Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Hamilton wins as Vettel cracks under pressure again

2019 Canadian Grand Prix review

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What would Gilles Villeneuve, after whom Montreal’s superb circuit on the Isle Notre Dame is named, have made of the ructions in the 50th edition of the Canadian Grand Prix?

Villeneuve was a tough but scrupulously fair racer. It’s hard to imagine him doing as his Ferrari successor Sebastian Vettel did on Sunday, short-cutting a chicane and then squeezing his rival hard to forbid him from overtaking.

Equally, he surely would have had little time for the dead hand of officialdom which smacked Vettel down hard with a five-second penalty, denying him what would have been his first victory of the season. Combined, the two acts soured what could have been a race to remember for better reasons.

Vettel holds his advantage

A lively qualifying session set up a grid ripe with storylines: Max Verstappen ‘out of position’ after failing to reach Q3, Daniel Ricciardo ahead of both Red Bulls.

And Vettel hoping to end a win-less streak which stretches back to last August, starting from his first pole position in 17 races. The Ferrari driver has kept his critics well-supplied with ammunition during that time: he crashed out of the lead in Germany, spun at Monza, Austin and Suzuka, and squandered a potential win in Bahrain.

After taking pole position on Saturday Vettel, wary of the long-run pace Mercedes had exhibited the day before, admitted he would need to be “perfect” to win this one.

It all went to plan in the opening stages. As usual the short run to the first corner at Montreal offers little opportunity for drivers to exchange places, so the first five drivers filed through the opening corners in grid order.

Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
The top five held their places at the start
Ferrari and Mercedes’ pace advantage afforded them the benefit of being able to qualify on the more durable medium compound tyres. Those around them who started on softs faded quickly, including Nico Hulkenberg, who used his extra purchase out of turn two to relieve Valtteri Bottas of sixth place. Encouragingly for Renault, the Mercedes driver wasn’t able to recover the position until Hulkenberg pitted.

Hamilton never let Vettel get too far away. When Hulkenberg pitted Hamilton upped his pace, bringing Vettel’s lead down to under two seconds in case Ferrari reacted with an immediate pit stop. Instead they bided their time, giving Vettel longer to eke out a gap while Bottas edged closer to their pit window.

Finally Ferrari took the plunge and brought Vettel in. The stop was smooth, and as soon as he rejoined the track his sector times were quicker than Hamilton. Mercedes knew there was no point in responding, so left Hamilton out for an extra lap in case a Safety Car deployment – always a risk at Montreal – played into their hands. It didn’t, so Hamilton came in after an extra lap, the team now minded to ensure he didn’t lose out to Charles Leclerc, who was keeping the leaders honest in third.

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Hamilton closes in

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Ferrari kept Hamilton at bay through the pit stops
The pit stops done, Vettel enjoyed a five-second lead over Hamilton. But the Mercedes driver was coming for him. After leaving the pits on lap 30 Hamilton was the quicker of the pair for 10 consecutive laps, until he had the Ferrari back in his crosshairs and within DRS range. This was the kind of fight between F1’s two multiple champions which happens too infrequently, and it looked like being one to savour.

Just as he’d got within range, Hamilton locked up at the turn 10 hairpin and ran wide, falling back out of DRS range. But within a few laps he was pursuing the Ferrari closely again.

Something was up in the cockpit of Vettel’s SF90. On lap 45, in between a stream of messages advising him how close Hamilton was and whether the Mercedes had DRS, Vettel was told: “The numbers on the steering wheel are correct. Take actions.”

Whether this was a matter of cooling, fuel consumption or brake use – and a hot day at the stop-start Circuit Gilles Villeneuve punishes all three – Vettel’s response was immediate. He eased off significantly into the final chicane, bringing Hamilton within close range. Three laps later, heading into turn three with Hamilton breathing down his neck, Vettel made the mistake which cost him the race.

“They’re stealing the race from us”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Hamilton pressured Vettel into a mistake
Vettel had Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat growing large ahead of him when he got a little too greedy with his entry speed at turn three. The back end of the car stepped out, and though Vettel fought it until the edge of the corner, he succumbed to the inevitable and skidded onto the grass.

After rejoining the track on the left-hand side, Vettel’s car moved fully across to the opposite side of the track, forcing Hamilton to brake and put all four wheels off the track. “He just came onto the track so dangerous,” complained Hamilton on the radio.

The stewards agreed, and within a few laps Vettel was informed he’d been issued a five-second time penalty. “They’re stealing the race from us,” he fumed, though the decision was consistent with recent precedent: Max Verstappen had done exactly the same thing to Kimi Raikkonen at Suzuka last year and received the same penalty.

Vettel’s defence was that he had been unable to prevent his car from straying into Hamilton’s path. “Obviously I was going through the grass and I think it’s quite commonly known that the grass isn’t very grippy,” he said. “Then I was coming back on track and just trying to make sure I have the car under control. Once I regained control, made sure it was sort-of alright, I looked in the mirrors, and saw Lewis right behind me.”

This is hard to take at face value, as other drivers whose achievements don’t amount to a fraction of Vettel’s have gone off at the same corner and not felt the need to cross the track from one side to the other as they did rejoined.

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In the press conference after the race, motorsport-magazin.com’s Christian Menath asked Vettel the question that mattered: Had he lifted or stay on the throttle as he rejoined in front of Hamilton? Vettel skirted the question with a deftness which suggests a career in politics beckons. He insisted it was “clear what happened” – perhaps forgetting that fans and journalists alike did not have an unobstructed view of his Ferrari’s footwell – and that he had “nothing to add from what I said.”

Although the five-second penalty cannot be overturned post-race, Ferrari have indicated they are considering lodging an appeal. It will be fascinating to see whether Vettel’s steering and throttle traces are presented and exonerate him, or if Ferrari chooses not to proceed with its protest.

While the stewards’ decision was correct, it was not popular, particularly among those who’ve grown weary of Mercedes success. Vettel’s error handed the Silver Arrows their ninth consecutive win, seven of which Hamilton has taken. It was undoubtedly an anticlimactic end to a gripping battle between two of the sport’s stars. And while Hamilton’s precise understanding of the rules demonstrates the kind of professionalism which wins world championship, he is also capable of the kind of overtaking feats which win admirers, and that is surely what we would rather see more of than races decided by stewarding decisions.

But if the sport is to have integrity it must also strive to be consistent and fair, a point which was obviously lost on those who took to social media even before the stewards’ investigation was announced to demand they turn a blind eye just to keep the battle going. That said, there are clearly ways F1 can improve how it polices incidents such as these – adopting the ‘return routes’ used at turns nine and 14 to prevent drivers gaining an advantage from going off would be a start.

No joy for Haas again

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Leclerc didn’t know about Vettel’s five-second penalty
Hamilton didn’t need to pass Vettel to win the race, but he tried to give it a go anyway. He wasn’t able to, and so achieved the unusual feat of finishing second on the road but winning the race.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Mercedes, who had to significantly dismantle Hamilton’s car overnight after discovering a hydraulic leak. The FIA took care to note it had been reassembled in line with the rules. “The car was in a thousand parts this morning and we put it back together,” said team principal Toto Wolff when asked by RaceFans, “I think the FIA wanted to check it was all done in the right way.”

Leclerc fell short of beating to Vettel by one second. Significantly, the team did not tell him about his team mate’s penalty. Team principal Mattia Binotto claimed they “forgot”. Leclerc spared the team’s blushes by saying he doubted he could have got close enough to his team mate to claim second, but you had to wonder.

Bottas collected fourth place after pitting for fresh tyres to grab the fastest lap bonus point on an otherwise forgettable weekend. Verstappen executed his recovery run to fifth flawlessly, running a long opening stint on the hard compound tyres.

Ricciardo converted his strong qualifying performance into an excellent sixth place on the grid, first among the drivers who had to start on old tyres. He was aided by Renault interjecting to keep Hulkenberg behind, in what looked like a pre-planned move following Ricciardo’s early pit stop. Between them they successfully kept Ricciardo’s Red Bull successor Gasly confined to eighth.

Gasly’s race went awry when he was unable to clear Stroll’s Racing Point after his pit stop. Like Verstappen, Stroll found the hard tyres worked well for him, and after running a long opening stint he rejoined the track in tenth and gained another place before the chequered flag came out.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Steiner told Magnussen to keep a lid on it
He took it from Carlos Sainz Jnr, who had been forced to pit early on when one of his brake ducts ingested a tear-off from a rival’s visor. That meant running a 66-lap stint to the end of the race on hard tyres, only to drop out of the points places in the final four laps. Daniil Kvyat was the last driver to benefit for tenth place.

It was another horrible race for Haas. Romain Grosjean came in 14th behind Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen after losing his front wing at the start. Team mate Kevin Magnussen, who started from the pit lane after smashing his car up on Saturday, had a joyless race of constant reminders to lift-and-coast, and blue flag warnings for drivers he usually races for position with.

“This is the worst experience I’ve had in any race car ever,” he remarked on the radio. Team principal Guenther Steiner interjected: “It’s enough now.”

“What does that mean?” a surprised Magnussen replied. “Enough now, that’s what it means,” Steiner answered. “Enough is enough.” And yet Magnussen was not the unhappiest driver after Sunday’s race.

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“This is not fair”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
Vettel made his point after the race
Vettel left no one in any doubt how he felt about the decision as he returned to the pits. “No, no, no, guys,” he said. “Not like that.”

“Seriously, you have to be an absolutely blind man to think that you can go through the grass and then control your car. I was lucky that I did not hit the wall. Where the hell I am supposed to go? This is a wrong world, tell you, this is not fair.”

He wasn’t done. Returning to the pits he refused to join Hamilton and Leclerc for the post-race interviews and initially stormed off to the Ferrari hospitality area. Once retrieved by FIA personnel Vettel did take part in the podium proceedings but not before one final piece of theatre: He moved the ‘1’ board next to Hamilton’s car and replaced it with the ‘2’ from the empty space where his own car should have been.

But amid the deafening hullabaloo over the rights and wrongs of the outcome of the Canadian Grand Prix, the significant point was that Vettel had once again been in a race-winning position and cracked under the pressure.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Author information

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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121 comments on “Hamilton wins as Vettel cracks under pressure again”

  1. Vettel didn’t crack again.
    He’s permanently cracked.
    That’s not a drugs joke.

    1. Vettel is not a nut, cant crack like a nut, he is more of an ICE, looks and talks chilly cool and tough, but add a bit of heat, he dissipates into thin air and puff he is gone…

  2. …Wasn’t he complaining about handling or braking issues just before he went out at the chicane?

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:08

      @mxmxd He was panicking about not having DRS yes.

  3. “Hamilton locks up several times, goes wide in the hairpin, but Vettel’s single noticeable mistake is more costly”

    This would be a more accurate headline.

    1. Headline is not wrong, Vettel cracked under pressure and as a result gave Hamilton the win.

      1. If you accept the verdict..they might just have kept racing. What would the verdict have been with todays rules during the fight between Gilles Villenueve and Rene Arnoux 1979 at Dijon when they were banging wheels and went outside the track?

    2. Great point. Probably every racer made at least a minor mistake at some point during the race– the rest didn’t get a penalty for it! You know the penalty is ridiculous when even Sky Sports isn’t agreeing with something that benefits Lewis and hurts Sebastian. And not a single racer seems to agree with decision except for Kristensen who is buds with a steward– so maybe 2% of drivers thought that should be penalized. The message boards on this website have gotten really bad the last 2 years with people who are biased against certain drivers and ruin the discussion for everyone.

      1. You are right Chad. Some users are so biased it is almost funny.

        Penalty was fair and consistent. Sad in the sense it that it robbed us of a bit extra racing (although the three front runners still offered a very nice spectacle, happily).

        But all this matters very little. By the end of the year Vettel will only have reason to go back to this day if he happens to be less than 8 points down from the next pilot in the championship table. Otherwise, all this tantrum is for nothing anyway. And so far, regretfully, it doesn’t seem like the championship is going to be down to the wire.

      2. Or maybe Sky doesn’t want Lewis to run away with the championship early because Sky would lose viewers ;-)

    3. There is a huge difference from locking up and running a little wide to lossing the rear cutting the corner over the grass and almost taking out another car

    4. “Hamilton locks up several times, goes wide in the hairpin, but Vettel’s single noticeable mistake is more costly”

      Pfft… of course losing it and running off the road is more costly than barely locking the brakes a couple times. Everyone (who really knows about F1 anyway) knows that Canada is a brake limited circuit even when running in clean air, & this weekend temperatures were a few degrees hotter than expected. That’s why Hamilton lost braking performance whenever he ran too close to Seb. However, Lewis was smart (and skilled) enough to release his brakes after locking (barely a puff of smoke each time) and decided to take the time penalty that comes from running a bit wide in the hairpin, rather than standing on the brakes regardless trying to make the apex & close the gap. Don’t you find it even a little noteworthy that Lewis “locked up several times” but didn’t even flat-spot his tires? How severe could his brake locking be if he did it “several times” yet it didn’t even damage his tires? That alone is proof that his mistakes were nowhere as severe as Vettel’s. Hamilton minimized the effects of his mistakes, while Vettel compounded his by staying on the throttle & cutting across the track when he rejoined.

  4. The traditional English fox hunting have just begun. While most of the self-proclaimed jury ask why he didn’t brake on the grass or turned more left, which would require at least a basic racing experience and knowledge of physics, only a few think back to Monaco 2016 where Hamilton a) made a mistake and cut the chicane, b) had a full control of his car when returning on the racetrack, c) pushed Ricciardo into the wall, fully aware of what he was doing. That was not a dangerous driving as many see Vettel’s Canadian incident, that was a purely deliberate move without any action taken afterwards. The record-breaking agreement between FIA and Mercedes must be huge.

    1. Situations were a little bit different – first. Second – Lewis didn’t leave less than a width of car to Ricciardo back then.
      It was very close, but not “over” the mark.

      1. @dallein: the key issue in both cases actually is the return to the track part, not the squeezing/defending maneouver. Without the return to the track part, the rest is just racing. VET did not rejoin the track directly on the racing line, he was already on-track when he decided to occupy the racing line and block HAM. Yet, this particular maneouver is connected to the return to the track part… which did not bother HAM at all. When VET was already again on-track, HAM the entire racing line free. In Monaco, HAM rejoined the track directly on the racing line. That’s obviously more dangerous.

        1. @mg1982

          you should not comment at all since you dont even know what an evasive action means let alone talking about totally different situations! vettel came on track at the exit of the chicane and ham left space at the exit of the next corner but for the prioni guy and your silly assumption of they are identical, they were not, ric was never along side! ham was along side vet!, and vettel only ended at the racing line out of frustration for ham’s overtake, there was never a dangerous situation in ric’s case as he wasnt squeeze as he was never alongside, if he went for it, he would not be able to control his car due to wet/dirtiness of the surface not due to ham… if ham continued instead of evasive action in canada, vettel and him would 100% collide due to vettel’s unsafe re-entry and continuing to do so!

          stop making up cases out of your backsides! if you want something similar check mexico 2016… see what vettel says about same situation albeit nothing unsafe involved! max cutting chicane entering, and continuing, vettel cried 30 mins, and swearing at everyone… guess you would not know what irony is since you dont even know what evasive action is!

    2. @pironitheprovocateur

      We have thought back to Monaco 2016, usually to respond to posts like this that completely leaves out that Hamilton didn’t break any rules then, he left over a cars width exactly as the rule requires a driver to do so

      It makes me wonder why people pushing that point who seem to have good enough memories for the incident completely forget that crucial detail

      For what it’s worth I don’t agree with Vettel being penalised

    3. As everyone was saying 2 weeks ago, Monaco is a very different race to all the others and by the letter of the law Hamilton didn’t break the rules.

      As the article points out, the Verstappen instance (just 11 races ago) was far more similar and he got a 5 second penalty. https://youtu.be/jgOVofdZjv4

      It may not be popular but stewards have been consistent

      1. I dunno. I’d say if Monaco one isn’t similar enough, then neither is the Verstappen one. Verstappen actually made contact and forced Raikkonen off the track, and came back on in a much more deliberate manner with more control of the car. I’d say that minus the contact, Monaco & Verstappen incidents are closer to each other than the Vettel one.

    4. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:13

      @pironitheprovocateur Again, how about looking at an actually relevant example like Japan 2018 instead? 5 second penalty

      Monaco 2016 is not even close to the same. Hamilton cuts the chicane like so many do in Monaco, but he enters the track SAFELY to the left. Only after they go to the next corner does Hamilton cover the racing line to the which he has the rights.

      You have got to be kidding me that moving to the right a corner later has something to do with the safety of his rejoining the track to the lkeft a corner earlier.

      Stop provoking with lies (ie trolling) and face the facts. Vettel cracked and lost yet another race win whilke driving the faster car due to his inability to deal with pressure.

      1. @f1osaurus

        Vettel cracked and lost yet another race win whilke driving the faster car due to his inability to deal with pressure.

        The 2019 Ferrari is probably the most comically overrated car in F1 history. I’ve never seen a more overhyped car that is actually nowhere near as fast as its rival.

        Even in Canada, Mercedes was basically dominant once they switched to mediums. Hamilton messed up the hairpin like 4 times (and lost 0.5-1 second every time he made that mistake), and yet he was on Vettel’s gearbox the following sector. Merc was easily able to follow the Ferrari through the twisty part of the circuit without losing any cornering performance.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          11th June 2019, 18:01

          @kingshark Bahrain and Canada Ferrari were clearly faster.

          Ferrari has two drivers! I know it’s hard to miss and Ferrari don’t seem to know this either, but they really do.

          Vettel was hopeless in both races yes, but Leclerc was half a second faster than Vettel and Hamilton on the same hard tyres that “didn’t work”.

          Bottas couldn’t go faster either. He needed to stop for softs to get the fastest lap.

          Ferrai should have given Leclerc the tow instead of Vettel. Lets finally give the kid a chance instead of blundering Vettel.

    5. Paddy Down Under
      11th June 2019, 2:29

      Here is not measured or balanced reporting. Balanced and fair reporting would be to say that it was controversial, air both arguments, and move on.

      1. Monaco 2016 was an unsafe rejoin and forcing another driver to lift off/brake/ go into barrier-no penalty for Lewis. The excuses made here that Hamilton rejoined correctly and ‘later’ took up the racing line to block Ricciardo are weak- the correct racing line around the Monaco chicane is to hug both RH kerbs. By going off and rejoining where he did put Ham off line, giving Ricciardo a gap and momentum. Hamilton would not have needed to close the door had he not gone off. Going by the logic of this article, Hamilton cracked under pressure, yet still won the race.
      2. The belief that Vettel had all the space and time to control his car and deliberately steered it into Ham is un-provable. F1 cars are grip limited on grass and as others have pointed out, had he tried to stay hard drivers’ left,, he likely would have spun and created more danger. Rock and hard place, hard racing. Monaco 2016- Hamilton was fully under control when he steered to force Ricciardo into the barrier.
      3. Verstappen’s rejoin – no comparison. That was ill-considered stuff. He was fully under control and had at other clear options, plus Raikonnen was fully alongside and visible.
      4. Vettel’s reaction to this is totally understandable, and I cringe to see the insults being hurled at him here of spoilt, brat, dummy spitting, etc. Lewis bemoaning his team’s actions on radio might sound all very civilised, but it’s still moaning and deserves the same scrutiny (I don’t begrudge him the right to do so, by the way. It adds spice). Vettel is showing passion and that is precisely what the sterile, thought-policed, over-regulated, ultra-polite (a bit too ‘British’?) nanny state environment of F1 needs. I don’t like poor behaviour but a bit of niggle gives it some edge. It’s possible to enjoy the drama without all the spiteful comments.

      1. I agree with Paddy’s assessment generally. But not with the routine “Vettel made a mistake again” drivel that this website’s author’s put out.

  5. Finally an honest evaluation of what has happened.

    1. It still leave a few unanswered questions.

      “The numbers on the steering wheel are correct. Take actions.”

      What exactly was going on with Vettel car that lead him to slow down? Doesn’t the post match race data shed light on what was happening with his car? Is there a telling flaw in this Year’s Ferrari?

      1. The Sky team speculated it might have been a fuel issue that they were talking about.

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        10th June 2019, 22:31

        If there is then it appears that the flaw does not seem to affect LeClerc’s car

      3. The way the engineer said take action made me feel like it was something vettel wasn’t doing

  6. Thank you for this article Keith. Now I know I’ll have no regrets in ever coming back to this site.

    1. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out… 🤷‍♂️

    2. <blockquot lol if you honestly believe vettel didn’t have any fault in that then please leave

    3. I doubt you’ll be missed… still, happy trails!

    4. Same here

  7. I think if Charlie was still around (with utmost respect) Vettel would have been running afoul of his promise not to be disrespectful as he was, funnily enough in an almost exactly similar situation except reversed in 2016. The guy will throw the toys out of the pram if he doesn’t get his way no matter on which end of the stick he’s on, it’s been shown time and time again. He probably just didn’t know so readily the name of the guy to swear at this time, instead he just aimed at the sport as a whole in his post-race comments.

    Nice headline.

    1. He probably just didn’t know so readily the name of the guy to swear at this time

      @skipgamer – LOL :)

  8. Good to finally see a headline that calls it like it is.

  9. In the picture at the top of the article it appears that Hamilton has all 4 wheels off the track. Had he been left that space and made it through, could there be an argument that he had left the track and gained a lasting advantage? Had there been a directive from the FIA about track limits at that corner, or is the wall the limit?

    1. Well if he had been left space there would never have been an argument! Squeezing him off the track is what led to him being exactly where he is in that photo…

    2. Note that in the picture, Hamilton is already behind Vettel, having taken his foot of the throttle to avoid being stuck between Vettel and the wall @hollidog, so your hypothetical was already spoiled (according to the stewards) by Vettel squeezing him, but yes, the space Vettel was supposed to leave wasn’t on the grass (not here, it’s a wall) or on the kerbs, it’s on the track.

      1. How come, guys, you weren’t so agile in noticing all these details when HAM pushed off-track RAI in the 1st corner of the 2018 Austrian GP?! And they were side by side! Where were all these rules of leaving 1 car space etc etc?!

        1. Ham didn’t push him off track they were 3 abreast going into the corner, to be honest Ham, Rai and Bot all drove brilliantly not to crash into each other, Ham had the inside line and cut off Rai.

          Play it from 1minute 25 seconds…

    3. Well I always wonder why leaving the track and not gaining a disadvantage from it is not considered gaining an advantage. If you don’t want to lose out: stay on track!

  10. This is the kind of headline we should have been reading since yesterday “Vettel Cracking Under Pressure again”. Vettel is just going over the board with his after race shenanigans to mask his achilles heels of always cracking once Lewis is near him.

  11. Finally, a voice of reason. Can we move on now?

    I would like to analyze why Gasly did so badly, whether Stroll is proving his worth, Verstappen’s recovery drive, how Ricciardo made Bottas sweat and the levelheadedness and trademark consistency of Lewis.

    1. Gasly did poorly because he started on the softs, pitted early to switch to the hards, that put him in slower traffic that he could not pass and had to tire save for the entire race.

  12. I’m trying not to be biased because I am a Hamilton fan, but the way i see it, the right call was made. He left the track, came back on in an unsafe manner and gained an advantage. That said, i don’t think Vettel did any of that on purpose, he clearly lost it and any that’s been in a race car when it slides onto the grass knows you have no chance there. I think he did a great job to recover the car once he was back on the track and did everything he could do, but he is responsible for his car and the fact that the unsafe reentry to the track was beyond his control doesn’t matter. He cut across Hamilton and forced Hamilton to lift and was able to maintain his position due to an unsafe reentry to the track.

    I would have been better if it were possible for the stewards to tell Vettel to give up the position right then and let the fight it out on track, but that’s probably asking to much too quick, so the 5s penalty is the only real option. At least they didn’t disqualify him for not finishing the full race distance (Japan 89).

    1. His reaction was more like they had done a Japan ‘89 on him instead of a 5s penalty.

    2. @lancer003 if a 5s penalty gets a reaction like that, imagine what a disqualification would do

    3. geoffgroom44 (@)
      10th June 2019, 23:08

      I too am a Hamilton fan, which doesn’t stop me respecting,admiring, even liking many of the other drivers. LeClerc is amazing.Valteri has been stellar this year,Max V is often staggeringly skilled.Danny Ric,to name just a few.Many of the ‘new guys* show great promise.I actually liked Seb, most of the time
      Now, however, I am very angry that the masterly skills of Lewis Hamilton are being besmirched by a portion of so called F1 fans…and by the media commentators whose desire to see some sort of gladiatorial punch up between Mercedes and Ferrari are diminishing the excellent standards of this sport.
      I wish this incident had not happened, but does anyone seriously think that with 12 laps to go some other incident would not have occurred? After pit stops Seb was 5 seconds ahead in what has been claimed by many to be the better car. So how long does anyone think could have elapsed before that lead disappeared? Or put another way, why couldn’t Seb put another 4 seconds between himself and Lewis with 12 laps to go?
      Additionally, the children’s pantomime show at the end from the red dressed clown seeking some consolation to cover yet another ‘error of judgement’ crisis, did far more damage to the sport than any stewards’ decision. This is not,after all, 12 year olds go-karting, is it?
      So some are tired of Mercedes/Lewis/Valteri winning….but that is the very essence of sport, the best team wins.The best person wins…and they do so within the existing rulebooks that govern their particular sport.
      Mercedes are doing F1 a massive,massive, favour. They are demanding something more than the best from everyone and pushing the boundaries of the sport further ahead.

  13. I’m a RIC fan, so I was just happy that Renault seem to be on an upward curve.
    My view of the HAM/VET thing:

    Vettel made a mistake, went off the track, cut a corner and blocked his opponent on rejoining, who then was forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash.

    I wanted it to be decided on the track as much as anyone but I don’t see how you can make a mistake like that and then blame all the world for stealing the race from you.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      10th June 2019, 23:08


  14. Don frika del prima
    10th June 2019, 18:30

    “I will drive flat out all the time … I love racing.”

    “The sport is more important than anything. More important than any of the people in it. Of course I say what I think. I always have, even if it upsets people like Ecclestone and Balestre. Why should I be afraid of them? The fans aren’t here to see politicians and manipulators. They’re here to see Alain and Mario and Carlos and me. I am very secure in my feelings about racing. I make a lot of money from it, but one thing I can tell you for sure: if the money disappeared overnight, I would still be in racing, because I love it. The entrepreneurs would be gone.”

    Gilles Villeneuve.

    The first part of the quote was used in the cool down room, on the wall. The rest wasn’t. I wonder why.

  15. Having watched it a few times and read the “experts” opinions I have decided that – in my opinion – Vettel created the situation by losing control. Something that he is doing far too often these days.

    That said.
    What he did to recover was automatic reaction stuff and in no way an attempt to cheat or take Lewis out of the race.
    It looks to me like his only alternative was to brake hard on grass.
    Some of the armchair experts here may think that that is easy for an F1 driver but it really isn’t.
    I feel that the alternatives to what he did would have resulted in carnage and possible injury for both him and Lewis.

    That said.
    He did come back on track in a dangerous fashion.
    It’s impossible to say he rejoined safely – so yes the stewards are absolutely right in that judgement – but the alternative could have resulted in death.

    I feel it was an undeserved penalty. A racing incident, though I accept that a WDC should not be cracking under pressure as much as Seb is these days but that is more for him and his management to sort out with perhaps some pressure from other at risk bodies.

    His behaviour at the end was a mistake. I can understand his anger and frustration but that kind of behaviour only gives fuel to ones enemies. Better to suck it up and swear revenge.

    1. What he did to recover was automatic reaction stuff and in no way an attempt to cheat or take Lewis out of the race.

      I agree that he did not attempt to cheat or take Lewis out of the race, but it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that Seb’s instinctive priority would be to minimize the cost of his mistake, even at the risk of pushing the limits of safety. It is a reaction that I believe most if not all other drivers would have had in the same situation (even Lewis said he would have reacted in the same manner).

      And, whilst it of course shouldnt have a bearing on these decisions, it’s easy to remember this is a guy that has a track record of putting himself in unnecessarily risky situations through drifting across track (Turkey 2010, Singapore 2017, post-malaysia 2017…)

      1. @nullapax sorry forgot to tag! :)

    2. I think you seriously under estimate Vettel. I am sure he would have studied that corner, and known what was possible. He’s like the really clever boxer, or the genius golfer playing the odds. He knew what was likely in that corner. Its all about the stakes some people play for.

      Once again what did this message mean “The numbers on the steering wheel are correct. Take actions.”

      Think of Ferrari’s current position and any hope they may harbour for the remainder of this Championship.

      This point is about the history and culture of Ferrari.

  16. Well, if this championship comes down to 7 points . . . never mind.

  17. How ridiculous to suggest “return routes” on a grass run off… unless you want it to become a tarmac one, and ruin the track even more.

    The nature of the track has to be considered too. Vettel bounced over the kerbs and on the grass and returned on the track which at that point is quite narrow and has a wall up one side. And after all it was a mistake and he was trying to regain control, his car slided on the tarmac after returning… it’s not a question of “there shouldn’t be a car there!”. Of course it shouldn’t, but it happens.

    I still believe this sort of actions shouldn’t be penalized, and it’s not the first time I say it.

    1. Vettel’s next sport ——– Rallycross, he’s a natural.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:22

      @fer-no65 There is quite a lot of tarmac on the left of the racing line. Vettel had all the space he would have needed to recover there. If he actually would have tried.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        10th June 2019, 23:12


  18. I would love to see an article on:
    – How stewards are trained
    – How stewards are selected
    – How they are evaluated for future assignments
    – What information they have available
    – Any other information relevant to the topic

    I am a retired international commissaire (referee) in cycling, have trained officials and developed training programs in that sport, and am familiar with the training of referees, umpires, and judges in several other sports (baseball, football (American and soccer), alpine skiing). All have rigorous training, classroom and practical testing, and real-world evaluations for those working toward the top level. Does the FIA/F1 have the same kind of program? Is there a pool of top-level stewards from which F1 stewards are drawn?

    Please don’t take this as a comment on the current controversy. It seems to me that before criticizing any particular decision it is necessary to know how that decision is made, and what the decision makers know that I don’t. Aside from that, I think that such an article would be of interest.

  19. The outcome of this will be just like when Seb ran into the back of LH – a bunch of noise by Seb but at the end of the day the stewards will be shown to have been right.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:25

      @blueruck Yes or when Vettel was furious that Hamilton left him “no space” in Monza (while Hamilton was all the way to the edge). Or when Vettel was furious that Verstappen left him no space in Japan. It’s always someone else’s fault that he can’t keep it together.

      But yes, Baku was exceptionally hilarious as well.

    2. Exactly. Imagine if Hamilton had run into the back of Vettel. Assuming no SC, his front wing would be destroyed, this being turn 4 there would be majority of the circuit ahead to limp back to the garage. The rest of the field would have over taken him. Vettel gamble might have paid off, with no wing damage, and only a slim chance of a rear puncture.

      Question. How desperate a spectacle should F1 motor racing be? How desperate a spectacle was F1 motor racing?

  20. From Jolyon Palmer’s BBC column regarding Vettel:

    He either crowded another driver off the circuit – Hamilton into the wall on the exit of Turn Four, to the point where the Mercedes driver had to anchor on the brakes to avoid a collision.

    Or, as his defence said, his natural momentum took him across the full width of the circuit. But in that case he is guilty of rejoining the circuit in an unsafe manner, as he was not in full control of his car, to the extent that he ran Hamilton off the road in an unsafe manner.


    1. Very clear POV

  21. The most upsetting result of this race for Ferrari, setting aside all the drama on the podium, must be that Ferrari were not fastest at a track they where they were supposed to have a clear edge. This is as good as it’s going to get for them, and Hamilton was under Vettel’s wing the for the distance. This puts a damper on the idea of a summer Ferrari fight-back anchored at Spa and Monza.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:29

      @dmw Ferrari was fastest. They were fastest pretty much all weekend. In Q3 they we 2 tenths faster and during the race Leclerc had the fastest lap on hard tyres.

      Only when Bottas stopped for fresh softs was he able to beat Leclercs time.

      Vettel was about half a second a lap slower than Leclerc though. So indeed Vettel was slower again. Just like he was in Bahrain and there also he threw away the win with a silly mistake (plus not really being fast enough).

      It’s a shame Ferrari keep backing Vettel for #1. If they had given Leclerc the tow instead and therefore Leclerc had gotten pole, then the race outcome might have been completely different. Hamilton fastest lap was also half a second slower than Leclerc’s fastest time.

      1. I’ve already said the same below, but I’m afraid Ferrari were not fastest. Maybe in Q3, when they were able to turn the engine up to 11 and make up half a second on the back straight. But in the race, Hamilton could run down and park on Vettel’s tail at will, in the turbulence, with the cooling penalty. If Hamilton got by he would have disappeared. I would not use Bottas as benchmarck for anything this weekend. Bottas 2.0 needed a patch.

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          10th June 2019, 23:13


  22. A very good article, explained with a lot of reason and thought – something the ex drivers seem incapable of doing

    1. @burden93 Agreed. And regardless of whether you agree with Keith/Palmer/Rosberg or not, the fact they are able to put forward their viewpoints in the face of certain wide-spread backlash is something that should at the very least be respected.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 20:30

      @burden93 Well Damon Hill, Rosberg, Joylon Palmer and Emanuele Piro do seem to agree with the decision.

      1. @f1osaurus Yep, I might have made a bit of a sweeping statement! I read Joylon Palmer’s article today and again it’s very good. I also thought Jenson Button’s analysis on the Sky Pad (he had the opposite view) was a good argument for there being no penalty.

        But there did seem to be a lot of pundits (quite a few from Sky) that didn’t seem to take the rules into account of why it should or shouldn’t have been a penalty, just the impact it had on “the show” and “what it is was like in their day”

        1. @burden93 Thanks for the tip off about the article. Palmer makes an essential point, which is that it’s the drivers and teams who have constantly demanded clear regulations and consistent application. So that’s what Vettel got.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          10th June 2019, 21:25

          @burden93 Actually by now the stewards have provided a bit more insight in their reasoning and they say Vettel had enough control to stay at least a car width away from the track edge. Plus that they saw (in unreleased footage) that Vettel was checking his mirrors for Hamilton before drifting further to the right.

          That combined with it being pretty much identical to the Verstappn vs Raikkonen incident in Japan 2018 made this a clear decision from the stewards.


          1. @f1osaurus +1 on the article – It’s a shame we don’t get to see all the footage that the stewards used

  23. His behaviour and tantrums are unacceptable and so it should be for any sports person be it Vettel Hamilton or whoever.

    It bring the sport into disrepute in a manner of speaking.

    The stewards should have asked him to relinquish his position,
    Then he should have gone ‘faster and faster’ as he had said on Saturday, overtaken Lewis in his faster and faster mode opened a 5 sec gap and left no one in any doubt as to what an absolute gift of a driver he is to the world of F1 and that without him and his poor manners the sport would simply die.

    He is out of control. His conduct is unbecoming and disgraceful.
    Swearing at Charlie banging into Lewis and on and on …..
    But then its one stupid driver driving for a stupid team…
    How they can stifle the potential of LeClerc to protect Vettel requires the computational genius of a super computer.

    1. “Dangerous driving, when did I do dangerous driving? ” -vettel the clown

      I’m still flabbergasted by his behavior at the weigh bridge in Brazil 2018, AND HOW HE GOT AWAY WITH IT.

  24. Except Hamilton didn’t win. He was given the victory after being beaten in the actual race. Vettel won the race.

    1. Vette’s total race time, including penalty, was longer than Hamilton’s. Hamilton won. A better solution would be that Vettel could have been told to allow Hamilton to pass him. If he doesn’t comply within 2 laps, 5 second penalty.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        10th June 2019, 20:32

        @greenflag That would actually have been a better penalty. Someone else suggested something similar too.

        It would be much more fair. It corrects the order of the cars to the way it should have been. Plus it allows for a fair fight again.

        1. @f1osaurus

          Fair fight haha. Vettel was on borrowed time in that car. Awesome pole though.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            10th June 2019, 21:28

            Well yes it would allow for a fair fight instead of running other drivers into the wall. Vettel was actually personally warned not to put cars into the wall again like he did in Russia 2018.

            Anyway, I agree Leclerc was a lot faster in his Ferrari.

            Too bad Ferrari keep throwing Leclerc under the bus in an effort to help Vettel who then throws himself under the bus.

      2. A better solution would be that Vettel could have been told to allow Hamilton to pass him. If he doesn’t comply within 2 laps, 5 second penalty.

        @greenflag – I agree with both @f1osaurus and you, that would have been fair to the drivers involved and to the fans.

    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      10th June 2019, 22:21

      Yeah,Gabe,sure. and that rationale applied to every sport – ok to play outside the rules – would enable every bling ordained wannabe to wreck all sport

      1. “bling ordained wannabe” — are you talking about Hamilton?

  25. I am getting sick of all these discussions and it’s extremely difficult to keep the temper and not get dragged into it :) But controversy is always good, keeps the people sharp, great for the sport!

    I will only say, that despite what happened – Vettel cracking under pressure or whatever, at least this race was not as boring as the 6 previous ones (my humble opinion). Hoping for more close battles in the races to come – for the sake of fans not leaving F1, I hope with at least a couple of different winners (also different colors of overalls, not just different winners from the same team).

  26. Great article.

  27. It’s so easy to crack ‘under pressure’ when your car is inferior to the one behind and you’re ringing your own car’s neck. Especially inferior on its grip strangley.

    1. Ferrari was the superior car in Canada. 1st and 3rd on the grid, remember. Its #1 driver is the inferior component.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      10th June 2019, 21:31

      Ferrari was fastest in FP2, FP3, Q1, Q3 and during the race (Leclerc at least was fastest by half a second on the hard tyres). That’s even before considering that Hamilton is actually a much better qualifier and racer than Vettel is.

      1. I think you can only say that Leclerc was faster than Vettel. Vettel was clearly massively holding up Hamilton.

  28. Good weekend for Hamilton after the track dust has settled and the booing long vanished into the Montreal air. Another win on a Ferrari-dominant circuit, Vettel’s driving weakness under pressure exposed, Ferrari and Vettel attacking the stewards pointlessly and in fairly pantomime fashion, Bottas anonymous this race after messing up Q3.

    1. If 1984 was real, you’d be a perfect example of Minitruth clerk.

      1. @pironitheprovocateur You’re really not at a level worth bothering with.

        1. Couldn’t resist seeing all those quasi-definitive comments and usurping the victory.

          1. You mean the truth hurts and you lash out. Whatever, you obviously impress yourself, which is all that matters, I’m sure.

  29. geoffgroom44 (@)
    10th June 2019, 22:16

    The rules apply to all. However, one thing clunks in my thoughts about this whole episode – if Seb is really such a great driver and the Ferrari car so amazing (generally accepted as being the best at Canada) – why didn’t Seb manage to finish 5 seconds ahead of Lewis? 12 laps to go after the incident. In practice Seb was managing some significant time advantages over Lewis. Maybe the fact that he had a sliding rear end into the corner which precipitated this whole incident, maybe that is the reason he could not put significant distance between the prancing horse and the Merc. Indeed, he had hardly managed to put much distance between himself and Lewis the whole race, had he?

    1. SF-90 is losing a lot of time throughout the corners. Every corner. It’s nice they’re quick on the straight but when it comes to the aerodynamic performance, this car is losing badly. Plus Vettel was complaining about his tyres and breakes, and Mercedes are too clever to let him go with their cornering abilities. Since they knew about the penalty, they surely took the advantage of their new engine.

      1. *brakes, sorry. And I wanted to add that we also have to take the Friday race simulations into consideration. Mercedes was clearly the quickest car, by a mile.

  30. With verdicts like that you loose the uncertainty in racing which means you might as well watch paint dry.

    1. That’s like saying that the offside rule removes the uncertainty in soccer. Rules are rules and as long as they apply to all the drivers and the stewards apply them consistently, everyone knows where they stand.

  31. Might as well light this article on fire, because this is the hottest take I’ve seen, and I’ve already read Motorsport’s Scott Mitchell’s take.

  32. Agree 100% vettel makes a mistake and blames everything else but himself and his fans buy it

  33. GtisBetter (@)
    11th June 2019, 0:11

    It’s funny, I read many times that people want more grass and less tarmac, so that when a driver makes a mistake he does get punished. Now that it actually happens they don’t like grass?

    1. You’ll find that the opinions of a lot of “fans” shift weekly, depending on how their favorite driver fared (especially if their least favorite driver fares better). They’re shameless & blatant with it.

  34. Pretty obvious keith REALLY doesnt like vettel lol. Ive never liked the bloke much either but then again i dont call myself an objective journalist…

    1. Glad I’m not the only one noticing this.

  35. “It’s hard to imagine him doing as his Ferrari successor Sebastian Vettel did on Sunday, short-cutting a chicane and then squeezing his rival hard to forbid him from overtaking”

    Um…What are you talking about? Villeneuve did more than that to Rene Arnoux in just one lap.

  36. Renault lapped a few cars in the midfield and are expected to have a massive upgrade in France.. keep an eye on them. They seem to be pulling away from the midfield as expected.

  37. I was lucky that I did not hit the wall.

    So, a 5s penalty is getting of fairly lightly in comparison, no?

  38. I wouldn’t call it cracking under pressure. Although Vettel was able to snatch pole thanks to the more powerful engine, the Mercedes was much faster in race trim, especially on the hard tire. Vettel had to give everything to stay ahead. Hamilton did similar small mistakes at the hairpin 4 or 5 times but he was behind, he did not lose position, only time.

    Even in qualifying, Vettel had to take more risk than Hamilton, see how close each of them gets to the grass before the hairpin (at 49 seconds): https://youtu.be/0RBuENbhs4I?t=49

  39. Poor journalisim again. Hamilton who was clearely having better pace on the medium tyres nearly managed to overtake Vettel, Vettel who’ is in the slower car since Australia pushed his car to the limit in order to prevent the overtake got pushed off the track rejoined and kept at least a car width for Hamilton and still got penality.

    Any driver who is leading from the front while being chased by a faster car will always experience intense pressure.
    racefans poor journalisim continues it’s so sad.

  40. Thank you for pointing out the fact that it was Vetel’s mistake that cost him and Ferrari the victory, not the inevitable penalty that Vettel FORCED the stewards to make.

    Immediately after the incident, I said to myself, “It’s too bad, but the FIA HAS to penalize that.”

    For me, it wasn’t just Vettel’s rejoining unsafely and blocking, but it was cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage. This rule is agreed upon by every single driver, and every since time that a driver has made an unforced error, cut a corner, and NOT given up the position, he has been penalized. This is not new and is not open for debate.

    Vettel deserved two penalties.

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