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

 



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us