Germany’s Sebastian Vettel has notched up his first ever win on North American tarmac, in the Canadian Grand Prix. He was hotly pursued by Lewis Hamilton, who was ultimately pipped for second place by Fernando Alonso.
Vettel achieved his first ever Formula One victory in Canada on Sunday, this time converting his spot at the front of the Canadian Grand Prix grid into top place on the podium.
In his two previous starts from the front of the pack in Montreal, Vettel has finished in second and fourth.
"Yes, we won Canada," said Vettel, letting out a whoop of delight upon passing the checkered flag. "It was amazing, the car was absolutely amazing," Vettel said to his team mates over the radio link. "Thank you boys."
The race began with a perfect start from pole for Vettel, who led Britain's Lewis Hamilton throughout the race.
The same could not be said for Finn Valterri Bottas who, after starting in third place, dropped to 12th in the early stages and eventually finished 14th.
While Vettel maintained a healthy lead for the duration of the race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, there were some dramatic moments just behind him. The action saw Vettel's Red Bull colleague Mark Webber close the gap on the two front runners after nudging past Mercedes' Nico Rosberg on lap 30.
From sixth to second
However, the Australian was hunted down by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who started in sixth, overtook Webber after he had suffered damage in contact with Giedo Van de Garde.
Alonso went on to relentlessly close in on Hamilton, edging past him on the outside after the start-finish line in the 62nd lap. However, Vettel was always too far in front for him to catch.
Three previous Formula One champions took to the podium, Alonso and Hamilton finishing second and third respectively.
"We've had good races before, but it didn't come together to win," Vettel said from the podium. "It made up for that today. Great feeling. Great car by the team, and we were really able to pull away from the rest of the field."
The win lifted Vettel to 132 points at the top of this year's drivers' championship table. Alonso is at second on 96, while Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen - who finished ninth in Canada - is at third in the overall standings with 88. Vettel's Red Bull team hold a commanding 56-point lead in the contstructors' championship just seven races into the season.