Canadian Grand Prix: Vettel takes 50th win and F1 championship lead

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain comes through the Senna corner during the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race in Montreal Sunday J

Hartley crashed out early at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after an opening lap collision.

Lewis Hamilton was left to rue a Mercedes engine problem after he lost the lead of the Formula One championship to Sebastian Vettel in Canada on Sunday. After leading all three practice sessions, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will start third, alongside Hamilton. It kept dropping and coming back and dropping and I was like "jeez".

"Perfect is a good way to describe this", said a delighted Vettel. The race was effectively over, as Vettel controlled events from then on.

It means Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have each won one of the last three races and Wolff expects the pendulum between the top three teams to keep swinging back and forth.

"I said yesterday that this place means a lot to Ferrari and to have a race like this is unbelievable". Even given the new engine Vettel had the pace of the field and managed his one-stop race untroubled to the flag.

The timing of Vettel's win could not have been better, coming on the 40th anniversary of the late Gilles Villeneuve's victory for the Italian team in 1978 at his home Grand Prix.

Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia takes a turn at the Senna corner ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia takes a turn at the Senna corner ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during

Fernando Alonso would have hoped to make Q3 in his 300th Grand Prix weekend, but he had to settle for P14 after finishing Q2 more than a second off the pace.

But he retired with 30 laps to go with a broken exhaust, his second retirement in a row. He was able to match Ricciardo, who finished fourth, and chased him down but with a one-stop race, tyre management to the fore and the difficulty the current cars present in closing he was - as were all of the front six - forced into what proved to be a procession.

It was a dismal race for McLaren, their worst performance of the season and raised concerns their claims of making progress with the auto are not coming to fruition.

A race known for spills and mishaps was mostly uneventful, other than a crash that put local favourite Lance Stroll of Montreal out only a quarter of the way through the first lap.

There was joy for both Force India drivers, though, as they both made it to Q3 for the second race running, so Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez will start either side of ninth-placed Carlos Sainz.

They will need to have that resolved in time for the next race, the French Grand at the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet next week, a venue that has been off the calendar since 1990 and represents new ground for all the drivers. Another tight and unpredictable battle is expected.

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