Formula One racing headed to the Canadian Grand Prix at the weekend, with Mercedes looking to keep up their winning run. Mercedes had won every race of the season so far.
But doubts concerning their car heading into the race in Montreal were raised, especially with suggestions that Ferrari’s car would be better placed to deal with the track. When Vettel took a great pole on Saturday, it seemed like the writing was on the wall for Mercedes.
Vettel Finally Gets Pole
Vettel managed to secure his first pole in 17 attempts on Saturday, and with there being a belief that the Ferraris could handle the track better than the Mercedes. Thus giving them an edge and in so doing, there was a hope that Vettel or teammate Charles Leclerc could secure victory. This looked like being the case too, with Vettel leading from the off and managing to keep Lewis Hamilton at bay.
Now, while Vettel was in the lead, and doing superbly to stay ahead of the Brit, Hamilton was closing the gap and continuing to pile on the pressure. Vettel has buckled under pressure before, doing so on five key occasions last season which inevitably cost him the title. And on lap 48 the pressure seemed to get to the German once again. He entered the chicane at turn three/four too fast, forcing him onto the grass.
Hamilton saw his opportunity and went to overtake Vettel on the outside, but Vettel prevented him from doing so, with Hamilton being forced to back off. The incident was then reviewed with Vettel deemed to have rejoined the track in an unsafe manner, forcing Hamilton into evasive action to avoid a collision. Vettel was penalised as a result, with Hamilton going on the secure victory in the race, one which Vettel feels was stolen away from him.
It’s been a poor campaign for Ferrari so far, especially after this latest incident. Charles Leclerc was on course for victory in Bahrain too, but engine problems in the closing stages saw glory slip away. Leclerc was also fancied to do well in Azerbaijan too, but a crash in qualifying ended his hopes of victory there. Now it seems to be Vettel’s turn to falter, and the German didn’t take kindly to the result, displaying typical Vettel behaviour post-race.
French Grand Prix
Vettel, Leclerc and Ferrari now must dust themselves off and go again, with the French Grand Prix next up, but the track is likely to favour the Mercedes drivers. It could see Ferrari having to wait a bit longer for their maiden victory of the campaign, with Hamilton highly likely to strengthen his grip on the title race.
All To Play For
While Mercedes have been brilliant so far this season, Ferrari really haven’t helped themselves, with the Canadian Grand Prix a prime example. Both Vettel and Leclerc need to up their game, or this could turn into an embarrassing season for Ferrari, something which nobody would like to see.