Controversial Canada: Hamilton wins but Vettel steals the discussion
In Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian GP but not without the season's most controversial moment so far. a moment that tarnishes what could have been, Sebastian Vettel was given a 5 second penalty for gaining an advantage of his Mercedes rival after running off track coming into turn 3.
Running up the crest into the quick right hander, Vettel lost a touch of downforce from the back marker ahead and lost the rear with a sudden snap of oversteer. Forced off onto the grass with the car sliding, Vettel rides over the curb on the inside of Turn 4 and gets a dangerous moment of oversteer which forces him to turn right and correct the car. At the point Lewis behind see the gap appear and drives toward the outside of the Ferrari. With See finally gaining control of the car he pull his steering wheel straight and leaves Lewis just enough room, with the Mercedes driver backing out of the move.
It's been nearly unanimous around the world of F1 that the penalty levelled at Vettel was harsh even before the argument that it denied us a titanic battle against 2 of the finest drivers F1 has seen. From a fan perspective it spoiled a wonderful race where drivers were pushing, guns out and forced to go the limit. It was was fascinating to see the Ferrari after the 1st stint stay ahead but where the hards were on Mercedes close in.
Some will be reminded of a similar incident at the 2016 Monaco GP where Hamilton blocked off Ricciardo after going through the chicane and pushing the Aussie near the barrier on the right. Many would argue this incident is worse and despite Monaco being tighter than Canada the same rules have been applied to two incidents, but with differing outcomes. Whatever your opinion on the stewards utilising their view of the rules, it ruined a great race and gave new controversy to a sport which needs pure racing and not arguing in the courtroom.
Further down the field Charles Leclerc took a solid 3rd place and never really troubled the front 2 on pace. Briefly closing in before each stint the Ferrari driver just couldn't quit go toe to toe with the big 2. Bottas took a disappoint 4th, 51 seconds behind his team mate and capped off a terrible weekend for the Finn. Weekends like this are cause for argument that he will never quite be World Champion calibre.
Max Verstappen took an impressive 5th in a recovery driver that saw his strategically work his way through the field rather than explosively dive into opportunities. It highlighted another mature performance from the Dutchman and shows that he has grown to be one of the finest F1 drivers on the grid.
In 6th and 7th it marked an impressive performance from Renault, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. After suffering this season with inconsistent performance the Renault pair qualified 4th and 7th and hassled Bottas, Verstappen and Gasly to take vital points and kick start their season. Upgrades have proven to be very effective and while Canada may have suited them more than other tracks, double points were needed.
The disappointing Pierre Gasly took 8th despite qualifying ahead of his team mate Verstappen who experienced a Q2 exit thanks to the crash of Kevin Magnussen. Gasly demonstrated poor pace all race and really struggled to get past the Racing Point of Lance Stroll who performed brilliantly to take a fantastic 9th. With the engine issue earlier in the week and qualifying so far down, Stroll slowly worked his way up the field, extending his stints, showing strong pace and leapfrogging cars at the 2nd pit stop. A brilliant pass on Kyvat, who finished again in the points with 10th, capped off a great Sunday for the hometown boy.