Lewis Hamilton took his third victory of the season with a dominant win in the Canadian Grand Prix, leading home a Mercedes one-two as Ferrari hit trouble.
Having delivered a stunning pole lap on Saturday, Hamilton was never troubled as he led away off the line and Sebastian Vettel dropped from second to fourth as Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas both jumped him. While Verstappen would later retire – leaving Bottas a clear run to second – Vettel suffered front wing damage as the Red Bull swept around the outside of the Ferrari and needed an extra pit stop, eventually fighting back to fourth place.
Daniel Ricciardo was the man to complete the podium – just 0.6s ahead of the hard-charging Vettel at the line – but it could have been so different as Force India pushed the Red Bull the whole way but were undone by a lack of teamwork as Sergio Perez refused to move over for faster teammate Esteban Ocon.
Both Ferraris opted to two-stop – Vettel by necessity – and were rapidly closing on the fight for third place as Ricciardo struggled somewhat on the soft compound tire compared to the Force Indias on supersofts. Ocon had run an impressive and long first stint, enabling him to have much fresher tires, but both cars sat behind the Red Bull as Perez opted not to allow his teammate to attack despite the situation being explained to him by his engineer.
The lack of a move resulted in Vettel closing in quickly and eventually passing Ocon when the Frenchman lost momentum due to stern defense from Perez. Vettel was then able to get past the lead Force India before taking nearly two seconds out of Ricciardo on the final lap, but the scrap was enough to allow the Red Bull driver to hold on.
Perez and Ocon crossed the line nose-to-tail in fifth and sixth, with Raikkonen fading to seventh place with a late problem which slowed him for a number of laps. The Finn was able to hang on ahead of Nico Hulkenberg by less than two seconds at the flag having been more than four seconds off the pace at one stage.
Lance Stroll (below) scored his first points in F1 with ninth place in his home race, completing a number of overtaking moves as he climbed through the field from his starting position of 17th. Stroll looked set to have a fight to the flag with Fernando Alonso but the McLaren driver agonizingly missed out on his first point of the season once again due to reliability issues, stopping at Turn 8 with three laps remaining.
Alonso’s stoppage – which resulted in the Spaniard jumping into the grandstand with the crowd – promoted Romain Grosjean to 10th place, but the Haas driver is under investigation for his role in a big accident at the start of the race. Grosjean and Carlos Sainz touched wheels on the run to Turn 3 on the opening lap, pitching Sainz into a spin that saw him slide across the grass backwards and take out Felipe Massa at speed at the apex of the corner.
Both drivers were unhurt in the incident – which prompted a Safety Car period – while Grosjean had to pit for a new front wing. Should he be penalized, Jolyon Palmer would benefit after crossing the line just one second behind the Haas in 11th place.
Hamilton’s only threat came when the race restarted on lap 4 as Verstappen attacked, but having failed to make the move stick, the Dutchman pulled over at the start of lap 11 having suffered an apparent power unit failure exiting Turn 2. At the end of the Virtual Safety Car period that followed, Stroll fought with Stoffel Vandoorne, Hulkenberg and Magnussen, showing he had the pace for the points and delivered a measured drive in front of his home crowd.
The other retirement was Daniil Kvyat who was slow away on the formation lap and then failed to regain his position in time before the grid, earning a drive through penalty. A slow pit stop followed late in the race that appeared to be due to right rear damage, with the Russian returning to the garage two laps later as both Toro Rossos failed to finish.
Ahead of the midfield action, Hamilton was comfortable throughout and closed Vettel’s championship lead to 12 points, while Mercedes moved ahead of Ferrari by eight points in the constructors’ championship.