[F1 2018 NEWS FEATURE] CANADIAN GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Formula 1 news story about [F1 2018 NEWS FEATURE] CANADIAN GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Sebastian Vettel has secured his 50th win in Formula 1, taking a dominant victory in the Canadian Grand Prix and the lead of the world championship - despite the safety car emerging on Lap 1 after Williams’ Lance Stroll forced Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley into the wall at Turn 5.

Vettel, who now leads Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the standings by 1-point, looked in control all the way - on a day when his fellow 4-time F1 World Champion looked off the pace all weekend. The German becomes just the fourth man in history to take 50 Grand Prix wins, also taking Ferrari’s first win in Montreal since Michael Schumacher in 2004.

“Perfect is probably a good way to describe it,” said Vettel, who took his second win in Canada on the 40th anniversary of the race coming to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 1978 edition won by the intrepid Canadian driving for the Scuderia. “I said yesterday how much this place means for Ferrari, we see from the moment we touch down here. To have a race like we had today is unbelievable.”

Bottas, who outclassed his teammate all weekend, finished second - ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who took his second podium for 2018.

There’s now a two-week break until F1’s first-ever triple header, with France on June 24 - followed by Austria and Great Britain in back-to-back weekends.

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 68 1:28:31.377 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 68 +7.376s 18
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 68 +8.360s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 68 +20.892s 12
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 68 +21.559s 10
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 68 +27.184s 8

Here’s how the FORMULA 1 2018 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX played-out lap-by-lap:

Build Up:
One of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the year is expected to lead into an equally thrilling race, on the 40th anniversary of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with Sebastian Vettel taking his fourth pole position of the season - and Ferrari’s first in Canada since Michael Schumacher in 2001 - and Montreal specialist, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton only able to reach fourth on the grid with the team’s engine upgrade delayed until the next race at Paul Ricard.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas starts second, his second front row start this year and first since Spain, an impressive performance from the Finn to outqualify Hamilton at one of his strongest tracks.

Red Bull Racing, though, hopes to put the cat amongst the pigeons with its race strategy - both drivers starting on the hypersofts, as opposed to Mercedes and Ferrari around them on the ultrasofts. Max Verstappen starts from third, the first time this year he’s started as high as that - with Daniel Ricciardo in sixth, the Australian avoiding a grid penalty for a faulty MGU-K and energy store, but likely to take a drop at the next race in France.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen starts fifth, after a mistake on his final lap in Q3. It’s going to be an exciting 362metre run down to Turn 1, with the safety car appearing in 12 of the last 20 Grands Prix in Montreal.

Other highlights include McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who starts from 14th - incidentely, his race number - for his 300th Grand Prix appearance, just the fourth driver in history to reach that milestone after Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher.

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley starts from P12, ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly in P16 for the third time in seven races - and his first since China. It’s just what the New Zealander needs after all the rumours of him being replaced from Austria in the past week. While Sauber’s Charles Leclerc (P13) has outqualified Marcus Ericsson (P19) for the fifth-straight race. Local hero, Williams’ Lance Stroll starts down in P17, with teammate Sergey Sirotkin behind him for the team’s worst-ever grid slots in Canada.

Raikkonen has changed his intercooler in the lead-up to the race, with the Finn’s component set to fail in the dramatic way that affected Haas’ Romain Grosjean in qualifying, which has left the Frenchman at the back of the grid and no time set. We’re expecting a one-stop as the fastest way through to the chequered flag, most drivers likely to move onto the supersoft tyre.

Formation Lap:
So both Ferraris and Mercedes are on the ultrasofts, with both Red Bulls on the ultrasofts. The rest of the top-10 are on the hypersofts. Below the top-10, the only drivers on the hypersofts are the two Toro Rossos. While Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin is the only driver to start on the supersoft, so long first stint for him.

Lap 1:
Vettel gets a great start, he stays ahead of Bottas but Verstappen can’t get ahead - he stays P3 into Turn 2. Huge crash, with Stroll squeezing Hartley into the wall at Turn 5. Safety car has been deployed.

Lap 2:
So, while we’re under the safety car, the top-10 is Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Sainz, and Perez. Vandoorne pits to go onto the supersofts. So Ricciardo has gotten ahead of Raikkonen (which he did into Turn 2).

Lap 3:
Replay shows Stroll getting oversteer into Turn 5, forcing Hartley into the wall at Turn 5 - before the pair spears down to Turn 6, stopping in front of the grandstand. Stroll may have had a left rear puncture, which gave him the oversteer.

Lap 4:
We’re still under the safety car, so let’s look beyond the top-10, with Leclerc up to P11 - ahead of Magnussen, Sirotkin, Alonso, Gasly, Grosjean, Ericsson, and Vandoorne. Stroll and Hartley are out. The safety car coming in at the end of this lap.

Lap 5:
Vettel stays in the lead, then Bottas and Verstappen, Hamilton and Ricciardo. Perez goes sideways into Turn 1, after contact with Sainz, but continues on - he’s down in P13. Hartley and Stroll under investigation for their Lap 1 incident.

Lap 6:
Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race, a 1:16.945. Perez and Sainz also under investigation by the stewards. Vettel leads Bottas by 1.4 seconds, Verstappen less than a second behind. Ocon in P7 is being heavily pursued by Hulkenberg, less than half a second between them.

Lap 7:
Another fastest lap for Vettel, a 1:16.315 - 1.7 seconds ahead of Bottas. Perez says Sainz should be black flagged, over the radio. Verstappen in P3 is 0.8 seconds behind Bottas. Hamilton says he’s having a dropout in power.

Lap 8:
Yet another fastest lap from Vettel, a 1:15.816. He’s now 2.3 seconds up on Bottas. Hulkenberg in P8 is much faster than Ocon ahead, but cannot get past yet.

Lap 9:
Alonso tries to pass Leclerc into Turn 1, but the Monegasque stays ahead - very impressive work there. Both Renaults are line astern, with Sainz close to Hulkenberg in P8.

Lap 10:
Perez pits from P14. Vettel leads Bottas by 2.9 seconds, then it’s Verstappen 1.5 seconds back. Hamilton is struggling to stay with the Red Bull, with Ricciardo 2.1 seconds adrift of the 4-time F1 World Champion.

Lap 11:
Vettel back on the fastest lap, his latest a 1:15.475 - and he’s 3.6 sec up on Bottas. The Renaults are bunching behind Ocon in P7. Alonso is also still chasing Leclerc, in P10.

Lap 12:
Ocon pits, releasing the Renaults. Vettel leads Bottas by 3.8 seconds. Ocon lost time with issue at stop, rear jack problem. No further issue between Perez and Sainz.

Lap 13:
Fastest lap from Vettel, a 1:15.349. He’s 4-seconds up on Bottas, the German in control - both drivers in the mid 1:13s. Verstappen told that Bottas’ tyres about to overheat so to stay close.

Lap 14:
Hulkenberg pits, moving onto the supersofts, releasing Sainz. Vettel 4.2 sec up on Bottas, with Verstappen 3.6 seconds adrift of the Finn. Ricciardo is now less than a second behind Hamilton. Could we be about to see the Australian make a pass?

Lap 15:
Sainz pits from P7. Raikkonen in P6 is 1.2 seconds behind Ricciardo, and could make an early move for the undercut. Ricciardo says “it looks like Lewis is struggling a bit.” Vettel in control out front.

Lap 16:
It’s Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Leclerc, Alonso, Gasly and Magnussen as the top-10. Ricciardo is less than a second behind Hamilton now, 0.7 sec the gap.

Lap 17:
Verstappen pits from P3, as does Hamilton behind him - releasing Ricciardo. Both going onto the supersofts. Hamilton losing time exiting the pits, going wide into Turn 2.

Lap 18:
Ricciardo set two fast sectors on that last lap, pitting for supersofts. He comes out behind Verstappen - and he’s ahead of Hamilton. So it’s Vettel (who set the fastest lap), Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen and Ricciardo, followed by Hamilton.

Lap 19:
So Ricciardo’s in-lap set him up for that pass. Alonso pits. Could we be seeing the race shifting onto a two-stop? Some very early stops. Vettel told he’s on Plan B.

Lap 20:
Vettel leads Bottas by 4.6 seconds, then it’s Raikkonen - the top-three yet to stop. Verstappen is 14-seconds behind the Finn ahead. Leclerc pits from P12.

Lap 21:
Vettel leads Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen. Hamilton in P6 is less than a second behind Ricciardo, the Brit yo-yoing inside DRS range.

Lap 22:
Vettel now 4.9 seconds ahead of Bottas. Williams blaming Hartley for the incident with Stroll at the start. Hulkenberg in P10 is chasing Grosjean, who is incredibly up into the points from last place - 0.6 sec the gap.

Lap 23:
Magnussen pits from P8. Hamilton in P6 is chasing down Ricciardo, 1-sec the gap there.

Lap 24:
Hamilton told he’s still unsafe to Raikkonen. So the Brit needs to up the pace to stay ahead of the Finn at his stop. Gasly pits from P7. Most of the field trying to eek out the tyres so they don’t have to stop again.

Lap 25:
Vettel leads Bottas by 4.1 seconds, and was two tenths faster on that last lap. Hulkenberg passes Grosjean down the back straight and goes up into P7.

Lap 26:
Vettel locked up into the hairpin, costing him time - 3.6 sec his lead over Bottas now. Verstappen has set a purple first sector, he’s 13-sec behind Raikkonen in P4.

Lap 27:
Vettel leads by 3.4 seconds, then Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Grosjean and Ocon.

Lap 28:
Verstappen, Ricciardo and Hamilton doing personal best laps on that last tour. Ricciardo says he needs to stick with Verstappen if he picks up the pace, helping him in the battle with Hamilton. Ocon in P10 is less than a second behind Grosjean. Hamilton’s dropouts in power were due to a cooling issue.

Lap 29:
Ocon tries to pass Grosjean into the chicane, but can’t make it stick.

Lap 30:
Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1:15.059. He leads Bottas by 3.5 seconds - and was three tenths faster on that last lap. Ocon’s pass on Grosjean again thwarted. That’s the biggest battle through the field right now.

Lap 31:
Vettel leads Bottas by 4-seconds, 30-seconds covering the top-four. The top-eight covered by 60-seconds.

Lap 32:
Ocon in P10 is still chasing down Grosjean. Verstappen in P4 has set the fastest first sector. Vettel lapping traffic.

Lap 33:
Raikkonen pits from P3, he goes onto the supersofts. 2.7 second stop. He comes out behind Hamilton, with Sirotkin getting in the way of Hamilton but he just manages to stay ahead. Hamilton told strat 5, “it’s Hammer time” to attack Ricciardo.

Lap 34:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.4 seconds, the German 1-second faster than his pursuer on that last lap. Verstappen is 23-seconds adrift of Bottas in P3.

Lap 35:
Raikkonen in P6 sets the fastest lap, a 1:15.026. He’s chasing Hamilton, and is 0.9 behind him in DRS range. Hamilton doesn’t have any more speed so can the Finn overhaul him?

Lap 36:
Vettel leads Bottas by 6.2 seconds, despite the Finn much faster on that last lap.

Lap 37:
Bottas pits from P2, he’s onto the supersofts - and exits ahead of Verstappen, who’s now just 4.1 seconds adrift. Vettel told to box.

Lap 38:
Vettel pits, now that Bottas has, he moves onto the supersofts - 2.7 sec stop there. He comes out in the lead, 6.5 sec up on Bottas. It’s Vettel’s race to lose here in Canada.

Lap 39:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.3 seconds - and the Finn setting the fastest lap, a 1:14.512 - three seconds faster than the leader. Perez in P14 is chasing down Gasly, 0.6 sec the gap.

Lap 40:
Top-three the only ones in the 1:14s. Grosjean still yet to stop, he’s in P9 but likely not to score points unless a safety car.

Lap 41:
Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1:14.163. Raikkonen told they’re not concerned with brake temps anymore. The field has been lapped up to P14, Perez.

Lap 42:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.9 seconds, Verstappen is 5.9 seconds behind in P3. Ricciardo is 4.7 seconds behind his teammate. Alonso told he needs to retire from his 300th Grand Prix appearance, but can return to the garage. “Sorry, mate, gutted,” his engineer says.

Lap 43:
Vettel leads Bottas by 6-seconds. Alonso the third retirement of the race, sounds like a power unit issue. No drivers are within 1-second of each other.

Lap 44:
Entire field on supersofts, except for Grosjean on ultrasofts (P9) - and yet to stop. Sirotkin, last, is also on the ultrasofts, but has stopped.

Lap 45:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.1 seconds, the Finn 0.6 sec faster on that last lap. Field looks set at the moment, everyone conservative on tyres. Perez stops from P13.

Lap 46:
Bottas is making ground up on Vettel, again 0.6 faster than Vettel ahead on that last lap - 4.8 sec the gap now. Grosjean in P9 is still yet to stop.

Lap 47:
Ocon in P10, 0.8 sec behind Grosjean.

Lap 48:
Verstappen fastest sector 2. Vettel in control up front, 5.4 seconds ahead of Bottas. Ricciardo and Hamilton lapping back markers, and 1.4 seconds between the pair.

Lap 49:
Sainz shown locking up into final chicane, goes wide at final chicane. Ocon passes Grosjean, as the Haas driver goes onto the grass and pits - he’s finally onto the supersofts.

Lap 50:
Vandoorne pits, going onto the hypersofts. Grosjean, now down in P12 is being lapped by Ricciardo and Hamilton. Alonso’s retirement blamed on exhaust failure.

Lap 51:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.1 seconds. Hamilton is catching Ricciardo, the Brit 1.1 seconds behind but is losing time passing back markers.

Lap 52:
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:13.992. He’s 4.6 seconds behind Vettel. Everyone up to P8 has been lapped.

Lap 53:
Vettel leads Bottas by 4.4 seconds. Hamilton in P5 within DRS range of Ricciardo.

Lap 54:
Hamilton now well within DRS range, 0.8 the gap. Perez in P14 is 0.6 sec behind Magnussen. Bottas is within 3.7 seconds of Vettel.

Lap 55:
Vettel has lapped up to P7. Bottas 0.8 sec faster on that last lap. He’s 3.6 seconds behind Vettel.

Lap 56:
Bottas going wide at Turn 1, trying to lap Sainz. Poor form from the Finn, who’s losing time in traffic.

Lap 57:
Vettel leads Bottas by 5.6 seconds. Verstappen in P3 is 4.4 seconds behind Bottas. Ricciardo is over 9-seconds behind his teammate. Hamilton in P5 is 1.3 seconds adrift.

Lap 58:
Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1:13.964 - 0.8 sec faster than Bottas on that last lap. 7-seconds the gap now.

Lap 59:
Vettel leads Bottas by 7.2 seconds - and managing the pace.

Lap 60:
The field has been lapped up to P6, Raikkonen.

Lap 61:
Vettel 8-seconds ahead of Bottas. Ricciardo in P4 is still being chased by Hamilton, 0.9 seconds the gap - but told he can turn down the engine if he wants to. He refuses.

Lap 62:
Vettel leads Bottas by 7.5 seconds.

Lap 63:
So it’s Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, then Ricciardo who’s told his battery is full, and Hamilton in P5.

Lap 64:
Vettel leads Bottas by 7.8 seconds. Hulkenberg told to pick up the pace with Sainz under threat from Ocon.

Lap 65:
Vettel leads Bottas by 8.1 seconds. Verstappen 2.3 seconds behind the Finn, with Hamilton chasing Ricciardo for P4 - 0.7 seconds the gap, but traffic getting in the way of the fight.

Lap 66:
Leclerc has brake issues again, still P10. As Verstappen sets the fastest lap of the race, a 1:13.864 - he’s got the hammer down to chase Bottas. Hamilton given a higher engine mode to try and pass Hamilton.

Lap 67:
Vettel leads Bottas by 7.8 seconds. Verstappen is now within DRS range of the Mercedes ahead, with Hamilton now less than half a second behind Ricciardo.

Lap 68:
Vettel leads, then Bottas, Verstappen 1.3 seconds behind in P3. Grosjean in P12 is less than a second behind Gasly.

Lap 69:
Hamilton chasing Ricciardo, Verstappen chasing Bottas. Vettel 6.8 secs in the lead. Are there enough laps for places to change?

Lap 70 - FINAL LAP:
Ricciardo sets the fastest lap, a 1:13.839. Vettel wins his 50th Grand Prix, his second in Canada - and the first for Ferrari since Michael Schumacher in 2004. He now leads the world championship by 1-point.

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 68 1:28:31.377 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 68 +7.376s 18
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 68 +8.360s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 68 +20.892s 12
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 68 +21.559s 10
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 68 +27.184s 8
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 67 +1 lap 6
8 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 67 +1 lap 4
9 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 67 +1 lap 2
10 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 67 +1 lap 1
11 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 67 +1 lap 0
12 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 67 +1 lap 0
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 67 +1 lap 0
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 67 +1 lap 0
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 66 +2 laps 0
16 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 66 +2 laps 0
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 66 +2 laps 0
NC 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 40 DNF 0
NC 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 0 DNF 0
NC 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 0 DNF 0