Canadian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton completes amazing weekend with victory in Montreal
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News June 11, 2017 Updated: 8:21 PM
MONTREAL, Canada -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took a determined Sunday drive and dominated from start to finish to take his 56th career victory at Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
It's had already been a magical weekend for the "Jedi Knight" after taking his 65th career pole and equaling his hero Ayrton Senna. On top of this achievement, Hamilton received the love and respect of the Senna family in form of the F1 legend's 1985 race helmet, which signifies another huge milestone in Hamilton's prestigious career.
"It’s been such an incredible weekend. I just couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone and I’m so grateful for this result. We came away from Monaco and we were scratching our heads, but we pulled together and look what we achieved. We came here with a much better understanding of the car and we delivered a real blow to the Ferraris. Valtteri did a fantastic job too and this is our first one-two finish together. We’ve scored a big load of solid points and it’s well deserved. It’s crazy to think I had my first pole and win here 10 years ago. The race actually felt very reminiscent of 2007, in terms of how it unfolded," said Hamilton.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas took second and his 13th career podium giving Mercedes their first one-two finish of the season.
I’m so happy for us as a team to bounce back the way we did this weekend. It’s so impressive to see how the team has reacted in the last two weeks – how it’s worked and improved," said Bottas.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took third with a solid drive to make his third podium in a row this season. In response to the crowd, Ricciardo performed a "shoey" alongside iconic actor Sir Patrick Steward who happily joined in.
"Not the easiest third place but when I saw the chequered flag I was like: yes I can finally breathe. I had zero intention of doing a shoey again, but the crowd was chanting and then Sir Patrick (Stewart) got involved so I thought: alright, we might be on here. I think it turned out pretty good," said Ricciardo.
Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen was forced to retire after an amazing start from fifth to second when his car suffered a technical issue. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel made a solid comeback to finish fourth as he was able to take advantage of the battle between Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
Force India, who came out the box with a very strong chance at a podium, may have fallen apart when the team did not enforce orders on Sergio Perez. Perez was ordered to release teammate Esteban Ocon so Ocon could take a crack at Daniel Ricciardo. But, Perez did not follow these orders, which opened the door for Vettel to pass both drivers leaving them in fourth and fifth.
Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished seventh after running into trouble with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, who finished the day in eighth.
Williams' Lance Stroll took his first career points at his home race with an amazing drive to finish ninth. After what has been an incredible week for the 18yr filled with love and support from his fellow countrymen, he said "It means the world to me being able to finish a race in the points and be able to see those Canadian flags up in the air at my race."
Haas' Romain Grosjean took the final points-paying spot in tenth while Jolyon Palmer finished 11th in the second Renault. Twelfth went to Grosjean's Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen ahead of Sauber's Marcus Ericsson in 13th, who said after the race "I got the maximum out of the car in the race. We made a step forward with our tire management throughout the race."
McLaren-Honda's Stoffle Vandoorne finished in 14th, and Pascal Wehrlein in15th made up the final two finishing positions, with five other drivers forced to retire. The most notable retiree was Fernando Alonso who fought strongly for 10th before running into what he said was an "engine failure" and was forced to retire. Shortly after pulling off the track, Alonso made his way to the grandstands throwing his gloves into the crowd before heading back to the garage.
Hamilton's dominant win this weekend, along with Vettel's recovery leaves the championship down to 12 points with Mercedes back at the top of the constructors' championship by eight points.
This weekend's Canadian Grand Prix finished on a high note with an increase in attendance by 20% from last year as the sport continues to evolve under the new ownership of Liberty Media who continue to find new ways to get fans more involved.
Spectators in Montreal could follow all the action and analysis in real time as they were the first to experience free Wi-Fi throughout the weekend, a feature that was greeted with surprise and delight across social media.
This year's Canadian Grand Prix also saw the return of the raft race, which hasn't been around since the late 1990s. These additions, along with the exciting championship battle this season, brought many fans to the GP and kept them engaged. Many can hardly wait for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in two weeks.