Lewis Hamilton has won his second Grand Prix of the season and has narrowed the gap to Nico Rosberg, the championship leader to 9 points. Rosberg had a poor outing today and needs to regain his rhythm in order to remain ahead of his teammate.
A quick start
Vettel started with a head full of steam, easily passing both Mercedes drivers before the first corner. Rosberg took a little hit and lost a lot of ground falling back to 10th place. Max Verstappen managed to steer around the chaos caused by Rosberg and gained 3rd place behind Hamilton. Ricciardo and Raikkonen completed the top 5.
Tire strategies unfold
After 11 laps it was the Honda of Jenson Button that went up in flames, causing a Virtual Safety Car. Vettel and Raikkonen both immediately grasped the opportunity to make a stop and change to the super soft tires. Vettel rejoined in 4th position, giving Hamilton the lead. The stop came unsually early and combined with the tire choice it became clear that Ferrari had opted for a two-stop strategy. Vettel showed the Ferrari pace in the next laps. He quickly snuck up to Ricciardo and DRS’ed him on the straight. Verstappen fell victim to the German in the next lap.
In lap 20 and 22 it were Verstappen and Ricciardo who boxed for the soft tires, the hardest available compound. Hamilton managed to stretch his first stint all the way to lap 26 when he came in for softs.
Raikkonen, in 4th, tried his very best to make his supersofts last but with Ricciardo, Bottas and Rosberg breathing down his neck, his tires started to wear down. After just 24 laps the tires were done and the Finn had to pit for softs. Vettel had to make his second stop just a few laps later, placing him in second position. At this point the gamble didn’t seem to pay off for the Scuderia. Lewis needed only one stop and was in the lead on softs.
The good and the bad
Ricciardo had a dissappointing Sunday afternoon after his strong performance in Monaco. After being hindered severly by Rosberg at the start, the Australian slowly lost sight of his teammate and lost time battling with Raikkonen who passed him at the start. Midway through the race he stood under massive pressure from Valtteri Bottas who slowly but surely worked his way through the top 6. Ricciardo made a mistake under pressure and had to let Bottas and Rosberg go. He ended the race in 7th.
Max Verstappen redeemed himself from a utterly dissappointing weekend in Monaco. Near the end of the race the Dutchman was under immense pressure from a faster Nico Rosberg who had to fight back from a slow puncture. Rosberg had a lot of trouble with Verstappen who defended the inside line at the end of the long straight for consecutive laps. Rosberg tried again in the penultimate lap and again Verstappen blocked the inside line but as the German went outside he braked too late, touched a slither of grass and slid off sideways handing back P4 to Verstappen.
Carlos Sainz also had a noteworthy performance as the Spaniard’s weekend started out far from ideal. Sainz hit the Wall of Champions during Q2 on Saturday putting him in 16th and to make matters worse he also had to accept a 5 place grid penalty after being forced to change his gearbox. From the back of the field he managed to work his way up to 9th place, scoring two championship points. Remarkable considering the slightly underpowered 2015 Ferrari engine that powers the Toro Rosso.
Vettel had to cease his attack on Hamilton’s first place after locking up multiple times in the final chicane and happily settled for P2 right before Valtteri Bottas who scored the first podium for Williams since Mexico 2015. Rosberg managed to hold on to 5th position but was not amused with the nudge he received from Hamilton in the first corner, making his race that much harder.
This victory is the fifth one on Canadian soil for Lewis Hamilton since winning his maiden victory here in 2007. More importantly this back to back victory means that he has the momentum going into Baku, Azerbaijan next weekend. A new street circuit with fast straights and narrow turns guarded by walls means that a third victory in a row will not come easy.
Final Results of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix
|4.||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||53.020||6.598|
|7.||D. Ricciardo||Red Bull||+1:03.634||+0.617|
|8.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+1 Lap|
|9.||C. Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||+1 Lap|
|10.||S. Perez||Force India||+1 Lap|
|11.||F. Alonso||McLaren||+1 Lap|
|12.||D. Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+1 Lap|
|13.||E. Gutiérrez||Haas||+2 Laps|
|14.||R. Grosjean||Haas||+2 Laps|
|15.||M. Ericsson||Sauber||+2 Laps|
|16.||K. Magnussen||Renault||+2 Laps|
|17.||P. Wehrlein||Manor||+2 Laps|
|18.||F. Nasr||Sauber||+2 Laps|
|19.||R. Haryanto||Manor||+2 Laps|
|Did not finish|
|20.||F. Massa||Williams||+35 Laps|
|1.||N. Rosberg||116||13.||N. Hulkenberg||18|
|2.||L. Hamilton||107||14.||C. Sainz Jr.||18|
|3.||S. Vettel||78||15.||K. Magnussen||6|
|4.||D. Ricciardo||72||16.||J. Button||5|
|5.||K. Raikkonen||69||17.||S. Vandoorne||1|
|6.||M. Verstappen||50||18.||E. Gutiérrez||0|
|7.||V. Bottas||44||19.||J. Palmer||0|
|8.||F. Massa||37||20.||M. Ericsson||0|
|9.||S. Perez||24||21.||P. Wehrlein||0|
|10.||D. Kvyat||22||22.||F. Nasr||0|
|11.||R. Grosjean||22||23.||R. Haryanto||0|