Hamilton wins the Canadian Grand Prix as Vettel's penalty hits Ferrari hard

Sebastian Vettel lost in the Canadian Grand Prix to Lewis Hamilton after being penalised for dangerous driving against his rival.

The Ferrari driver made a mistake under pressure from the world champion, running wide at Turn Three, and pushed Hamilton wide as he rejoined the track.

Race stewards decided Vettel had rejoined the track unsafely and penalised him five seconds for forcing Hamilton off the track.

The Mercedes driver would likely have passed Vettel had he not been blocked with 22 laps still remaining.

The move will doubtless lead to a major controversy but Hamilton was clear that he felt Vettel had been unfair.

Vettel took the matters into his own hands and moved the number 1 sign back to his Ferrari. The German driver complained that Hamilton could have gone to the inside but that was inaccurate reading of the situation as it unfolded.

Nevertheless, doubtless many will feel that Vettel should have been excused and the drivers allowed to race.

However, others will see it as yet another error under pressure from Vettel, whose 2018 season unravelled as a result of a series of them and who made another in Bahrain earlier this year, spinning after being passed by Hamilton.

And the stewards may well have used precedent to inform the decision, such as when Red Bull's Max Verstappen was penalised in the same fashion for forcing then-Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen off the track in last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel had been in front of the race from the start, after converting his pole position, and led through the pit stops. But once on to the hard tyres after the stops, Hamilton began to pile the pressure on Vettel.

He rejoined after his stop on lap 29 five seconds behind Vettel and was on his tail 10 laps later. Hamilton stayed within a second of Vettel for the next nine laps until the key moment. 

It cost Ferrari another victory in 2019, a year in which Mercedes have won every race, but in which the Italian team could have had two and possibly three wins out of seven.

Image result for f1 canadian grand prix 2019
Courtesy: Salracing

And it also ended what had been a tense, exciting race, in which two of the finest drivers in the world were battling closely.

Leclerc did not quite manage to get close enough to Vettel to overtake him once the German's penalty was applied.

Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a quiet race on his way to fourth place, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen fought back from ninth on the grid to take fifth ahead of the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.

In two weeks time, everyone heads to France and unfortunately for Ferrari, the track layout is likely to favour Mercedes and that first win for the red cars will probably have to wait a while longer.


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