Vettel cruises to 50th win in Canada

2018-06-13 06:01

IT has taken some time for Ferrari to get back to the top step of the podium in Canada, but Sebastian Vettel did so emphatically as he cruised to a 50th career win and Ferrari’s first Canadian Grand Prix victory since 2004.

Unusually the Canadian race didn’t deliver to its normal level of unpredictability as the top three finished as they qualified with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completing the podium positions.

The most dramatic action came at the start of the race as Williams’ Lance Stroll got out of shape and triggered a crash with Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley in the first sector of the opening lap.

This incident triggered the deployment of the safety car. But other than a leery moment between Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, there wasn’t any more drama for the remainder of the race.

As Vettel was never truly under threat from Bottas he appeared to easily control the pace of the race.

While Verstappen threatened for second briefly the Red Bull never truly had the pace to make a go of it.

Nevertheless, the team and Verstappen will breath a sigh of relief as the Dutchman finally put together an incident free weekend for the first time in 2018. Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo was a rather distant fourth and it was an equally unspectacular day for Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in fifth and sixth respectively.

According to Hamilton, he’d spent most of the Grand Prix needing to manage engine temperatures and was grateful to make it to the chequered flag with a handful of points.

It was a case of fuel saving for Raikkonen towards the end of a race that he deemed “pretty boring”.

The Renault pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz finished best of the rest in seventh and eighth, while Force India’s Esteban Ocon and the ever-impressive rookie Charles LeClerc rounded out the top 10.

It was a day to forget for Fernando Alonso as he was forced into retirement in what was his 300th Grand Prix weekend.

Overall, McLaren endured a woeful weekend that included qualifying way down the field on Saturday.

While they undoubtedly had significant issues through the years in their relationship with Honda it’s becoming progressively clearer that the Japanese manufacturer wasn’t solely to blame for the team’s woes.

Consider the fact that the Renault works team easily finished in the top 10 and Red Bull have been consistently fighting at the sharp end with the same power unit as McLaren has in the back of its car.

It’s uncomfortably evident then that McLaren has simply not built a good enough chassis or designed a good enough aerodynamic package.

While the chequered flag was peculiarly waved a lap too early, Vettel was the epitome of calm in the cockpit of his Ferrari.

It was nonetheless a resounding win for the German, who has regained the lead in the driver’s standings by one point over Hamilton ahead of the returning French Grand Prix in two weeks time.

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