Race Report: Hamilton claims 5th Canadian GP

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Lewis Hamilton adds another win in Canada and makes his mark on a circuit he clearly has a great history with. The location of his first grand prix win now becomes his fifth win at the Canadian Grand Prix. Lewis was followed hotly by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who was trailed home by Williams F1’s Valtteri Bottas to complete the podium.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg finished 5th behind Plucky Teen Max Verstappen losing points to bring the delta between he and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, to just nine points. Verstappen made life very difficult for Rosberg in the closing laps and he also made life even more difficult for his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who suffered a slow pit stop and finished a distant 7th.

WinWin

A big win for Lewis Hamilton who once again managed to turn a poor start into another win by making an incredibly long one-stop run on the soft compound to take victory. Lewis is driving superbly and looks to be back on form and shows a terrific ability to make a long stint work for him on this year’s Pirelli rubber.

It’s a win for Williams F1 driver Valtteri Bottas who secured a podium finish for the team. It’s a win because truly Williams is a team that should be quick on a circuit like Canada. They had looked to be struggling in Friday and even Saturday’s qualifying leaving many to wonder why Williams wasn’t doing better than it was up until the race. With Felipe Massa failing to finish the race, Bottas’s podium is a big win.

A win for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who held off his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, even after being asked to let the Australian by if he got close. Verstappen made a late-race change to the Ultra-soft compounds and on fresh rubber made life hectic for a surging Nico Rosberg desperate to claw back positions in a damage limitation run. Rosberg spun under braking on the final turn 11 trying to get past the Plucky Teen and ended up behind him.

A win for Force India who did manage to to get both cars in the top ten with Nico Hulkenberg leading Sergio Perez. The team tried to to take Nico to the distance on a one-stopper but it didn’t work so they pit him and he still managed an 8th place finish. Nico says they hoped they were closer to Williams but the car was weaker on Sunday and was difficult to drive with low grip. Perez says the strategy didn’t work for him and the soft tire didn’t work in cold temps. He had bad graining on the fronts.

FailFail

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was behind the car for most of the race and couldn’t make a real impact in dirty air and the pit stop hobbled his chances as well as a few ragged corners. He felt that it would have made a big difference had Verstappen let him by but in the end the car wasn’t there. The team’s degradation forced a second stop and while it worked better for Max, Daniel had a flat spot that hampered his efforts.

Ferrari’s race was lost in traffic and an extra stop. They gambled in pitting early under the Virtual Safety Car session on lap 11 and they threw the dice on Mercedes and their tire strategy. Maurizio Arrivabene said they overestimated the degradation on their tires and the pit strategy was a simple mistake. That’s a tough call given how well Sebastian Vettel was driving all weekend and given he led the race from the start. Kimi Raikkonen said he struggled in fuel saving mode and tire temps and didn’t do a lot to protect his position defensively.

A fail for McLaren as Jenson Button’s used engine blew up and Fernando Alonso’s one-stopper had him on 55-lap worn tires and three seconds slower than all the cars around him on fresh rubber. Anything can happen and the team were keen to at least keep him out to try and pickup points should anything happen in front of him. Alonso says it was not fun to drive on old tires.

A bad day for Renault with Jolyon Palmer retiring the car and Kevin Magnussen coming in 16th. The team didn’t have the pace to make a run for it and were bested by both team Haas F1 drivers as well as Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

WTHWTH

Ultimately I have to wonder where the conversation about turn 1 is regarding the punt Lewis Hamilton put on Nico Rosberg. It was a carbon-copy move and carbon-copy excuse by Hamilton (understeer) as turn 1 at COTA for the USGP last year and apparently that’s perfectly fine with the team (Mercedes), fans and certainly the mobocracy that is #TeamLH.

In fact, listening to Sky Sports F1’s commentary, it was effectively Nico Rosberg’s fault by putting himself in that position with Crofty saying it was a very poor start for Nico Rosberg—never mind he had a slightly better start than Lewis. Ted Kravitz asked, “what did Nico expect”? Saying that Lewis is unyielding, relentless and takes no prisoners on the track.

I will state here that I understand the British media’s love of Lewis Hamilton and the plaudits fans the world over are giving Lewis for a terrific drive—it was a great drive and he did a terrific job conserving tires and making a one-stopper work. There is no doubt about his ability to make the last 15-20 laps work given the worn tires and a charging Ferrari behind him. He deserves a heck of a lot of applause for that performance for sure. Probably drive of the race material.

All of that said, I found his post-race comments to Sky Sports F1 a tad marginalizing by saying he merely “tapped” Nico due to the fault of a third-party entity known only as understeer.

I am not German nor English and I have no knife in this fight so I will call it as I see it. If I were Nico, I would leave Mercedes. It’s clear the team’s position on letting them race is really a platitude when they get bent out of shape for Spa 2014, Monaco 2015 and Spain 2016 and brow-beat or even publicly reprimand Nico only to ignore Bahrain 2014, USGP 2015 and Canadian GP 2016. If Lewis can clout Nico or pull ham-fisted moves with impunity but Nico cannot clout Lewis, hold his position or get aggressive, it’s clear Nico’s future at the team is a support role for the global star that is Lewis Hamilton.

There is little doubt that since Spain, Nico has had the stuffing taken out of him and I have no way on knowing but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t given a dressing down after the race. If Nico is fine with the pay and role he is in and the uneven treatment, then that’s perfectly fine with me but it does seem completely one-sided to me from this side of the pond. If I were Nico, I wouldn’t yield and inch to Lewis but I suspect he’d find his shelf life at Mercedes very short of he doesn’t.

Race Result:

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1h31m05.296s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 70 5.011s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 70 46.422s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 70 53.020s
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 70 1m02.093s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 70 1m03.017s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 70 1m03.634s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 69 1 Lap
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 69 1 Lap
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 69 1 Lap
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 69 1 Lap
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 69 1 Lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 68 2 Laps
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 68 2 Laps
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 68 2 Laps
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 68 2 Laps
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 68 2 Laps
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 68 2 Laps
19 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 68 2 Laps
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 35 Retirement
Jolyon Palmer Renault 16 Retirement
Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 9 Engine

Driver’s Championship

Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 116
2 Lewis Hamilton 107
3 Sebastian Vettel 78
4 Daniel Ricciardo 72
5 Kimi Raikkonen 69
6 Max Verstappen 50
7 Valtteri Bottas 44
8 Felipe Massa 37
9 Sergio Perez 24
10 Daniil Kvyat 22
11 Romain Grosjean 22
12 Fernando Alonso 18
13 Nico Hulkenberg 18
14 Carlos Sainz 18
15 Kevin Magnussen 6
16 Jenson Button 5
17 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
18 Esteban Gutierrez 0
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Pascal Wehrlein 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

Constructor’s Championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 223
2 Ferrari 147
3 Red Bull/Renault 130
4 Williams/Mercedes 81
5 Force India/Mercedes 42
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 32
7 McLaren/Honda 24
8 Haas/Ferrari 22
9 Renault 6
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Manor/Mercedes 0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

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Dennis Tirch
Guest
Dennis Tirch

As usual, I love the commentary and so appreciate your assessment of the ups and downs. It may be just because I prefer Hamilton, and of course that is going to bias my perceptions, but I don’t think Nico is being treated unfairly. It seems that Nico is just not very good at going wheel to wheel with Lewis. He appears clumsy in these exchanges, and will either take both of the cars out, irreparably damage Lewis’ car, or wind up getting the short end of the stick and falling behind and/or being punted. Importantly, when Lewis has pulled more… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Like USGP, I have no issue if Lewis “understeers” and run Nico off. I said it then and I say it now. What I don’t like is when Nico runs Lewis off or wide, people get outraged. For the record, I have no issue with the move Lewis made today but I wouldn’t have an issue if Nico did it either, problem is, it seems like it is always a huge issue if Nico does it. That’s why I think Nico would be better off at Ferrari or another competitive team. Problem with that is, there is only one semi-competitive… Read more »

Member
Mike

Yep, agree with NC. I am a Lewis fan, but its all racing and all should be a even reaction to both drivers. We, as fans, will always have a bias and that is what is awesome about sports, 2 players go up against each other and dive for a ball, slamming into each other. Red team fans up in arms that blue was too aggressive and blue team screams that red had no right to be in that space to begin with and should receive a penalty. This is the fans position. The team ownership is another issue, of… Read more »

Esteban Muller
Guest
Esteban Muller

I dont see how it was Lewis’s fault in spain, he was making a move on the inside, on the straight, and nico went clear across the track and pushed him off, simple as that. But, if that was declared a racing incident then so is sundays much cleaner move in which both cars were able to finish

Member
Mike

Agreed. Not sure if it was Paul on the podcast, but it was talked about that maybe if a percentage was given, it would be 49%Nico, 51% Lewis. Paul said he would have gone for it like Lewis, a true racer would. Nico moved over to set himself up for the corner, i honestly don’t think he believed Lewis would be there, but Lewis was not even with him, so Lewis had a chance to back off, i think. At least this is what was said why stewards deemed it a racing incident. Like NC and Paul said, it happens… Read more »

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

This is a sort of good point, but I’d say the difference lies in intent. Nico was trying to close the door in Spain, Lewis was trying to push Nico off the track in Canada. I think the only reason Lewis’ move didn’t get a reprimand is they were in the first couple turns where the stewards wisely let a lot go. He’s a skilled enough racer to know that’s the moment to cheat in and lie about it later. And if you take the position ‘use whatever’s available’, I guess he’s sort of correct, if not right.

Dennis Tirch
Guest
Dennis Tirch

I doubt we can know with certainty what Nico’s or Lewis’ specific intentions were and assume that Nico was only trying to “close the door” but Hamilton was aiming to push him off the track. That’s a very precise discrimination of their states of mind from a great distance.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

It has to do with where the other car is. If the other car is coming up fast behind you and you swing over, you are trying to close the door. If the other car is next to and entirely even with you and you smash directly into it as you drive all the way to the edge of the track, you are not trying to close the door you are trying to push it off the track. It’s actually not complex or ambiguous at all.

Esteban Muller
Guest
Esteban Muller

Its only a huge issue when Nico “sends a message” ,as he likes to say, because it usually involves Lewis’s tire being cut or taking both cars out. Nico is either too soft or too hard, he cant learn the middle ground. In 2014, in Canada Nico pulled off the same move Lewis did yesterday, but Lewis backed off and that allowed him to keep on competing. This time around Lewis had the inside, had the line and defended it. So, yes, what did Nico expect? That Lewis would just move over?

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Um yes because that is very clearly the rule. If a car is next to you you leave one car width.

No I’ll grant you, Lewis does seem better at smashing his teammate off the track without taking both cars out, but that he’s gotten that way by practicing his whole career isn’t a real feather in his cap as far as I’m concerned.

Samouri
Member
Samouri

Good observation. Nico made the same move on Lewis in that same turn 1, at the start of the 2014 Canadian GP, and pushing him off the track
Rosberg stating that he was pissed off in 2016, and then choosing to ignore what he had done in 2014, is glaring hypocrisy on his part..
That was a masterful display of defensive driving by that 18 year old. Max made Nico, who has 10 years of F1 racing experience look like a rookie.

Clayton Brown
Guest
Clayton Brown

I do! I think the races are better when drivers don’t play a game of chicken. It kind of goes back to Vettel’s exchange with Kyvit (spelling?). “If I go straight we make contact” “Then don’t go straight!” Lewis is in front and can take the optimal line, leaving Rosberg SOME kind of line … he doesn’t need to run him off the track. In my opinion, all this running drivers wide just kills some of the excitement because the “victim” falls back 2 or 3 seconds rather than continue to challenge for the next couple laps. Anyway, love the… Read more »

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Hello, former 2922228 whatever here, got a new computer and couldn’t remember my password. Anyway want to throw my support behind NC’s spot on comments, and maybe go one further. Lewis Hamilton proved finally for me, by breaking the written and unwritten rules then lying about it, what has been pretty obvious all along – he’s an excellent driver (I admire it) not a very nice human being (none of my business) and a bad sportsman (I condemn it). I agree Sky twisted its commentary into a pretzel to deny the last fact, but not all British outlets do, in… Read more »

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Hi Zachary (or can I still call you 2922?)
Nicely put, I have that feeling about Hamilton too, but couldn’t have expressed it as clearly. Win at all costs might make you a champion, but it doesn’t make you a decent person.
I’m surprised Mercedes tolerate (and seem to condone) the behaviour. To my thinking the contact cost Mercedes a 1-2 finish, so have most of the other Merc on Merc contacts. Merc can afford the points but in any other team the ‘crime’ of contacting your team mate is a serious one.

Clayton Brown
Guest
Clayton Brown

Exactly. Most tracks Merc have a 1-2 finish in the bag. Lewis plays a classic Win-Lose tactic:

Just an example …
No Contact – Hamilton wins 50%, Rosberg 40%, others 10%.

The Hamilton Way – Hamilton wins 70%, Rosberg 10%, others 20%

Notice that the “Hamilton Way” costs Merc points?

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

that’s the way I’ve been looking at it too. I guess that as long as Merc are taking enough points to win the Contractors Championship they’ll put up with it, so that they can claim they encourage real racing.

Clayton Brown
Guest
Clayton Brown

I feel like your descriptions of Rosberg and Hamilton are 100% flipped – like you did a find-replace. Hamilton is an amazing racer, but a pretty crappy person. Rosberg seems to be an average driver and a really good person. I’ve found a lot of his comments to be quite mature – especially given the fact that I can’t believe what Hamilton does to him race after race. I also disagree with the idea that Nico is afraid to go wheel to wheel. You could argue that Lewis is afraid to go wheel to wheel. When Lewis doesn’t run Nico… Read more »

Juho Kallio
Guest
Juho Kallio

It’s weird that in Spain the teamLH crowd was saying that incident was Nicos fault because Lewis was making an overtake manuever and the rules say if your front wing is in front of the rear axel then the guy being passed should give way. Well this time Nicos front wing was in front f the front axel of Lewis and theres crickets over this incident. I might have missed it but I don’t think the stewards even looked at the whole thing. After the arguable corner cutting in Monaco and now this it seems Lewis doesn’t really have to… Read more »

mini696
Member

My first reaction to the first corner was “Hamilton has done it again”.
If that move wasn’t out of line, I will eat my hat.

Member

I saw the Nico/Lewis bump nothing more than a racing incident but I had expected some reaction/penalty from the race stewards. But I agree with Dennis Tirch, Nico is not very good when going up against Lewis. As for NG’s assertion for Nico to leave the team at season’s end, where does he go?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Nico would be a big improvement for what Haas racing currently has…

Member
Mike

Does anyone know who the stewards were? I wonder if that played into anything? So far, it seems the stewards have been fairly even-handed this year. One thing i read was that the stewards did not even review the Lewis/Nico bump because it was a single lane and there was not room for 2 cars, Lewis having the racing line on the inside. Anyone know if this is for sure the reason why there was no review?

Aj
Guest
Aj

Rosberg will have to be wary.
He seemed to have the best of Lewis when the car was dominant.
But now Ferrari and red bull have caught up on certain tracks
This will suit lewis better, as he qualifies better than Rosberg.
And if it ends up becoming a Lewis v vettel fight. I would imagine Mercedes throwing their weight behind Lewis.

Love the site and the podcast.

Negative Camber
Guest

Thx for reading/listening. :)

Negative Camber
Guest

I like it, it’s just very DRS heavy and I think that took some of the stuffing out of the race. Probably a track that would be fine without it. :)

Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

Was there a race at all? Apparently the terrorist was stronger than NBC and NBC SN because neither of them showed any racing whatsoever.

longshot
Guest
longshot

This is why I watch Henna’s streams…

Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

What streams… can you share how? NBC has lost me.

longshot
Guest
longshot

Firstly, the streams are of Sky’s coverage – by watching them you’d be breaking the law, thought I should point that out. Secondly, the streams only work if you have a Windoze PC. You need “ace player”, which is a variant of the open source VLC media player – you’ll find it quickly enough with google. It not only installs the player software, it also installs plugins in your browsers which I immediately remove as I have no need for them. To be extra safe, I also run Ace Player with Sandboxie, to make absolutely sure it can do no… Read more »

Peter Riva
Member
Peter Riva

Thank you, this is most kind. From now on NBC may be forcing us to act outside the law (Bernie take note!).

Mr. Obvious
Guest
Mr. Obvious

Uh, am I the only one who lost all but the last three laps of the race for an NBC Special Report on that horrific scene in Orlando?

Joe Mama
Guest
Joe Mama

No, you weren’t alone, and neither was freaking NBC covering Orlando. If I’m being insensitive, I apologize, but there were dozens of media outlets covering Orlando already, because that’s why 24-hr news exists. So why does the ONE organization covering the live event I’d rather watch than endless guessalysis of the disaster of the day feel the need to pre-empt race coverage to jump on the bandwagon? Yeah, that’s a rhetorical question, in case you were wondering. I don’t like it, but I get it – mortal fear trumps mere entertainment. Anyway…so I watched laps 68-70 on my DVR, and… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I tried to watch the VoD race, and that was GOLF. So I tried to watch the rebroadcast later that day, it was GOLF! Eventually I just watched it on the NBC-SN WEB- with all those long pauses…

Member
Mike

I haven’t said anything…same reaction here. I got to see lap 68-70. Then with Direct TV, searched frantically for the next repeat. Whew…there was the race in the afternoon. Went back to watching the horrific events in Orlando. Settled down later to take in the race and……Golf. Wrestling. Tagged as F1. awesome. thanks guys. I FINALLY got to see the race…if anyone has a cable network, download the NBCSN app on a lpatop, ipad, smartphone, etc. They are doing a great job with replays and the whole race is there. Only problem is during commercial breaks it will go to… Read more »

FryDaddy
Guest
FryDaddy

And additionally, the replay we usually get on NBCSN (when the race is cast on NBC) was pre-empted by golf and wrestling. Gee Whiz guys.

longshot
Guest
longshot

I actually felt this turned out to be the least interesting race of the season so far. As soon as Vettel made his pitstop under the VSC, he was surrendering track position & you could guarantee that Hamilton would repeat his Monaco performance, one stopping his way to victory.

The racing itself was severely affected by the cold temperatures. Only Hamilton & Bottas seemed to be able to minimize the degradation, everyone else was really struggling with it especially if they were stuck behind another car.

Oh well, next race in just 7 days, lets hope its warmer in Baku.

Tim C.
Guest
Tim C.

Until Nico stops backing out of situations like this, Lewis will continue to push the issue. And, why shouldn’t he. If there’s no consequences for such moves I’d do so as well. A couple of DNFs for moves like this would hopefully have Lewis giving Nico a little more room on track. Nico really does need to stand up for himself or find somewhere else to go.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

A good solid race, if maybe not the most exciting. Lewis closing the gap to the championship leader obviously helps keep the suspense going, but the real movers for me was Ferrari. They’ve made some giant leaps lately, pulling themselves into striking range in relation to the two Mercs. Too bad about the strategy calls – Arrivabene said they overestimated the tyre degradation, which makes sense. Apparently, Mercedes had also planned for a two stop race (on that same estimate), but chose to switch strategies while Ferrari stuck to theirs. Good drive to P3 from Bottas! On the subject of… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Just to be clear here folks, I am not suggesting what happened at turn 1 wasn’t just hard racing, that’s what it was. Does anyone recall the ire fans had after the Canadian GP in 2014? Go watch it and the first turn. It was a carbon copy but reversed roles and my how people were upset with that wicked Nico. If we’re for letting the race, then let them race. If Lewis can punt Nico because he “takes no prisoners” and is a “force on track” then surely Nico can punt Lewis. Some arguments are that Nico take Lewis… Read more »