rosso.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was eleventh ahead of the second Racing Point of Sergio Perez. Alfa Romeo’s Antoino Giovinazzi was thirteenth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen.
For the first time this season George Russell ensured Williams weren’t last of the runners, he finished ahead of Kevin Magnussen and his teammate Robert Kubica was eighteenth.
There were only two retirements, a surprise given Montreal is hard on brakes. Alex Albon retired in the closing stages and Lando Norris suffered a peculiar failure after eight laps.
- Canadian GP – Qualifying Result
- CANADIAN GP – Sebastian Vettel beats Lewis Hamilton to pole by two tenths of a second, as Verstappen crashes
- CANADIAN GP – Charles Leclerc out paces Sebastian Vettel in FP2, as Lewis Hamilton hits the wall
- CANADIAN GP – Lewis Hamilton Fastest In FP1 By A Tenth, As Mercedes Go Almost A Second Faster Than Ferrari
- Prixview – Canadian Grand Prix