Championship leader Lewis Hamilton placed aside his disappointment from Monaco with a victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. His fourth win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The Mercedes driver finished 2.2 seconds ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg at the end of 70 relatively-uneventful laps around Montreal, to extend the points gap to 17.
After cutting off Rosberg at the start from the 44th pole of his Formula 1 career, Hamilton comfortably led for the opening 29 laps, during which time he became Britain’s all-time lap leader, passing Nigel Mansell’s haul of 2089, before pitting.
Rosberg followed a lap later, and with both drivers on soft tyres after starting out on the super-soft Pirelli compound, it was Rosberg who managed to get his rubber up to temperature far quicker, closing to within a second at one point.
With Hamilton managing fuel and Rosberg brakes, it then became a question of who would manage best with their situation, and in the end despite being told to lift and coast at times, it was Hamilton who held on for the victory.
Valtteri Bottas finished third for Williams, the first time this season a driver outside of Mercedes and Ferrari had visited the podium, with the Finn aided by a spin from Kimi Raikkonen at the hairpin on lap 28.
Raikkonen had settled into his starting position of third through the opening stage of the race until his first stop after 26 laps, only to lose the back end of his Ferrari a lap and a half later. “That’s exactly the same as last year,” he complained. “The energy store kicked in.”
Williams and Bottas took full advantage as he emerged from his pit-stop ahead of Raikkonen, and from there the latter could do no better than fourth.
Star driver of the Canadian Grand Prix was Sebastian Vettel. Despite starting from P18 following problems and penalties, the Malaysian Grand Prix winner came through the field to take fifth. Just 4.9 seconds behind his team-mate.
Vettel swiftly made up five places in the opening laps, but then found himself stuck behind Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Massa and was called in for a surprise early pit-stops.
It was a tactical decision, but a problem with the left-rear wheel added a further delay to the stop, ensuring he returned to the track in last position.
Vettel attacked again, taking on another set of softs after 35 laps, and despite a moment with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg 10 laps later that led to the latter spinning through the chicane, the four-time champion made it into the top five.
Massa finished in sixth, followed by Pastor Maldonado in his Lotus. This was the best finish since the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg was eighth, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat ninth, with Romain Grosjean claiming the final point, despite having five seconds added to his time for cutting up Will Stevens at one point, suffering a puncture, with the Manor sustaining front-wing damage.
Sergio Perez was P11 in his Force India ahead of Carlos Sainz for Toro Rosso. Last year’s winner Daniel Ricciardo was a lowly P13 in his Red Bull.
As for McLaren-Honda, Fernando Alonso finally allowed his frustration with his car to come to the surface as after 24 laps he was involved in an exchange with engineer Tom Stallard.
Told to save fuel, a disgruntled Alonso said: “I don’t want to! I don’t want! Already I have big problems now. Driving with this, looking like an amateur. So I race and then I concentrate on fuel.”
Alonso ultimately retired with a loss of power from the Honda.
Team-mate Jenson Button’s terrible weekend also concluded with a retirement, having made little progress after missing qualifying, starting last and receiving a drive-through – all consequences of his final practice engine problems.
So car number 44, driven by Lewis Hamilton has won his fourth Canadian Grand Prix from pole number 44. Not the greatest race but a solid result for the reigning champion and Mercedes.
Canadian Grand Prix, race results after 70 laps:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31:53.145
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +2.285s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +40.666s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +45.625s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +49.903s
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +56.381s
7 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes +66.664s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault +1 lap
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes +1 lap
11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
13 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +1 lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari +2 laps
17 Will Stevens Marussia-Ferrari +4 laps
– Roberto Merhi Marussia-Ferrari DNF
– Jenson Button McLaren-Honda DNF
– Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda DNF
Fastest lap: Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 16.987s (lap 42)
1 Lewis Hamilton 151
2 Nico Rosberg 134
3 Sebastian Vettel 108
4 Kimi Raikkonen 72
5 Valtteri Bottas 57
6 Felipe Massa 47
7 Daniel Ricciardo 35
8 Daniil Kvyat 19
9 Romain Grosjean 17
10 Felipe Nasr 16
11 Sergio Perez 11
12 Nico Hulkenberg 10
13 Carlos Sainz 9
14 Max Verstappen 6
15 Pastor Maldonado 6
16 Marcus Ericsson 5
17 Jenson Button 4
18 Fernando Alonso 0
19 Roberto Merhi 0
20 Will Stevens 0
1 Mercedes 285
2 Ferrari 180
3 Williams-Mercedes 104
4 Red Bull-Renault 54
5 Lotus-Mercedes 23
6 Sauber-Ferrari 21
7 Force India-Mercedes 21
8 Toro Rosso-Renault 15
9 McLaren-Honda 4
10 Marussia-Ferrari 0
Next race: Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring. June 19-21.