Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Hamilton: ‘F1 is going in the wrong direction’

Sebastian Vettel Canadian GP 2018 Sebastian Vettel Canadian GP 2018
Sidney Guerrero | 11 June, 2018, 08:32

Lewis Hamilton said he was relieved to just finish the Canadian Grand Prix rather than concerned about losing the championship lead.

But there was not, and Vettel picked up the 50th of his career, his second in Montreal and the first for Ferrari at the track since Michael Schumacher won three in a row from 2002-04.

Daniel Ricciardo, a victor two weeks ago in Monaco in another race panned for being tiresome, brought his Red Bull in third, just ahead of defending champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Bottas's main challenge from behind came at the start when a fast-starting Max Verstappen pulled alongside into Turn 1, but Bottas held onto the inside line for Turn 2 and forced the Red Bull driver to back out.

Hartley crashed out early at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after an opening lap collision.

Defending four-time champion Briton Hamilton finished fifth, extending his run of points-scoring finishes to a record 32 races, but he slipped a point behind German Vettel in the title race.

"They've been waiting long enough for Ferrari to win here", Vettel said. "I'm happy for them".

Toto Wolff says the Canadian GP weekend serves as a "major wake-up call" to Mercedes to get to grips with the "new reality" of F1's expanded battle for honours.

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Vettel said he was "not too bothered" about retaking a lead he last held after the Chinese Grand Prix back in April.

His engine was six races old but Hamilton would have expected better.

Mercedes were never in the victory equation, having not got engine updates ready in time for the race while Ferrari and Red Bull both had new parts. "It's unbelievable. I said yesterday how much this place means to Ferrari and to have a race like we had today is unbelievable", said Vettel. At the end I was just praying the vehicle stays fine, nothing would break.

Red Bull's Ricciardo was denied the fastest lap by the early flag waving which meant that did not count.

Vettel had no such trouble, leaving the jostling behind him as he steered through the 4.36-kilometer track named for the Ferrari driver and Montreal native who earned his first Formula One victory here 40 years ago. It's not satisfactory, luckily it didn't affect the result but it may need us to review procedures and make sure we have a very simple procedure for every circuit.

With Vettel's team mate Kimi Raikkonen taking sixth, Ferrari also closed the gap on Mercedes in the constructors' standings, with the deficit now down to 17 points.

The day was less positive for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who was celebrating his 300th Formula One race.

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