Lewis Hamilton won the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2019 at the end of a race where the top two fought tooth and nail from start to finish. Having crossed the finish line in second place the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver was handed the win, as the Stewards imposed a 5 second penalty on Sebastian Vettel, first past the flag, for making an unsafe return to the track having gone off between turns 3 and 4 on lap 48.
Scuderia Ferrari had been made aware of the decision, but Vettel was unable to pull out the five second lead which would have allowed him to keep the win, having led from the very start. The German definitely drove an amazing race, the best performance from him so far this year. He fought tooth and nail to fend off Hamilton who stalked him for all 70 laps. It was therefore entirely understandable that he was bitterly disappointed with a decision which his team felt was not fair and led Ferrari to confirm that it intended to appeal the decision, which has to be confirmed within 96 hours.
Apart from the aforementioned Hamilton and Vettel, the other stars of the race in the order they finished were Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll. The Monegasque driver made it to the podium for the second time in his career in third spot and was always right behind the two leaders, and he crossed the line under 5 seconds behind the winner. Verstappen, who went out in Q2 yesterday started ninth, having moved up the grid after Magnussen and Sainz took penalties. He made the most of the free choice of tyres to start on the Hards, and didn’t change them until lap 48, which allowed him to finish fifth. The local boy, Lance Stroll had started way down in 17thspot but hauled his way up to ninth, just where he finished here in 2017.
As was the case in qualifying, the two Renaults were in the top ten, with Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Nico Hulkenberg seventh, the first time both cars finished in the points this season. Daniil Kvyat was also in the points with a solid drive to tenth, while Valtteri Bottas fourth and Pierre Gasly eighth, had good reason to be unhappy with the way the weekend ended. The Finn sees the gap to his team-mate grow to 29 points and setting the race fastest lap and a new record in 1.13.078 will have been scant consolation. The previous record had stood since 2004 when Rubens Barrichello posted a 1.13.622 in a Ferrari. It was the first time Gasly outqualified his team-mate but he could do no better than eighth, also overtaken by Hulkenberg, both men having started on the Softs.
The race in Montreal brings to an end the first third of the season. The fight for the lead in both championships seems to have a clear cut picture: the Mercedes AMG Petronas team and its drivers have a healthy lead, the Englishman is now 62 points ahead of the third placed Vettel, while the team has a massive 123 point advantage over Ferrari. The battle behind these two is less clear, especially in the Constructors. McLaren’s charge to fourth place was almost stopped by Renault this weekend as there are now only 2 points between them. SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team (19 points) has slightly pulled away from Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda (17) and Rich Energy Haas F1 Team (16) while Alfa Romeo Racing continued to struggle, having failed to score in the last three races. Rounding it off on zero points is the struggling ROKiT Williams Racing.
After this North American interlude, with Formula 1 also being the main attraction at the Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago which hosted the second F1 Festival of the year after the one in Shanghai and attracted a crowd of around 60 thousand, the pinnacle of motorsport returns to Europe for a rush of five race in seven weeks starting with FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 2019, at Le Castellet on 23 June ending up with the FORMULA 1 ROLEX MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2019, which as usual is held at the Hungaroring outside Budapest.
FROM THE DRIVERS
I'm really, really grateful - I had a crash on Friday, so I was on the backfoot, and then this morning we had an engine problem. The guys worked so hard and did a great job to fix it, so they truly deserved to have a car out there. I was trying to drive for them and really wanted to get the best result I can for them. It's not easy to follow around here, so I was trying to build the pressure on Sebastian to maybe push him into an error and he made one. I still wanted to win the right way and overtake him on the track, so I was fighting until the finish line, but my tyres were gone. Ferrari did a fantastic job this weekend, they were so fast on the straights and Sebastian drove a great race, it took absolutely everything from me to try and keep up with them. It's not a great feeling and ultimately that's not how I want to win races, but I drove my heart out today to make my team proud and I feel like I did that.
I made a costly mistake in qualifying yesterday and that made today very difficult. I struggled to get through the Red Bull and the Renaults in the beginning; whenever I closed in on the cars in front, the engine and the brakes were close to their temperature limits, so I had to do a lot of lift and coast which made it tricky to attack. By the time I had finally passed them, I had lost too much time to fight for a podium place. The pace of the car was good once I was in free air, so we decided to do an additional pit stop at the end and fight for the quickest lap on fresh tyres. It's nice to get the extra point for fastest lap, but ultimately I lost the race in qualifying yesterday. I think we can expect another tough battle in France; it's a circuit with long straights so Ferrari should be quick again, but I'm looking forward to the fight.
“I think we had a great race and the stewards’ decision is too harsh. In turn 3, I lost control of my car and I had to run long onto the grass, rejoining at turn 4 ahead of Lewis. I couldn’t see where he was, as I was too busy trying to keep my car on track without crashing and I didn’t squeeze him on purpose. I think given the way things went this weekend and even though our rivals’ race pace was very strong, we deserved the win, and I get the impression that lots of the spectators here today at the circuit agree with me. It’s always nice to race in Canada, I feel a lot of support from the people and it would have been wonderful to have given all our fans the first big result of the season.”
“I am quite happy with my race today, despite it having been a rather lonely one for me. I think that we couldn’t have got a better result and our performance was strong from the first to the last lap. At the same time, it is a shame for the team to have lost the first win of the season. I look forward to the next race in France now. It is difficult to say where we will stand there, as the circuit here in Montreal suits our car very well, but we will work as hard as we can to continue improving and fighting for strong results.”
Started P4, finished P6: “I did all I could out there and I’m happy with the end result. It’s the team’s first double points of the year and it’s a big one in sixth and seventh, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. There are definitely positive signs this weekend. We know the top teams are superior at this stage, but still, it was a lot of fun to battle Valtteri [Bottas] for a few laps out there. We’re realistic in our approach, but the team should be proud of this weekend. They have that drive and determination to push on now and that’s really encouraging.”
Started P7, finished P7: “We can be pleased with that today as it’s a really good team result. I had strong pace throughout the race, kept the Softs in good shape, and then had fresher tyres at the end. I had to back off a little bit to stop the car overheating and from there we settled for a solid team result. We’re leaving here with a smile on our faces. The last three or four weekends have been compromised for various reasons and today we achieved the full potential of the car. It’s an excellent reward for the team’s hard work at both Enstone and Viry and now we have to aim to keep the momentum going.”
Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 9th “It was a controlled drive today. We stayed out of trouble at the beginning of the race and there was not much more I could do in the closing stages. I did a very long first stint which worked quite well to clear the traffic and once we pitted I quickly cleared the Renault’s. From there I pulled away and was able to focus on my own race but we were not quick enough to catch the leaders. It was at least fun doing a bit of overtaking and we scored good points again but I think realistically fifth was where we expected to finish. It was not our weekend and I would of course like more but we have to work hard now to try and close the gap at the next race.”
Finish Position: 8th, Start Position: 5th “It was a pretty difficult day but the car actually felt quite good so it is disappointing to finish where we did. We expected to be stronger than this. We struggled with traffic and had to save the brakes, which compromised us a bit, and I of course wanted to finish better than this. We need to analyse everything and see what we can improve but I also need to work hard before the next race. I hope we can find more pace and come back stronger for my home race.”
Canadian Grand Prix Final Classification
1st Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 70 1:29.07.084
2nd Sebastian Vettel* Scuderia Ferrari 70 +3.658
3rd Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 70 +4.696
4th Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 70 +51.043
5th Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 70 +57.665
6th Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team 69 +1 lap
7th Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 Team 69 +1 lap
8th Pierre Gasly Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 69 +1 lap
9th Lance Stroll SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team 69 +1 lap
10th Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 69 +1 lap
11th Carlos Sainz McLaren F1 Team 69 +1 lap
12th Sergio Perez Sport Pesa Racing Point F1 Team 69 +1 lap
13th Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 69 +1 lap
14th Romain Grosjean Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 69 +1 lap
15th Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 69 +1 lap
16th George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing 68 +2 laps
17th Kevin Magnussen Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 68 +2 laps
18th Robert Kubica ROKiT Williams Racing 67 +3 laps
NC Alexander Albon Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 59
DNF NC Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 8 DNF
1 L. Hamilton 162
2 V. Bottas 133
3 S. Vettel 100
4 M. Verstappen 88
5 C. Leclerc 72
6 P. Gasly 36
7 C. Sainz 18
8 D. Ricciardo 16
9.K. Magnussen 16
10 S. Perez 13
11 K. Raikkonen 13
12 L. Norris 12
13 N. Hulkenberg 12
14 D. Kvyat 10
15 A. Albon 7
16 L. Stroll 6
17 R. Grosjean 2
18 A. Giovinazzi 0
19 G. Russell 0
20 R. Kubica 0
1.Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 295
2.Scuderia Ferrari 172
3.Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 124
4.McLaren F1 Team 30
5.Renault F1 Team 28
6.SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team 19
7.Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 17
8.Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 16
9.Alfa Romeo Racing 13
10.ROKiT Williams Racing 0