Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix for 50th career victory

Verstappen approached Canada without support team			Image by Zak Mauger  LAT

Verstappen approached Canada without support team Image by Zak Mauger LAT

With the victory, Vettel took a one-point lead over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One standings.

The defending champion was out-paced by a team-mate, Finn Valtteri Bottas, for only the second time in 10 visits to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and cut a glum figure after qualifying fourth.

"It's like when a race is stopped and can't be restarted, you take it back prior to the lap where the red flag was given". Hamilton has won the Canadian race six times, including the previous three.

"We think it's a good tyre for us, and in the long run [in practice] I felt good on it", he explained. The Scuderia are the most successful team at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with 11 wins but they had not had a victory here since Schumacher won in 2004.

Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was second followed by the Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Daniel Riciardo, the victor two weeks ago in Monaco.

Toto Wolff says the Canadian GP weekend serves as a "major wake-up call" to Mercedes to get to grips with the "new reality" of F1's expanded battle for honours. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes vehicle with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes. With the improvements we made for this weekend, mostly on the power unit, introducing a new engine helped us around this track probably a bit more than other tracks, but it was a team effort. "It's unbelievable. I said yesterday how much this place means to Ferrari and to have a race like we had today is unbelievable", said Vettel. That might provide an internal headache for Red Bull, a team that has been known for financially rewarding its drivers for claiming the fastest lap of the race.

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Hamilton came within a second of challenging Ricciardo late in the race, but then encountered fuel troubles.

But I just struggled in the session and wasn't able to pull it through.

He admitted: "We were coming to Montreal expecting our vehicle to be really strong and we are leaving Montreal seeing that we haven't been where we thought we should be".

"I need to look into it to see exactly what it is, but there was a good chunk of time there, definitely in that corner alone there was pole position for sure if I'd figured out how to fix it". For me, it was pretty straightforward, and in terms of strategy we did what we wanted to do.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, and said it had been a boring race, with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz seventh and eighth.

"Pole position is always important", said Vettel. I was anxious. I told them on the last lap so that people don't jump on the track, waving flags and celebrating, because we're still going at full pace.

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