Lewis Hamilton takes brilliant 45th career Victory in Canada
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News June 12, 2016 Updated: 6:20 PM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed his 45th career win by beating Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in a tense battle at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel who had a very strong start led the race after the first corner, but then Ferrari choose to pit Vettel during a brief Virtual Safety Car on lap 10 this put him on an two-stop strategy while Hamilton and Mercedes keep a one-stop strategy.
“There’s no reason to give the team any criticism for the strategy: when I pitted for the first time we thought it would be quicker, so I was happy to come in. We expected obviously the tires to last a little bit less, but they didn’t. The good news is the car is working, we had a normal Saturday, which allowed us to have a great race,” said Vettel.
This decision may have given away a possible victory. However, the pace of Hamilton was clear towards the end of the race as Vettel was unable to close the gap on the three time world champion who after the race dedicated his win to the late Muhammad Ali who pass last week.
“I really enjoyed the race – everything went unbelievably smoothly. Every time Sebastian closed up I just had enough to keep the gap. I was just so in the groove. Over the last 10-15 laps all I could think of was Muhammad Ali – float like a butterfly, sting like a bee – because it really felt like I was floating. For me, and everyone I’m sure, he was such an inspirational figure, so that one was for him,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg saw his once impressive lead in the championship cut to just nine points after trying to make another erratic pass with Hamilton in the first corner and dropped him down the order to tenth on the first lap.
“I had to try the move or accept I’d be behind him. In Barcelona it worked but this time it didn’t. It was a hard maneuver from him but that’s racing and I need to do a better job next time. I lost a lot of places going down the escape road and that cost me a shot at the race.
It was a good battle with Max – again, on the limit but good racing. I tried everything to get past him and had a massive spin at the end. On that final lap I just about managed to drag it round for P5 ahead of Kimi, so a disappointing result as our car was awesome today but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’ve got two days at home now to get ready and go for it again in Baku,” said Rosberg.
His attempt to fight back could have landed a podium finish, but a slow puncture and a spin from attempting to pass a fearless Max Verstappen who wasn’t afraid to defend against the Mercedes driver, ultimately left him finishing fifth .
Wiaaliams driver Valtteri Bottas who drove a very impressive race took Williams' first podium of the season, with Verstappen finishing fourth for Red Bull ahead of Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen who finished fifth and sixth.