Hamilton wins as Ferrari strategy falters

Hamilton wins as Ferrari strategy falters

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix, using strategy to overcome Sebastian Vettel who couldn’t make his two-stop approach pay dividends.

Having led early, Vettel stopped before being unable to sustain the pace he needed in the closing stages to chase down Hamilton, forcing the Ferrari driver to settle for second place.

Vettel made a lightning start to jump both Mercedes heading into the first turn while Nico Rosberg found himself pushed wide by Hamilton, forcing the German off the road and down to ninth place.

After ten laps the leading duo of Vettel and Hamilton had opened a comfortable lead over Max Verstappen, who received a call to not hold up team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who was clamouring over the back of the Dutchman.

Ferrari pitted Vettel after 11 laps from the lead as the virtual safety car for Jenson Button’s expired McLaren came to an end, handing the race lead to Hamilton.

Switching to the supersoft tyres, the German rejoined in fourth spot, committing to a two-stop strategy.

Hamilton was the last of the leaders to stop, handing the lead back to Vettel who’d chased the Mercedes down on his fresh rubber.

It set up a battle for time between Hamilton and Vettel; the Ferrari driver still needing to pit with a focus on extending his lead so as to not fall behind the Mercedes when he stopped again.

The recovering Rosberg found himself queued up behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who in turn was tucked up behind Ricciardo and the struggling Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen at half distance.

Vettel dived in for his second stop after 37 laps, swapping to the soft compound tyres and losing the lead to Hamilton in the process, setting up a fight to the flag between the leading pair.

A late change in strategy for Verstappen dropped the Red Bull driver out of third place, promoting Bottas and Rosberg into third and fourth respectively, though Verstappen with a set of ultrasoft tyres to run in the last 22 laps.

In fourth, Rosberg’s day went from bad to worse as a slow puncture forced him into the pits, dropping him to seventh with 18 laps remaining.

A healthy tyre advantage did allow Rosberg to move swiftly forward, making short work of both Ricciardo and Raikkonen to recover to fifth.

Two mistakes at the final chicane blunted Vettel’s charge back towards the lead, giving Hamilton a comparatively untroubled run to the finish in the final ten laps.

Bottas clung on to third place after Rosberg, who had a slim chance of catching the Williams driver, found is path blocked by a feisty Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver mounted a robust defence, slowing both himself and Rosberg and giving Bottas the breathing space ahead to hold on to the final podium place.

It forced Rosberg into a mistake at the final chicane on the penultimate lap, getting it wrong and sliding into the escape road sideways having locked the rear wheels.

Out front, Hamilton won with ease over Vettel with Bottas in third place, Ricciardo ending the Formula One event in seventh place behind Raikkonen.

Motorsport news courtesy of Velocity Magazine; Australia’s leading monthly motorsport magazine. Buy online at vmag.com.au

About Mat Coch 196 Articles
Mat is a contributor and looks after the motorsport content for the website. Based in Sydney but widely travelled, Mat Coch began reporting on Formula One in the mid-2000s. In the last decade he has contributed to websites and magazines globally and in 2014 he founded Velocity, Australia’s only monthly motorsport magazine. Passionate about motorsport, Mat is an expert on Formula One.
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