The Canadian Grand Prix was always going to be packed full of highs and lows, especially for the two drivers who are currently doing battle at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Lewis Hamilton made his way to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a slender lead over rival Sebastian Vettel, with the latter looking to mount a fightback, it was set to be an interesting race, and that it was.
Vettel had qualified on pole ahead of the big race with Hamilton back in fourth. It presented the German with the perfect opportunity to not only close the gap between himself and Hamilton but to overtake him at the top of the leaderboard. You could say it was textbook Vettel in many respects as he led from the front and never really had to look back as he cruised home to victory.
It was a different story for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes though, especially in a race they were expected to dominate once again. Mercedes had, in fact, won the last three Canadian Grand Prix, with Hamilton being victorious on six out of ten occasions, but they really failed to deliver. Hamilton’s 14-point lead has now been wiped out with Vettel now leading by a point and Toto Wolff said that Mercedes’ performance was a “wake up call”.
Mercedes will be able to take solace from the fact that Valtteri Bottas delivered another podium finish and another second place. Bottas has finished second four times in seven now and while the Fin would prefer to be standing on top of the podium, his consistently good form is extremely impressive and sees him in third in the drivers’ standings. He drove well in Canada and at one point was gaining on Vettel, there’s still plenty of time left this season for him to challenge for the title too.
It’s been a tough start to the campaign for young Dutchman Max Verstappen, but the Red Bull driver really came to life in Canada, topping all three practice sessions initially. He then managed to secure third place on the grid in qualifying before driving a great race and securing third, less than a second behind Valtteri Bottas. He’s now managed to podium twice in his last three races and looks to have turned a corner, with the bad start to the season fast becoming a distant memory.
This race belonged to Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari though, especially as they may have felt hard done by in previous races. The German needed to put in a performance and make a statement, and he did just that. He made the race look far too easy and engineered a great lead so that when he pitted, he rejoined the race comfortably in the lead. You could say Hamilton and Mercedes has a bit of an off day, but any more of those and Vettel will undoubtedly pull away in the race for glory.