Lewis Hamilton has scored his fifth Canadian Grand Prix victory today in a race that had Mercedes on the edge after a tight battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The German finished the race in second place despite taking an early lead, it was the tire and stop strategy which decided the winner eventually. Williams Valtteri Bottas won the final spot on the podium after beating both Rosberg and Verstappen, the two were involved in a nail-biting battle which almost caused Rosberg to lose today’s points. The Mercedes driver spun on the final lap while trying to pass Verstappen but rejoined just in time, ahead of Raikkonen.

Ricciardo, Hulkenberg,Sainz and Perez completed the top ten. Rosberg still leads the championship with 116 points albeit the gap has now been brought down to just nine points by second placed Hamilton with 107 points. Vettel is third with 78 leading Ricciardo 72; Raikkonen 69 and Verstappen 50.

Canadian GP 2016 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
3. Valtteri Bottas – Williams
4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
5. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
7. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
8. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India
9. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso
10. Sergio Perez – Force India

Hamilton has a great history in Canada, he holds the second highest number of wins behind Michael Schumacher – Schumi has a total of seven wins while Hamilton has five. In the manufacturer category, Ferrari holds the most number of wins at 13.

The formation got underway as the drivers embarked on the 70 lap race, Pirelli reported a dry circuit with unknown chances of rain towards the end. The field started on ultrasoft tires with the exception of Perez and Magnussen who were on soft; while Button and Haryanto were on supersoft.

Rosberg ran wide soon as the lights went out, while Vettel staged an incredible start jumping the two Mercedes cars. Rosberg fell back to ninth place while Hamilton settled in second behind Vettel.

After four laps, Vettel led the field away from Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa and Hulkenberg. Hamilton was setting a series of fastest laps which placed him just 0.8s behind the leading Ferrari. Verstappen was 7.7s off the lead while Ricciardo was 9.4s behind with just 10 laps in.

The yellow flags flew soon on lap 11 when Button’s car stopped on the field in what he described as “engine gone”. Flames could be seen on the rear of the McLaren, the virtual safety car was out now. Vettel had pitted from the lead and soon as the VSC ended, Hamilton jumped into the lead.

Vettel rejoined the race in fourth with new superspoft tires behind the two Red Bulls, and the leading Mercedes. Raikkonen also made his first stop for a set of supersoft tires, he rejoined in 15th place.

Vettel was not wasting time behind the Red Bulls, he had a much faster pace and on lap 17 he edged out Ricciardo and snatched P3. He then moved into P2 on lap 21 when Verstappen made his first stop. The Ferrari still had one more stop to make given that the soft tire was mandatory, Hamilton appeared to be on a one-stop strategy. Moments later, Ricciardo also dived into the pits, and was followed by Rosberg and Hulkenberg. Verstappen had rejoined in 8th behind the Force India of Hulkenberg.

After those pit stops, Verstappen moved up to fourth and was trailing Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas.

Vettel then set a new fastest time of the race on 1m17.1s which trimmed the gap to 5.8s, Hamilton was yet to make a stop. Rosberg then set a new fastest time of the race after his pit stop. That was followed by Hamilton’s stop which allowed Vettel to take back the lead. That was his only stop of the race, he was on the mandatory soft tires.

The Ferraris were the only ones without soft tires 28 laps into the race, they still had one extra stop to make. Vettel was soon suffering from traffic ahead of him, he began to lose time to Hamilton who was closing in quickly. Raikkonen then made his final stop picking up new soft tires, that left Vettel as the only man without the mandatory tires on.

Rosberg managed to pass Ricciardo for P5 on lap 40 but the Red Bull dived into the pits, becoming the first driver on softs not able to use the one-stop strategy. Vettel had also made his final stop and was now 7.8s behind Hamilton. The Ferrari was way quicker than the Mercedes given that it had fresher tires, and the lead was down to 6.6s.

Vettel was closing in quick, he had trimmed the gap to 5.9s on lap 46. Verstappen made his second stop and rejoined in fifth. There was a hot battle between Bottas (P3) and Rosberg (P4), but the momentum was cut short when Rosberg picked up a slow puncture forcing him to pit again. The German rejoined in seventh behind Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

Rosberg then set a new fastest lap of the race on 1m15.972s before snatching P6 from Ricciardo. Vettel then locked up on the final chicane which cost him 1.4s, allowing Hamilton to increase the gap to nearly 6s.

With just 8 laps left, Rosberg had managed to jump into P5 ahead of Raikkonen, the German was pushing hard for a P3 finish while the battle at the front remained steady. But another lockup by Vettel on the final chicane only allowed Hamilton to get away, the gap was nearly 7s. Hamilton’s 1m15.9s on lap 69 put him further away from Vettel, bringing the fight to an end as the Briton claimed his fifth Canadian GP victory.

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