Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Vettel retakes points lead after cruising to victory in Canada

2018 Canadian Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel dominated proceedings in Canada, taking a lights-to flag victory which moves him back into the lead of the championship by a single point.

He was followed home by Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, who had lined up second and third on the grid. Bottas was over seven seconds behind the Ferrari when the race ended, with Verstappen bearing down on him.

Daniel Ricciardo moved up to fourth by jumping ahead of Lewis Hamilton when they pitted. Hamilton, who reported a loss of power from his seven-race-old Mercedes power unit early in the race, gave chase but was unable to reclaim his lost position. Kimi Raikkonen followed them home, the last driver on the lead lap.

The Renault pair finished ‘best of the rest’ after Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jnr leapfrogged Esteban Ocon through the pit stops. Ocon’s team mate Sergio Perez was left indignant after banging wheels with Sainz and skidding off at turn one after the restart. The stewards took no action over the restart.

Perez’s misfortune was temporarily Fernando Alonso’s gain, as he was able to thread his McLaren past the Force India and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. But he was doomed not to finish his 300th race weekend participation as an exhaust failure put him out.

Charles Leclerc claimed the final point despite a braking problem on his Sauber. Pierre Gasly came from the back row to finish 11th ahead of the Haas pair, Romain Grosjean leading Kevin Magnussen.

The result of the race was taken based on the 68th lap because the chequered flag was waved one lap early in error.

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2018 Canadian Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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65 comments on “Vettel retakes points lead after cruising to victory in Canada”

  1. That was a nice nap. Although baffling how this was more boring than Monaco, around Canada with 3 DRS zones.
    Seriously though, Vettel just did all he had to do, Bottas outclassed Hamilton, Verstappen didn’t end up in the wall so that’s an improvement.
    Hulkenberg comfortably best of the rest too, in quali and the race, easy stuff, Leclerc showing his talent with another excellent race, outperforming his car (ahead of both Haas’)
    Feel bad for Hartley, as points would’ve been a possibility for him, was quicker than Gasly despite all the rumours about him, so good job on that.
    But yeah… Not really much to say about that.

  2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    10th June 2018, 21:44

    Brilliant job from Vettel, 50th win now, crazy. Verstappen rised above the critics, good race from him. Hulkenburg showing why he’s highly rated, and Leclerc continuing to impress. Thank God Hartley didn’t barrel roll on the opening lap, that would have been horrific.

    1. No, VER is still far away from the point of cancelling all critics. He still is CRASHSTAPPEN, better at crashing even than the likes of Stroll. Actually, he’s more in the Maldonado-league rather than Stroll-league. 2 races without crashing means nothing, still long way to go until proving he changed for better.

      1. Good argumented

        1. Yeah, that’s an impressive study of the facts.

      2. Actually, if you look at the start, you could maybe see a slightly different approach by Max.

        I’m not sure how you guys see it, but i think he could have run Bottas out of road to claim 2nd after the first corner, but he chose not to take the risk. Both kept it clean, maybe if Max hadn’t been involved in so many incidents this year he would have taken more risk there.

        I could be wrong though, i just feel he held back a little bit in the first two corners, indicating a change of approach.

        1. @azmo I Agree. It was a calculated move. He could have cut off Bottas (he was ahead before the 2nd corner), with the risk of getting damaged, and he choose not to.

          It could mark a change in mentality, from wanting to win every race, to seeing the bigger picture of the championship and team interests.

        2. It was certainly less “do or die” in my opinion. But you can see why he tried in the past: Overtaking impossible in the race.

  3. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    10th June 2018, 21:46

    Despite my obvious happiness, the race was absolutely boring.
    What is nice is that the championship gets back to “ground zero”. It would have been great if Bottas hadn’t had the Baku incident, but it is what it is. Many people said Vettel won Australia on pure luck. Many people said Hamilton won Baku on pure luck as well. So it’s good that after these many races, when both Ferrari and Mercedes are so strong, the difference is just one point.
    For the sake of the championship, it would be good to see Hamilton recover his mojo. He looked off in Baku (before the Bottas incident), Monaco was just ok, and now he was blocking a lot in the hairpin. I would like to see the fifth championship for either of Vettel / Hamilton won against a formidable rival, so I really wish both on top form for every single race coming. Let’s hope Ferrari doesn’t flop like last year, and that Mercedes don’t start to show nervous breakdowns, as we have previously seen whenever other teams show equal power. Finally on my long wishlist, let’s see if Red Bull becomes stronger. It was good to see Verstappen that good the whole weekend.

  4. A race so boring even the checkered flag couldn’t wait to end things.

    1. :)))) cluelessness of celebrities saving us from boredom.

      1. It’s more ‘cluelessness’ of the officials who decide to hand that cloth to ignorant bystanders.

      2. Imagine how much fun we could have had if VER had overtaken BOT on the last lap, then have the result rolled back.
        Forum fodder for at least a week!

        I say more of these celebrity officials! In fact, why not go a bit further and make, say, Niki Minaj and Connor McGregor race stewards or something.

  5. So far, Vettel and Bottas looking the in-form drivers in the top 2 teams. Verstappen and Ricciardo even. Hamilton and Raikkonen extremely average. Mercedes may have to reevaluate who their number one driver is at this rate.

    1. Hamilton has been so poor this season. He’s had more off weekends than I can remember in recent years and is lucky to be second in the Championship. If Bottas didn’t have the puncture in Baku he’d have 111 points to Hamiltons 113. I’m not usually one for “what ifs” but Bottas was extremely unlucky and things really should be closer.

      I expect Vettel to wrap the WDC up very early this year but wouldn’t be at all surprised if Bottas beats Hamilton in the final standings. At the start of the year Hamilton was my number one pick, right now he wouldn’t even make the top 5.

      1. @Tom I think top 10 would be pushing it too. He seems to have lost incentive. Vettel though is clearly enjoying himself and that’s making the difference, rather than the other way round.

      2. Hamilton is too busy doing fashion shows now

    2. Verstappen and Ricciardo even – dream on!

      Verstappen has ONE race weekend where he doesn’t bin it or take someone else out and all of a sudden he’s even with Ricciardo? LOL

      1. You forgot to mention he also outclassed RIC

        1. Yes, for one weekend while Ric outclassed him the other 6 times. So @nick101‘s point is still valid.
          David-br’s statement that they’re even makes no sense and his comment about Ham, “I think top 10 would be pushing it too”, is laughable (,so is Tom’s last line, but to a lesser degree).

          1. Oh wait, I forgot about Catalunya. Max had the better of Ric there also.

          2. Yet he was lucky not to damage his car when he bumped into Stroll. So close call.

          3. It’s called selective memory.

      2. Did he bin it /take someone out in Barcelona. Oh no, he was on the podium.

    3. To me Ham isn’t settled in the car, where as his counterpart in the prancing horse is enjoying his time more as the car is behaving the way he needs it. Arguably i’d even go as far as saying Bottas is happier with the car than Ham is.

      What bothers me is that the on track racing is diminishing and it’s all about tyre management. Tyre management is not racing and even though circuit types and the tyre lottery is keeping things poised from a points perspective, it isn’t a good spectacle to watch.

  6. Hemingway (@)
    10th June 2018, 21:55

    Another great performance from Hamilton, both in both qualifying and the race. Its the days like this that make you realise why he’s up there with Fangio, Schumi et al. #Blessed

    1. ……but he beat alonso 11 years ago when he was a rookie

      1. But in 2018 he looks like the rookie

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          10th June 2018, 23:26

          It could be the engine, it has a lot of mileage on it. Perhaps he’s simply trying to finish the race in the points without a retirement.

      2. Hemingway (@)
        11th June 2018, 0:33

        What you mean is- Alonso matches Lewis’ points in the championship despite McLaren management pushing for him to fail… It wasn’t a championship about Hamilton vs Alonso it was a championship about Alonso Vs a cheating McLaren F1 team headed by Ron who wanted Lewis to win.

        1. Hemingway (@)
          11th June 2018, 0:35

          I don’t even like Alonso, I think he’s a bit of a d’head. He’s definitely better than LH though… Remind me how many times has Lewis been beat in the Championship by his teammates??

  7. Raikkonen is just so passive these days. He braked far too early into Turn 1 and lost a place yet again at the start. Then he just fell back from Hamilton in the second half of the race despite having fresher tyres. If that was Vettel in his position, he would have been swarming all over Lewis.

    1. Ferrari need to call it a day with him and get someone else – Kubica would be great for them!

      1. I’m sure there are faster drivers than RAI who agree to playing 2nd fiddle at Ferrari.

        Not sure if Kubica would fit that bill: current form still unproven; would he want to be the understudy?

      1. I think Seb wants to win at least ONE championship without having a new hero breathing down his neck. He cna then say; Kimi should now retire. That said; I think a decision can be made in December :D

    2. @kingshark He lost the place for Ricciardo on the opening lap into turn 3, though.

  8. Surprised by the gap from the midfield to the three backmarckers. Vandoorne doesn’t seem to reach a goog enough level to finish close to Alonso, Ericsson feels like he is going backwards now that his teammate got with grips with the car, another stellar drive from Leclerc, and Sirotkin, well another poor showing, surely there is more in that Williams

    1. Vandoorne had to stop very early with probably a puncture or something, he did 2 stops over the race, I don’t think we can say much about his performance on sunday apart from that @johnmilk.

      On Saturday he was really close to Alonso on pace though.

      1. @bascb his first stop was on lap 1, it was practically free as he did it under the SC. I don’t know however if he nursed any sort of problem from that moment on. Regardless he couldn’t pass Ericsson that stopped on the first lap and did a 65 lap stint

        1. “free” @johnmilk, sure. Did you catch how much went wrong with that stop though (as George describes)? With the lack of straight line speed the McLaren suffers vs. a new Ferrari powre unit in the back of Ericssons car, I think it is not that surprising that Vandoorne did not stand a chance to pass – since we really didn’t see much passing at all through the field, it’s hardly suprising that a McLaren wasn’t able to pass

          1. @bascb “practically free” as in he did manage to catch the tail end of the field.

            I know the McLaren isn’t the best car out there, but neither is the Sauber. I just feel a bit disappointed with Vandoorne’s performances, I was expecting a bit more

    2. The McLaren seems to miss a lot of mechanical grip, which means they’ve got issues at low speeds, like standing starts and hairpins. This is adressed by slapping on more downforce, but costs them top speed.
      This time it was Alo who started poorly, and Vandoorne got away fast enough.
      Stoffel then ran over debris from Stroll/Hartley, which caused him a puncture…
      McLaren, with all their experience was unable to respond swiftly, and when Stoffel entered the pits, two minutes later, they were in progress of calling Pirelli to order a set of tyres. This meant that Stoffel regained the track dead last, on the hardest compound available. McLaren opted to call Vandoorne in to get him some Hypersofts with 20 laps to go, just in case there was another SC. SC didn’t happen, so he gained nothing.
      Meanwhile, Alo got lucky on lap 1 twice (first a shunt from a better starting backmarker, then being far enough back to have the time to react on Strolls mess), and a bit later again at the restart, being able to capitalise on the incident with Perez.

  9. Flag to flag win for Vettel, never looked in doubt really. Bottas did his job as did Verstappen , pleased to see Verstappen run a good clean race no mistakes. Ricciardo made a good start but just did not have the pace but set a fasted lap at the end, later cancelled due to the chequered flag mistake.
    Hamilton was just off the pace period, his engine must have been well down on power.
    The two Renaults really need some big improvements, they’re just are too slow. They will not attract a top flight driver until they can build a completive car.
    As for the rest? Maybe the bottom 5 teams should be allowed additional testing during a season to allow them to catch up.

    1. The two Renaults really need some big improvements, they’re just are too slow. They will not attract a top flight driver until they can build a completive car.

      Alonso should have been in one of those Renaults this year; such a waste of talent.
      I think he will go back to Renault next year and give f1 one more year whilst becoming the most experienced F1 driver in the team that gave him (and vice versa) 2 World Championships, @johnrkh.

  10. Thanks to Grosjean for teaching Ocon how to make easy pass… Despite on different race

  11. It was quite obvious the day Merc would lose its massive power advantage over the other teams since the beginning of this “hybrid” era, that Hamilton would suffer because in similar/matched cars, Vettel has the edge.

    Mercedes power was pretty much untouchable from 2014 to 2017. Actually (and statistically), Merc is the most dominant team that ever existed in F1. Even Ferrari and RB couldn’t match Merc’s impressive wins/poles ratio in their glory days.

    This race was a “borefest” ?! Yes it was! The same way it was in 2017, 2016 and 2015 where Mercedes won with ludicrous time margins to the other teams.

    1. @elio Last season’s race was rather exciting, though, despite the lack of battles for the lead, but there were more battles for a position a little further back in the field than this time around.

  12. Mercedes now in a mess.. slow, powerless and now PU can’t even lasted 7 races even with a more conservative party mode compared to the holy Ferrari 2018 PU

    1. PU can’t even lasted 7 races

      ….it just did.

  13. In regard to Vestappens weekend, may I quote

    A single fortunate event doesn’t mean that what follows will also be good.

    1. This guy is gonna get even much better.

    2. Yeah, let’s turn this into hating VER again. Seems a lot of people can prepare for two decades of disappointment because he is clearly WDC material, just needs to work on his consistency which is not a surprise if you’re 20

      1. You couldn’t be more incorrect, It has nothing to do with dislike or me thinking he is lacking the basic skills required to be a champion, he may well have but…. Verstappen has had a terrible start to the season. Last weekend he did his job by getting the car home in one piece, he did not do anything spectacular he did not gain or lose a place, he did not challenge or was he challenged for a place.
        He had a rather boring race really. But he did what he is paid to do, he just done his job.
        Canada was his first weekend this year without indecent, good on him.
        Because of his poor record he needs to do a few more before people will start to believe he can deliver a WCC or become a WDC.
        You and a few others choose to look at him through rose coloured glasses. I choose to see him for what he is. A driver who was brought into F1 to early and needs to learn how to drive fast and keep the car on the track and how to handle the pressure of racing wheel to wheel with other drivers at 300kph.
        Here’s another quote for you.

        A single swallow does not make a summer

        So as I have said several times before, lets see how the rest of the season pans out for him.

        1. I think Barcelona was rather good too.

        2. @johnrkh
          Some good points you bring on, but regarding this line: “You and a few others choose to look at him through rose coloured glasses.”, it’s more than just “a few” and more like ‘orange-rose glasses’.

        3. “He had a rather boring race really. But he did what he is paid to do, he just done his job.”

          So you think it is easy to drive away 12.5 seconds from RIC? That says something about RIC then.

          1. It would appear so in this case. Ricciardo did not challenge his team mate. But either did Hamilton, does that make Bottas the next WDC?
            One clean race this year that’s it. Verstappen is not out of the woods yet.

  14. This was one of the first races I turned off. It was lap 50, I realised the tope guys weren’t going to pit, tyres would last, and no overtaking possible.

    1. I’m surprised you lasted until lap 50. These boring races are making it easier for me when I remember there’s no free to air F1 next season. I do love F1 but there’s just no point paying around £30 per month or more like £50 if you want HD. It’s just not worth those prices for such a poor product.

  15. Merc said they gave Hamilton’s car the cooling while on pit. Any one knew how?

    1. I think they removed some panels from around the head rest.

      1. Thanks!

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