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Hamilton dominates to win Canadian GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took a dominant victory in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday to cut Sebastian Vettel’s lead in the F1 2017 Drivers’ Championship from 25 points to 12.

Hamilton, who started from pole position, led from start-to-finish, controlling the race from the front and making his one and only stop on lap 32.

It was his sixth win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the 56th of his career, coming ten years on from his maiden victory also in Montreal.

“I had my first pole and my first win here 10 years ago and to repeat it this weekend is incredibly special,” Hamilton said. “I really have to thank my team who made this possible and all the guys back at the factory. They have all worked so hard to fix what we had in the last race and bring it here and really give it to the Ferraris. It is a great result. I am over the moon.”

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas took second to give Mercedes 1-2, 19.7secs further back at the chequered flag.

“For sure it feels good – thank-you Montreal again! It is my fifth time racing here and my third time up here on the podium,” Bottas noted. “It has been a good place for me and it is always good to be here.

“As a team we really needed this 1-2 to get those points and after a tough race in Monaco I am really impressed what the team has done to get everything together. How much we have improved in just two weeks is impressive and I am just very proud to be part of this.”

Behind, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo hung on to take the final podium spot, fractionally ahead of the recovering Ferrari of Vettel.

“Today I only had fun when I saw the chequered flag. It was tough and I was defending the whole race. We weren’t that quick to be honest and I had pressure, pressure. I couldn’t afford to do any mistakes and it was getting quite hot. Concentration was being tested, but it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It is awesome to be on the podium,” added Ricciardo, before doing his customary shoey.

Vettel slipped from second to fourth at the start, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen getting a sensational getaway to leap from fifth to P2 – and also challenge for the lead.

With Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean making contact, however, and the former then spinning and taking out the unfortunate Felipe Massa the safety car was deployed*.

At the re-start, Vettel immediately lost part of his front wing, with re-plays subsequently showing it had been damaged into Turn 1 at the start when Verstappen shot up to P2. Vettel was forced to pit, re-joining 18th and last, before hauling himself back up into the points and then in the closing stages to fourth when he passed both Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Perez managed to hold off team-mate Ocon to take fifth over the line, but ignored earlier team orders to let the sister car, which was on a different strategy and with fresher tyres, by.

Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for seventh in his Ferrari, with brake problems 10 laps from the end dropping him behind Vettel and out of the battle for third.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was next up in eighth, while Williams rookie Lance Stroll took his first points’ finish in P9 – much to the delight of the local crowd.

Haas F1 pilot Romain Grosjean completed the points’ scorers in tenth with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen 11th and 12th respectively. Marcus Ericsson, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein filled positions 13 through to 15.

Fernando Alonso was classified 16th – but stopped with four laps to go when his engine failed. He had been on course to give McLaren Honda its first points finish of the year in P10.

In addition to Massa and Sainz, who as mentioned both went out at the start, Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat also retired.

Verstappen, having made that great start, was running in P2 when he suffered a loss of power on lap 11 and had to pull off the track.

Kvyat retired on lap 55 after a torrid afternoon. The Toro Rosso driver had troubled getting away on the warm-up lap, but did start and incorrectly took up his position of P11 on the grid – despite having dropped right to the back. That initially landed him with a drive-through, but he was also later given a 10-second time penalty when the stewards confirmed the original penalty was incorrect. The Russian then had a slow stop while serving it and was forced out a lap later.

Race Result available – HERE.

Picture credit: Mercedes

*Sainz was later handed a 3-place grid penalty for the next race in Baku and got two penalty points after the stewards judged he was to blame for the opening lap incident with Grosjean

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