Canadian GP

Flashback to 2016 – Canadian Grand Prix

Rain, yes rain is back on the agenda for the Canadian Grand Prix with the cold temperatures of Montreal the highlight of the weekend.

Rain was even falling as the cars came round to the grid, although nowhere near enough for it to make a difference for the start. The field would start on the slick tyres inside the top ten. Allowed to start on whatever they choose Sergio Perez was the first on the softs in 11th, along with Button, Haryanto on the supersoft and Magnussen also on the soft tyre.

The cars appeared on the grid with the teams equipment still being take off the circuit. Hamilton and Rosberg were both pointed to the first corner. It was a good start by Rosberg, but it was Vettel would take the start. Rosberg got pushed off by Hamilton and fell down the field, he came out behind Alonso. Verstappen got up to third in the Red Bull with Raikkonen battling with Ricciardo.

Vettel went straight on at the final chicane which allowed Hamilton to close in on the Ferrari at the end of the first lap. Hulkenberg got ahead of Alonso, with Rosberg not in the position to get ahead of either on the third lap. Using the DRS Rosberg blast ahead of the McLaren at the end of lap 3, the Mercedes driver up to 9th place.

Rosberg was gaining on Hulkenberg for 8th, while Hamilton was setting fastest laps and closing in on the Ferrari. The gap at the end of lap 6 was down to seven tenths. Ricciardo was also closing back in on his teammate Verstappen and were pulling away from Raikkonen. That was only a lap though, with Vettel pulling away slightly again the very next lap going up to over a second.

Felipe Nasr was the first to pit on lap 10 for the soft tyre, while Grosjean overtook his teammate on the back straight. Verstappen in third was asked not to hold his teammate up by his team.

A virtual safety car was brought out on lap 11, caused by a McLaren on fire – Button pulling over on the back straight. Vettel pitted from the lead just as the virtual safety car ended. It was a set of the supersoft tyres for the Ferrari while Kimi Raikkonen followed straight away on the same lap. The Finn came out at the back of the train. Sainz pitted on lap 14, soft tyres on the Toro Rosso.

The gap between Hamilton and Vettel, now in fourth place and behind the two Red Bull’s was a constant 11.2 seconds. The German was gaining on the two Red Bull’s though, the Ferrari a second a lap faster. Raikkonen having fallen to the back of the field was up to 12th place.

Vettel started battling with the Red Bull on lap 17, he nearly got close enough to get ahead using the DRS but it wasn’t just enough. He made a move into the hairpin, and got ahead at the end of the lap. The next target for the German, Max Verstappen in second.

Fernando Alonso, Grosjean and Kvyat pitted at the end of lap 17 fitting the soft tyre. It was a slow stop for Alonso, with the Haas getting ahead of the McLaren. A lap ahead and Vettel got ahead of the other Red Bull at the same time, a simple DRS pass on the back straight. Kimi Raikkonen improved to 9th, with Perez his latest pass.

Verstappen stopped on lap 21 for the soft tyre, it was a quick stop for the Red Bull team, bringing him out just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 8th place. Ricciardo pitted a lap later, with Rosberg also taking the soft compound tyre. Raikkonen was ahead of Ricciardo and splitting the two Red Bull drivers, although the Ferrari will need to stop again. Williams were also looking quick having not stopped.

Massa stopped on lap 23, again one stopping from Williams and another sub-three second stop. He came out behind Rosberg, a gain of position for the German. Hamilton, having not stopped was struggling with tyres while Bottas pitted in the Willimas and came out behind Ricciardo. Rosberg was fast though setting the fastest lap so far.

Hamilton pitted on lap 24, giving the lead back to Vettel. He pit on the soft tyres with a 2.2 second stop. Rosberg overtook the off-strategy Perez for 7th place.

Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Bottas were all close together on the circuit – Ricciardo and Bottas with tyres to go to the end of the race, while Raikkonen will need to stop again having taken the supersoft tyre at the last pitstop.

With Hamilton closing in on the Ferrari, Vettel was complaining about the back markers, although the tightest race was still between Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Bottas. Nico Rosberg was closing in on all of them in 7th.

Perez pitted on lap 31, swapping his soft tyres that he start on for a set of the supersoft. Only a lap later and Rosberg was right on the back of the group, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. They were also catching traffic.

Raikkonen pitted on lap 34, a set of soft compound tyres for the Finn coming out in 8th place. It released Ricciardo, Bottas and Rosberg, with the Mercedes getting close to overtake the Williams.

Ricciardo went straight on at the chicane, losing the position to Bottas. Massa came into the pits on lap 37 to retire the car. Vettel also pitted with Lewis Hamilton reaking the lead. The Ferrari took the soft tyre in traffic, with Ericsson ahead.

Having got ahead of Ricciardo, Bottas lead of the Red Bull increased quickly with Rosberg’s Mercedes clinging to the back of the Australian. Ricciardo pitted on lap 39 a second stop for the Red Bull driver, although another set of the soft tyres.

Hamilton was 7.3 seconds ahead of Vettel on lap 40, 30 laps remaining of the race. That gap was ever closing with Hamilton on tyre which were 13 laps older. A number of drivers at the lower end of the field also pitted swapping to a two stop. Bottas was also closing in on Verstappen for third, with Rosberg keeping in touch with the Williams.

Vettel set another fastest lap of the race, while Rosberg really close in on the back of the Williams. Rosberg said over the radio that there were ‘warnings on the steering wheel’, and was complaining to the team that he didn’t know what the warnings meant. The next lap and Rosberg was moving to get clean air on the back straight.

Verstappen pitted on lap 47 in the Red Bull, a set of the ultrasoft tyres for the Dutchman who was overtaken by both Bottas and Rosberg. Perez pitted as well in the Force India for his second stop after starting on the soft tyre. Sainz pitted from 9th on lap 49.

Having swapped to the ultrasoft tyre it was Verstappen who was the fastest driver on the circuit with 20 laps remaining.

Rosberg pitted on lap 52, he had a right rear puncture for the Mercedes bringing him out in seventh place. Just behind Ricciardo and Raikkonen in their own battle. Rosberg took the fastest lap quickly away from Verstappen, closing in even further on the Ferrari/Red Bull battle.

Rosberg went down the inside of the Red Bull on the back straight on lap 55 to make his pass. He immediately lost time to Raikkonen though trying to get ahead of traffic.

Hamilton in the lead was still over four seconds of Vettel, although the German made a mistake into the final chicane losing nearly a second and a half – back up to six seconds on lap 57.

Rosberg made an impossible move on Raikkonen a lap later stick into the final chicane.

The order with 10 laps remaining – Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Sainz.

Rosberg was flying though and closing in on Verstappen, while Vettel made another mistake into the chicane losing even more time. Kimi Raikkonen did the very same thing on the same lap.

Verstappen and Rosberg were in close quarters, a great defence by the Red Bull driver to keep his fourth position. After a couple of laps of attacking, Rosberg fell back after a couple of mistakes. Verstappen even started pulling away from the Mercedes, the gap going up to over a second and pulling him out of DRS range.

After a couple of laps of regrouping, Rosberg started to attack again on lap 68, with just a couple of laps ogf the race remaining. Rosberg was much closer with a lap and a half remaining. Verstappen went to the inside, but Rosberg made a mistake and spun at the chicane.

Hamilton won the race though to make it five victories in Canada, with Vettel coming over the line in second for Ferrari and a third place finish for Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen would retain his fourth, with Rosberg only just finshing ahead of Raikkonen.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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