Hamilton wins F1 Canadian GP, picks up points on Vettel
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 12, 2017 11:06 AM
Lewis Hamilton (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
MONTREAL (AP) — Lewis Hamilton managed to avoid the jostling for position behind him on the opening lap of the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.
When he looked in his mirror, the news got even better.
"I got a really good start, so I was generally in the clear," he said after leading from the pole to the checkered flag to earn his sixth victory on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve — and third in a row. "Seeing the Ferrari further back, I thought, 'That's fantastic for us.'"
Max Verstappen made a move off the start, jumping from fourth to second but clipping the right front wing of Sebastien Vettel's Ferrari on the way. (A bigger crash took Felipe Massa and Carlos Sainz out of the race just seconds later.)
Not feeling the damage at slow speed during the caution, Vettel waited to replace the wing until Lap 5 and fell to the back of the pack.
"We came out last," said Vettel, who saw his lead in the standings cut from 25 to 12. "I knew we could recover, because we were quicker than the cars ahead. But you have to fight your way through the field, which is a lot of work; not easy."
A week after missing the podium completely in Monaco, Mercedes posted its first 1-2 finish of the season. Hamilton completed 70 laps in 1 hour, 33 minutes, 5.154 seconds to beat teammate Valtteri Bottas by almost 20 seconds.
"The car is back to where it should be," Hamilton said. "That doesn't mean it's going to be like that all the time. But we learned a lot."
It was Hamilton's fourth career Grand Slam — winning the pole, leading every lap, winning the race and posting the fastest lap.
Mercedes also moved into the lead in the constructors' standings, passing Ferrari.
"Those are the results we need if we are going to win the championship," Bottas said.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third for the third straight week, celebrating on the podium by drinking champagne out of his race-worn shoe. He then shared a sip with actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who was serving as the post-race master of ceremonies.
The pink Force India cars of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were fifth and sixth after battling each other on the track — and over the radio — for position down the stretch. After Perez was told to let Ocon pass so he could challenge Ricciardo on his fresher tires, he radioed back: "Let us race, man. Please."
Ocon responded on his way in: "He cannot do that. That's not fair racing at all."
Native Montrealer Lance Stroll was ninth — the first-ever points for the 18-year-old rookie; Hamilton gave him a thumbs-up as he passed on the track.
"My first points! It is special. I will always remember it," he said. "When everyone is there and everyone is happy it feels good, especially at home. I can't think of a better place to do it."
While Hamilton was never challenged, the race for the rest of the points was lively, with Vettel spending most of the race trying to get back to the front. He was up to seventh when he made another pit in Lap 50 to prepare for a final charge.
With the Force India cars battling with each other, Vettel overtook Ocon in the 66th lap and then, after leaving the track in a chicane, passed Perez as well. He came within 1 second of Ricciardo and a spot on the podium but settled for fourth.
"I think Mercedes was very strong, but then they had a completely different race," Vettel said. "They were untouched; they could control the race. It's a very different story."
His teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, wasn't so lucky. A week after taking second in Monaco, the Finn developed brake issues with about seven laps to go, quickly losing time and finishing seventh.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso continued to struggle with his McLaren Honda. Despite a power deficit — exacerbated by a strong headwind in the straightaway — he was headed for a Top 10 finish before engine problems in the final lap forced him to park alongside the track.
He climbed out of the car and walked into the stands — much to the delight of the crowd, which swarmed around him.
Sainz and Massa didn't make it out of the start, with Sainz getting clipped and then sliding into the Toro Rosso. "Unbelievable. I have no idea what happened," Massa radioed in. The stewards said they would look at it after the race.
Sainz was given a three-spot grid penalty for the next race, in Azerbaijan, for his role in the crash that knocked him and Massa from the race and left Romain Grosjean with front wing damage.
Verstappen lasted just 10 laps despite his move at the start.
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