Canadian Grand Prix: Rivals have no answer to Sebastian Vettel’s bullet run as German wins in Red Bull

Hamilton and Alonso fight a heroic battle but it was only ever  to be called second best

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton did their best to enliven one of the dullest Canadian Grands Prix in recent memory, as they battled for second place in the closing stages, but neither had the remotest answer to Sebastian Vettel who fired a red bullet into the Spaniard’s World Championship aspirations.

Alonso led Hamilton home by 1.5 seconds after a heroic performance by the Englishman, in which he vanquished his Mercedes team-mate and recent nemesis Nico Rosberg by an embarrassing 54 seconds. Meanwhile, Vettel was 14.4 seconds up the road after one of the easiest victories of his career and his third of a season that looks like being yet another Red Bull benefit run.

One suspects that even Vettel and his team had little criticism for Pirelli’s tyres on this occasion. “We won Canada!” the German hollered on his victory lap. “The car was absolutely amazing. Thank you, boys!” And indeed it was.

Historically, Red Bull have come away disappointed from this race, which so often throws up unusual results. But not this time. Vettel took pole by a fraction from Hamilton but, such was his pace as he built a large lead early on, that there were even suspicions that he might be on a three-stop tyre strategy. As soon as it became clear that he was not, the writing was on the wall. Nobody was going to touch the combination on this occasion, and Vettel even had time to clip a wall at the back of the circuit on the 10th lap and then make an uncharacteristic mistake in the first corner on the 52nd lap without becoming even remotely threatened.

Hamilton drove his heart out throughout the race, pulling clear initially of Rosberg, who was unable to hold back Red Bull’s Mark Webber or the Ferrari of Alonso. Webber was the first of the front-runners to switch from Pirelli’s supersoft compound tyres to the mediums, on the 13th lap, followed by Rosberg on the 14th. When Vettel, and then Alonso, stopped on the 16th lap, Hamilton inherited the lead until stopping on the 19th, and that was the closest the Englishman would get to maintaining his record of winning every time he has finished here. Thereafter, it was Vettel’s race to lose and even with his two minor errors, that was never going to happen.

“It was a great race,” the 25-year-old said. “And a very important one for us to win. We finally got it off the list, and it was great to do that. I’ve had good races here before but it didn’t come together to win. Two years ago I got very close and lost it in the last lap, which was my mistake, so it was good to be able to make up with it today.

“I had a very good start, which was important, then I was able go with the car. On the supersofts we saw the tyres falling apart but that was as good as anyone else, and after that I was able to build a gap and to keep it and control the race. It was a great job by the team.”

Hamilton seemed to have second place sewn up, until the final stint. Webber was ruled out of contention for the podium after a collision with Caterham runner Giedo van der Garde at the hairpin on the 36th lap, for which the Dutchman was penalised. That gave Alonso the chance to sweep ahead, and thereafter he got the pedal to the metal and began to reel Hamilton in. The latter was not helped when Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa lost him a second, and then when his former friend Adrian Sutil ignored blue flags, for which he too was penalised. The gripping fight was fraught but fair, and neither was troubled by minor contact as Alonso overtook the Mercedes on the 63rd lap, or when they touched as Hamilton counter-attacked on the 64th.

“We had a very good fight with Mark and Nico and later with Lewis at the end, and it was not easy,” the exhausted Spaniard said. “They are all super-talented. This has a victory taste as we scored some good points after a very good weekend.”

Hamilton was a lot happier than he had seemed after qualifying, having shown the pace that has always been expected of him. And yesterday the Mercedes did not suffer the tyre problems that struck him down so notably in Bahrain.

“Some small part of my front wing came off in the touch with Fernando,” he said, “but it was a good battle. He was massively quick so it was very difficult to keep him behind. The feel in the brakes was better but we still need to improve. It was still a good result.”

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker