Lewis Hamilton’s disappointment at giving away his Monaco Grand Prix win that never was two weeks ago was consigned to the past as he strolled to victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. The weekend didn’t get off to a good start. During wet running on Friday Hamilton aquaplaned at low speed and crashed at the hairpin turn, the damage was slight but the omens from Monaco still seemed to be casting a shadow.
Those omens were vanquished as Hamilton secured pole position during Saturday’s qualifying session with ease with Rosberg a fair bit back but untroubled by anyone else except his team mate. Ferrari had brought an upgraded engine package and it seemed like a step forward in terms of performance. However Sebastian Vettel suffered from power failure issues during the first part of qualifying and didn’t even make it to the second part finishing 18th, Raikkonen had better fortune, qualifying 3rd.
Honda also brought an upgraded engine but nothing has changed for the McLaren Honda outfit. The team suffered terrible reliability throughout the weekend. Jenson Button didn’t even participate in qualifying and had to sit it out until race day. Both Alonso and Button retired during the race underscoring their poor pre-season test form.
There was speculation that Ferrari would have better pace over the race and after a clean start, which is usually marred by over exuberance, Sunday’s race settled quickly into a pattern, Rosberg trailed Hamilton by 3 seconds and Raikkonen was a further 3 seconds behind Rosberg the top three were by far the quickest out of the 20 participating competitors.
But the Canadian Grand was really about Hamilton vs Rosberg and they remained close to one another for much of the race. During the last stage of the 70 lap race Rosberg tried to battle with Hamilton but ultimately his pace was determined by conserving his brakes and managing his fuel level.
Hamilton too had to manage his fuel consumption and so in the end both Mercedes drivers were separated by one second however both were unable to maximize the true pace of their cars. So we had this duel for victory that was a latent stalemate governed by fuel consumption and conserving the brakes.
With around several laps to go Hamilton finally was able to speed up and soon put a good distance between himself and his team mate as if to emphasize he was really only managing his race but with plenty to spare.
Behind the Mercedes duo there was bits of interest to be had, Raikkonen lost a safe third place after his KERS system sent too much power into his rear tyres which put him into a sudden and unexpected spin as he exited the hairpin turn. This damaged his rear tyres and he had to make one more pitstop than required which handed third place to Valtteri Bottas of Williams.
Sebastian Vettel who started from 18th finished 5th, an excellent recovery, damage limitation and valuable points but its difficult to say if he would have been any quicker than Raikkonen or if he could have mounted a challenge to the Mercedes which are still leagues ahead of the other teams.
So in the end Hamilton wrapped up an easy win, his fourth of the season, in what was a processional race although he extends his lead over Rosberg by 17 points. Next up is the Austrian Grand Prix in two weeks time.
2015 Canadian Grand Prix Results:
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India||+1 lap||4|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull||+1 lap||2|
|10||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Lotus||+1 lap||1|
|11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India||+1 lap||0|
|12||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Toro Rosso||+1 lap||0|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull||+1 lap||0|
|14||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Sauber||+1 lap||0|
|15||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso||+1 lap||0|
|16||Felipe Nasr||BRA||Sauber||+2 laps||0|
|17||Will Stevens||GBR||Marussia||+4 laps||0|