Hamilton wins the Canadian Grand Prix as Rosberg slumps to fifth

Lewis Hamilton claims victory at the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.

It was not a pole to flag win, but the momentum from Montreal leaves with Hamilton after edging Vettel to win the Canadian Grand Prix. As Rosberg’s race ended in fifth, Vettel’s ended in second despite rocketing off the line to snatch the lead by the first corner.

Saturday was a day of success for Hamilton as he secured his third pole of the year and his fifth at the Canadian Grand Prix. Although things could have ended differently had Rosberg not locked up into the first corner.

And by the first corner of the race, the lead was not in Hamilton’s hands either, despite covering off Rosberg with an aggressive angle across the track.

Hamilton’s loss of the lead came as Rosberg pulled alongside the Briton after Lewis bogged down in the second stage of the launch. This allowed Sebastian Vettel to vault down the inside of the Mercedes, after the Ferrari had a perfect launch from the grid to rocket into the lead.

After Vettel darted by Hamilton remained on the left hand-side of the track to fend off Nico on turn in, meaning Rosberg could not take the apex despite attempting to turn in for the racing line. His attempt at taking the racing line however caused Nico to touch wheels with Hamilton as he understeered wide and to avoid further contact, take the run-off. Causing Nico to fall back down the field until he settled into 10th.

The tenth place Nico found himself in, after starting on the front row of the grid, meant he was sandwiched between the McLaren’s of Alonso and Button who began to hold the pack up as the leading eight pulled away.

Among those eight were Hamilton and Vettel, as Lewis looked to regain the lead from a Ferrari, which locked up going into the final chicane, and forced Vettel to take the escape route. Vettel though held on to the lead as Hamilton tucked in behind while Rosberg blasted by Alonso once DRS was enabled on lap three.

Equal power between Rosberg and Hulkenberg though meant the Mercedes was unable to get by the Force India easily for eighth, as Rosberg looked to regain some of his lost ground against the man who stole sixth place from him in Monaco.

By lap 10 the ultrasoft tyres had already began to degrade, leaving marbles across the side of the pack. But for Button, 10 laps also marked the end of his race as his engine caught fire and the Virtual Safety Car came out as Jenson parked on the side of the track.

Under VSC, Ferrari opted to pit Vettel as they put the German on a two stop strategy. While as Sebastian approached his box, the Virtual Safety Car ended. The slight period though meant Vettel would not  lose as much time as had Lewis been at racing speed time. Although the change of strategy meant Vettel would fall behind Hamilton late on as the lead fight intensified.

After pitting Vettel also fell behind the Red Bull’s, who had dropped off from the lead. Seb though was quickly able to challenge Ricciardo for third, taking the place at the hairpin prior to the long DRS back straight he had used to reel Ricciardo in on the previous lap. Adding to that, Vettel lapped back around to overtake Verstappen under DRS while Lewis pitted and emerged 12 seconds behind the Ferrari.

Ricciardo’s lack of pace, which saw the Red Bull fall away from the lead, left him under pressure from Bottas after the Australian followed Raikkonen closely prior to the second Ferrari pit stop. The traffic though was not the main cause of Daniel’s lack of pace as his steering wheel lit up with warning lights the team confirmed were correct.

Ricciardo’s issues soon continued as he locked up into the final chicane, allowing Bottas through as his Williams team-mate retired after his engine temperatures rocketed.

As the Williams team set about finding the cause of Massa’s temperature rise, Vettel was peeling into the pits for the second time allowing Hamilton to regain the lead. When Vettel re-emerged, he faced a 8-second gap to Hamilton for the lead, while facing the rear of Ericsson’s Sauber as the lapped traffic merged with the lead battle.

Lapped traffic though was an easy feet for Vettel to weave through, even if he bemoaned on the radio his desire for them to move out of his way. Adding to his traffic woes were recurring lock ups at the final chicane, which saw Vettel lose ground to Hamilton and ultimately end his challenge for the lead.

Whereas Rosberg, who had charged into a podium fight, was forced into the pits again as he developed a slow puncture on his second set of tyres. The extra stop meant he fell from fourth to seventh before overtaking Red Bull’s Ricciardo under DRS with a tasty move by pulling out late and taking the inside line under braking.

After picking off Ricciardo, Rosberg continued to lap faster than the Red Bull’s and soon found himself tucked behind Verstappen with fourth place in his sights.

But after looking down the inside and opting to brave it out down the outside of Verstappen at the final chicane, Rosberg had to accept the move was not on as Max placed his car perfectly to prevent the overtake. The tighter line though meant he carried less speed through the chicane and Rosberg remained tucked in behind on the run to the first corner, where Verstappen again defended perfectly to hold on to fourth.

Next lap saw Rosberg again attempt a move going into final chicane, but he could not complete the overtake and was not close enough for the first corner. Meaning Verstappen could edge away as Rosberg fell back to outside the DRS range.

Nico would again pull close to Verstappen late into the race but by then the fight for fourth had allowed the podium places to pull away, with Bottas solidifying third.

Come the penultimate lap Rosberg was deep within DRS range of Verstappen and looking for a final chance to overtake. With that chance coming at the final chicane.

But as he attempted an overtake, Nico span. Luckily he managed to keep the Mercedes out of the wall and stay 5th. But the chance for an extra couple of points left him crawling home just 9-tenths of a second ahead of Raikkonen.

The nine-tenths of a second meant Rosberg would carry home two more points to his name. While Hamilton’s win meant he would bring home 25-points, 15 more than Nico, as he cuts his team-mate’s championship lead from 24-points to just nine.

Pos Driver Time Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 01:31:05 25
2 Sebastian Vettel 5.011 18
3 Valtteri Bottas 46.422 15
4 Max Verstappen 53.02 12
5 Nico Rosberg 1:2.093 10
6 Kimi Raikkonen 1:3.017 8
7 Daniel Ricciardo 1:3.634 6
8 Nico Hulkenberg 1 lap 4
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. 1 lap 2
10 Sergio Perez 1 lap 1
11 Fernando Alonso 1 lap
12 Daniil Kvyat 1 lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez 2 laps
14 Romain Grosjean 2 laps
15 Marcus Ericsson 2 laps
16 Kevin Magnussen 2 laps
17 Pascal Wehrlein 2 laps
18 Felipe Nasr 2 laps
19 Rio Haryanto 2 laps
R Felipe Massa Engine
R Jolyon Palmer
R Jenson Button Engine