Canadian Grand Prix 2018 winner Sebastian Vettel
Vettel currently trails Hamilton by 14 points after a topsy-turvy start to the season for both drivers.
The German won back-to-back races to start 2018, triumphing in Australia and Bahrain after technical problems for his rival.
But Hamilton has hit back with two wins since and while Daniel Riccardo triumphed in Monaco, the two leading title contenders were both on the podium to keep the overall race delicately poised.
So will the gap widen or will Vettel close up again? Express Sport will bring you every moment of the action from Montreal.
8.50pm: “Not much action,” Verstappen says to Vettel. Got that right Max. Not much at all
“It was a good race,” Verstappen said in his official, diplomatic interview. Nonsense, Max.
“We had to put early because the hypers were pretty much gone but we had good pace on the super-softs. It was a good race, I enjoyed it.”
8.45pm: Valtteri Bottas does not give much away, obviously.
“Since Lap 1 they seemed to be a bit quicker and they could control the race,” Bottas said.
“We got into a little bit of trouble at the end with running out of fuel. This was the maximum today.”
8.40pm: Sebastian Vettel is buzzing, bouncing around on the tarmac before jumping into the arms of his mechanics.
“Perfect is a good way to describe it,” Vettel said.
“I said yesterday how much this place means to Ferrari and to have the race we had today is unbelievable.
“The fans here had a blast and they will have a blast tonight.”
On going top of the It’s still a long way so I’m not too bothered but it’s a good side effect. I’m very proud and I’m honoured and it’s a day to remember Gilles Villeneuve.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX!
They waved the chequered flag a lap early – which draws some anger from Vettel – and it all ends as we thought it would. Vettel is top again!
Hamilton sliding around trying to catch Ricciardo – but I don’t think he’s going to get there. Red Bull are also chasing Mercedes further forward – with Verstappen down to a second behind Bottas.
TWO laps left.
Hamilton has been given some sort of extra power, if that were possible.
Vettel will win his race by the way and go top of the F1 World Drivers’ Championship by a single point.
Hamilton hits a bit of traffic and Ricciardo has the full battery. That said, Hamilton will be ditching this engine after this race so is giving it the beans and has DRS. Can he make it count? That would provide some nice excitement.
Oh my goodness, something is happening! Hamilton has found a little bit of pace and some motivation from the pit wall. The Brit is now just a second behind Ricciardo.
So the running order now, just as it likely will be in 10 laps’ time: Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Raikkonen. So from the grid, the only change is Hamilton down one and Ricciardo up one. Fascinating.
Even Max Verstappen’s engineer sounds bored. Join the club, mate. We have cups of tea and chocolate hobknobs.
Bottas is bored. He’s just lost two seconds going too deep into Turn One and any chance to catch the Ferrari has probably evaporated. The gap is 5.4 seconds.
“Catch him,” Pierre Gasly is told with Charles Leclerc three seconds ahead of him in 10th – and sitting on a championship point of course. Can the Frenchman catch the Monegasque?
Romain Grosjean has finally pitted and comes back out in 12th. He’s a good 10 seconds off points sadly so it might not be possible for him today.
If you ask me, this is what happens when you listen to the drivers. They all wanted more durable tyres so they could push harder and now we have these dull, one-stop races. That’s what this is, by the way, even though Pirelli are on Twitter trying to bill a one-stopper vs two-stopper battle. I’m having none of it, and now we have to sit through another 25 laps of this.
His 300th Grand Prix is over. Fernando Alonso is limping back to the pits with a problem and he is the third retirement of the race. Sad for the Spaniard.
He’ll be racing and maybe winning at Le Mans next weekend.
Romain Grosjean is goal-hanging, to translate this into football terms. He has yet to stop and is just rolling around in ninth, hoping for a safety car. If he gets one, he could gain three or four places on where he would be due to come out after a stop and be in with a chance of points.
That would be a happy improvement on some dire months for the Frenchman.
Vettel covers off the move for his first pit stop. It’s a clean stop of just 2.7 seconds… and he is well ahead of Bottas of course. The gap is down to 5.6 seconds so that’s minimal change.
Bottas is into the pits. Can he undercut Vettel? It’s a six-second gap so maybe not but Vettel is likely to hit some traffic about now and so Bottas might be able to close up a little bit.
The Finn hs a clean stop and is out into some clean air. Vettel responds and will box next lap.
Raikkonen pits and Hamilton is told “strat five, it’s hammer time”.
“I’m already giving it everything I can,” he replies but nevertheless he sneaks out in front of Raikkonen and is perhaps aided by backmarker Sergey Sirotkin who was getting lapped.
Hamilton gets up to fifth when sixth looked very possible. He now just has to hope he doesn’t have to pit again.
Hamilton checks in with his team about why they actually stopped so early, which led to Ricciardo jumping them. That EU cooling problem was the reason, engineer Pete Bonnington says.
Mercedes had to rip off a bit of the car at Hamilton’s pit stop apparently which is remarkable. A problem with cooling, they say, which might be explained by the hot turbulent air being left behind the Red Bulls which he is having to run in.
Hamilton says he cannot get “safe” to Raikkonen. The Finn has not pitted yet and Hamilton can’t get within a window to get ahead of him. Frustrating lack of pace for the Brit, who is staring sixth place in the face right now.
Romain Grosjean may not have stopped but nevertheless it’s good to see him running up in eighth. Pierre Gasly had moved up to seventh too but he is in the pits now.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doesn’t quite know if he’s doing a one-stop or a two-stop yet. I reckon he doesn’t but he’s keeping quiet about it.
Vettel has yet to pit and is told he is on “Plan B” – probably a one-stop given he is flying around at the front of the pack, although the gap has stabilised at five seconds.
Ricciardo pits in the hope of overcutting Hamilton… and he manages it! Red Bull are fourth and fifth and ahead of Hamilton. Disastrous for the world champion.
“That’s what we’re talking about, boys!,” Ricciardo tells his pit crew.
Hamilton does not have the pace, and behind him, Daniel Ricciardo knows it.
“If he’s vulnerable, let’s go get him.”
The Honey Badger smells blood. The gap is just six tenths of a second.. and Hamilton pits, as does Verstappen.
Perez and Ocon have now both pitted very early. The former had little to lose after that incident with Sainz – which has been deemed “no further action” by the stewards – but Ocon was running seventh. Two-stop strategy? Or just supreme confidence in 58 laps on the super-softs?
Fastest lap after fastest lap for Sebastian Vettel who is already 3.6 seconds clear of Bottas. No-one can touch the German at the moment.
Hulkenberg is in DRS range and has three different zones to get the wing open of course… the German is just too far back at the moment.
Further back, Charles Leclerc is battle Fernando Alonso for 10th and at the moment, the young Sauber driver is hanging on. Impressive.
Here’s the view Brendon Hartley had by the way. Stroll was correcting oversteer and battered right into him.
Brendon Hartley is hit by Lance Stroll
There are some great battles between Force Indias and Renaults and Perez has already touched Carlos Sainz and almost flew through Turn Two, but saved the slide just in time. He’s dropped to 14th though.
Now Hulkenberg, eighth, is putting the pressure on Ocon. Meanwhile, Perez is asking for Sainz to be kicked out of the race.
Worryingly for Lewis Hamilton, he says he is having “dropouts of power”.
Vettel has bunched them right up and we are racing again! Can Verstappen on those hypersofts get warmed up better than the rest? Thus far, no.
Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne are both into the pits under the safety car.
Stroll sits on a bench and waits for a lift back to the pits. He looks suitably gutted.
I’m sure Hartley does too but he’s not got his helmet off yet. That Toro Rosso seat could be anybody’s next year – or even this year.
LAP 1 – LIGHTS OUT!
Vettel gets away clean but it’s Verstappen who gets the best start of all and somehow Bottas holds him off!
SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED as Brendon Hartley careers into the barriers as Lance Stroll clatters into him and both are out of the race. Horrible for Stroll on his home race.
7.07pm: Off the grid for the formation lap. Minutes from the start.
7.05pm: Spot of bother at Ferrari. They have had to change the inter-cooler on Kimi Raikkonen’s car as a result of the failure on Romain Grosjean’s car yesterday. Sebastian Vettel’s is fine but the team thought it might fail on Kimi’s car. Yet more late drama for the red cars. Happened so much last year on the grid.
Hamilton, starting fourth, is gunning for a joint-record seventh win in Canada.
7pm: A celeb-packed grid as you’d expect in such a fashionable city: NFL star Russell Wilson, NBA player Serge Ibaka, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin. And Martin Brundle is trampling all over their style. Never mind, the drivers are 10 minutes away from getting going in earnest. And according to the F1 website, this is who is in particularly good nick at the moment.
1 of 10
6.45pm: The cars have made their way to the grid and Daniel Ricciardo has kicked up sone dust on the way out of Turn Seven, which is pretty unnecessary given it’s not timed!
Anyway, there is some cloud cover in Montreal but no rain is forecast – the safety car has a 44 per cent chance of deployment but rain would make that much more likely.
6.25pm: The race, by the way, will be a 7.10pm. In the meantime, here’s what Emerson Fittipaldi had to say about the current crop. Interesting insight from the double F1 world champion.
“I love Lewis, he is an incredible talent,” Fittipaldi said.
“I’m one of his biggest fans. I think he is a fantastic driver but still today I feel, with all due respect because there are lots of very good drivers out there, that Fernando Alonso is still the most complete driver.
“I love Lewis, Vettel – they’re top but I still think Fernando is the best.”
6.15pm: What a sensational track the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is, a worthy tribute to the late driver whose name it bears: long straights, big stops and thanks to the FIA, three DRS zones this year.
In fact, the added opportunities to open the rear wing may make overtaking too easy and stop drivers being able to hold off cars behind them – but that remains to be seen.
For Hamilton, he will hope it is easy because he has to get past Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel, all of whom start ahead of him and stand between the Brit and a race win, back at the venue where he got on the top step of the podium for the very first time all those years ago.
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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