F1 – Canadian GP – Race
The F1 circus has made its way to Canada for the 7th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve hosts the event, but did you know that the circuit was originally called Île Notre-Dame Circuit. The track was renamed in 1982 as a tribute to the former-Canadian driver.
Heading into the event, Lewis Hamilton has the metaphorical pole position with four wins in his last five, and 17 point lead in the championship. However, the actual pole position went to Sebastian Vettel yesterday – his first pole since July 2018! Lewis Hamilton will line up alongside in 2nd. Charles Leclerc lines up 3rd with Daniel Ricciardo for company in 4th; the Australian impressed in a major way yesterday. Pierre Gasly starts 5th for Red Bull. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas will set off from 6th and Max Verstappen begins from 9th.
As they got underway, the status quo at the front was maintained with no changes in the top five. A collision behind between Alexander Albon and Romain Grosjean was the only action of note. Alexander Albon would continue after a pit stop, but eventually retired. As far as I remember, that retirement was unseen by the World TV feed, so I am unsure why.
Meanwhile at the front; Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton had an intense battle with the gap constantly varying. Boy did we get some drama as a result. Vettel made a mistake on track, cut the grass, rejoined the track in the lead, and was given a five second time penalty for rejoining the track in an “unsafe manner and forced car 44 [Lewis Hamilton] off track. Car 44 had to take evasive action to avoid a collision“. That penalty gave Hamilton the win, despite Vettel crossing the finish line in the lead. Vettel was furious, and judging by the reaction on twitter, the fans are too. But, like I have always said, the stewards are never wrong. They are the only people with all the data, and their decision is final. Whatever your opinion, Vettel did rejoin in front of another car. That is undeniable.
Behind the drama of that incident, and Vettel’s visible post-race fury, Charles Leclerc took the final step on the podium. Bottas came home 4th for Mercedes ahead of Max Verstappen. An excellent day for Renault with Daniel Ricciardo 6th and Nico Hulkenberg 7th, both ahead of the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly. A great three car scrap towards the end of the race saw Lance Stroll finish 9th (nice to see him score points at his home race), Daniil Kvyat 10th and Carlos Sainz 11th.
It’s now three wins in a row for Hamilton, and he leads the championship by 29 points from Valtteri Bottas. Does anyone out there think that Vettel still has a chance at taking this title now? If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Also, how would you rate that race out of ten?