MONTREAL – Sebastian Vettel completed a dominating performance en route to victory during Sunday’s Formula One Canadian Grand Prix.
While Vettel cruised to victory, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton kept the crowd entertained in a fierce late-race scrap for second place.
Vettel’s initial pace indicated that he was on a three-stop strategy, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t and that nobody was going to be able to challenge him. He was even able to brush a wall out on the back of the circuit on the 10th lap, and then make an uncharacteristic mistake in the first corner on the 52nd, without being even remotely threatened.
In his wake, Hamilton drove his heart out to leave Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg well behind, and seemed to have second sewn up until Alonso launched a blistering attack in the final stint to slash a 10-second deficit to nothing. Hamilton lost time lapping both Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa and Force India’s Adrian Sutil, and could not stop the Ferrari sweeping ahead on the 63rd lap. He counter-attacked on the 64th, and on both occasions the pair looked to make light contact, but both said later that they enjoyed their duel.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber should have been a contender for the podium too, but his race was spoiled when Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde inadvertently turned into the hairpin with Webber alongside him on the 36th lap, damaging the Red Bull’s left-front endplate. That left him to take a distant fourth, well ahead of Rosberg in fifth.
Jean-Eric Vergne took an excellent sixth for Toro Rosso after the best race of his Formula One career, while Force India’s Paul di Resta started from 17th on Pirelli’s medium tyres and climbed to seventh before switching to the supersofts on the 56th lap.
He maintained that position, but Sutil, who was lucky to get away with a spin in turn two early on while fighting Bottas for sixth, lost his chance of eighth when he was given a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags for the Hamilton/Alonso fight. He finished 10th, behind Massa and Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, whose solid chances in a one-stop race were ruined by a problem with the rear jack.
The Finn did, however, equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes with his ninth place.