Hamilton cuts Rosberg’s championship lead to nine points after claiming his fifth victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The mountain has fallen as Rosberg span and Hamilton won in Canada. Making Lewis only the second man to claim victory on the streets of Monaco and then Montreal. While at Ferrari, Vettel proved the Scuderia could take the challenge to Mercedes had strategy errors not cost them another win.
1) Lead? What lead?
With victories in Monaco and now in Canada, while Rosberg finished seventh and fifth respectively, Hamilton has cut Nico’s once 43-point strong championship lead down to just nine points. Meaning Hamilton is firmly back in the title race despite struggling for early form while plagued by a recurring MGU-H issue.
Add to that contact in Bahrain and Spain and a poor start in Australia for Lewis, the season had been falling in favour of Rosberg as the German stretched his win streak. A win streak that ended with the terminal crash between Hamilton and Rosberg at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix. And back-to-back races where Rosberg has struggled.
2) Ferrari waste a chance at victory
While Hamilton may have won in Canada, Ferrari throughout the race showed they had the pace advantage with Vettel compared to the Mercedes Sebastian overtook at the start of the race.
Although the early lead of the race was not converted to the win as Ferrari brought Vettel in early on under the Virtual Safety Car as they switched to a two-stop strategy.
Which alone would not have stopped Vettel from winning, as he showed he had the pace to catch up with Hamilton. Rather the lead of the race was not converted to victory as Hamilton stretched his stints to run a one-stop race. A feet Arrivabene admitted they did not predict the Mercedes doing.
3) Vettel struggles at the final chicane
Throughout the race, Vettel appeared to find the final chicane of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve a difficult aspect to master. With Vettel on multiple occasions locking up at turn 13 and being forced to dart across the run off area and take the designated re-entry zone.
In the early laps, when Hamilton was hunting Vettel down to regain the lead, Vettel’s use of the run off ensured they would not collide with each other but rather losing the German time. While his later use of the run off meant he lost ground on Hamilton as he hunted the other down for the lead of the race.
4) Birds get Vettel’s attention
Moments after the race concluded, Vettel and Hamilton were discussing the race in the cool down room. Which made for an entertaining moment, as Vettel highlighted how two birds at the first corner caused him to lock up as he wanted to avoid them.
“The lap before the Virtual Safety Car I arrived into Turn 1 and I see this stupid couple of seagulls,” said Vettel to Hamilton.
“Just sitting there – all relaxed. I’m coming along at speed and my car is like red, it’s easy to see, it doesn’t blend in like yours [pointing at Hamilton].
“It wasn’t a pigeon, it was a seagull, I could see the beak. I didn’t know their names, but they were there. It was the worst moment of my race.”
5) Rosberg ‘pi**ed off’
After getting a better launch off the line than Hamilton, Rosberg looked to overtake his pole sitting team-mate into the first corner. However a slight lock up by Lewis caused his Mercedes to understeer into the path of Rosberg, forcing the German off the track. Losing Nico multiple places as his slow re-entry to the race sent him down to 10th place.
“My position was on the outside and in Barcelona I gave it a go around the outside of Lewis and it worked out really well, I went for the same again today and he did a really hard racing manoeuvre, we touched and I was off, and that’s it. It didn’t work out.
“I was very pissed off in the moment, but that’s racing in the end and it’s my job to make sure I’m in front after a battle like that next time.
6) Verstappen holds off Rosberg
Late into the race, after a second pit stop from a slow puncture, Rosberg found himself behind the Red Bull of Verstappen. With Max firmly defending his position by holding the inside line into the final chicane despite Rosberg rapidly gaining on the Renault powered car down the long DRS assisted straight.
Added to Verstappen’s confident defending, Rosberg was forced to save fuel in the late stages meaning his early onslaught on the Red Bull was forced to stop for a few laps.
Then when he had saved a sufficient amount of fuel to attack again, there were only a handful of laps remaining meaning Nico would need to attempt a bold move should he gain the extra two-points for fourth.
The late move though resulted in Nico spinning, as Raikkonen closed in to finish the race within a second of the Mercedes.
7) Raikkonen or Heineken
The Canadian Grand Prix had not been the best weekend for Raikkonen, as the Finn qualified half a second behind his team-mate and finished the race a full minute behind Vettel. All being while Vettel was challenging for the win.
Raikkonen too was found holding up the Red Bull of Ricciardo as the lead pack pulled away in the early laps.
While in better news for Formula One in general, Heineken have joined the sport with a sponsorship deal worth an estimated £150 million.
The sponsorship deal will see the Dutch brewing company aim to develop the use of social media by F1, with official accounts perceived to have taken a long time to adapt to the ‘new normal’. As well as the official accounts not successfully tapping into a wide available audience.
Further aspects of the sponsorship deal will see Heineken advertisement boards spread across certain circuits, like shown in Montreal. While the beer firm will also have title sponsorship of three races from 2017 as well as the 2016 Italian Grand Prix.
8) Bottas back on the podium
The Canadian Grand Prix was a strong race for Valtteri last year as the Finn emerged on the podium come the chequered flag. A result Bottas was able to match this year as, like Hamilton, the Finn stretched his stints to run a one-stop race.
Valtteri also showed his Williams still has some of the pace it showed last year as he pulled away from the Red Bull of Verstappen to solidify his podium position.