Sebastian Vettel crossed the line first in Montreal, but a time penalty cost him his first win of the 2019 season on the track where he secured his first pole. Lewis Hamilton took advantage in a tight race.
It was a race that summarized Sebastian Vettel's season so far at Ferrari, perhaps even his entire time at the Italian giants. The four-time world champion started on pole, his first of the season, and led for most of the race. But one moment on lap 48 cost him the win. His reaction said everything about his frustration.
Under pressure from Hamilton, Vettel went too hard into the chicane on turn three and ran on to the grass. The German returned to the track just ahead of Hamilton who was forced to brake sharply or face being pushed into the wall.
It took the race stewards a long time to decide, but when the news came through that Vettel would be hit by a five second penalty, Vettel was raging.
"I had nowhere to go. Seriously, I had nowhere to go," fumed Vettel. "They are stealing the race from us."
His frustration appeared to get the better of him, but he slowly began to increase the gap again. That moment lasted only a brief moment though, as Hamilton's faster car began to eat away at the gap.
Vettel crossed the line first, with Hamilton breathing down his neck. Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc nearly made up the time to bump Vettel down to third, but narrowly missed out.
Vettel wasn't done yet. "Where the hell am I supposed to go? This is the modern world. This is not fair. Great crowd, great race," he said on the radio as he drove his car to parc ferme, seemingly keen to avoid the podium.
Vettel avoided interviews and walked through the paddock straight to the stewards, cameras following him all the way. He eventually returned to the green room, but not before the frustration got the better of him and swapped the signs by the cars so that his read first and Hamilton's second.
It was a human response, but also a sign of Vettel letting the emotion get the better of him. This season he has spent most of the time on the edge or just off the podium. His second-placed finish last time out in Monaco was a refreshing change. His last race win came at Spa last season. It has been a tough stretch for the man who used to dominate the sport.
This isn't the first time that Vettel has shown his frustration, but it was perhaps the rawest he has appeared. The conversations had behind closed doors will likely be loud.
"That's not the way I wanted to win," Hamilton said afterwards. The result though, the Briton will welcome. It puts him even further clear at the top, 29 points clear of teammate Bottas.
Vettel remains 62 points behind Hamilton, and already his title challenge appears to be fading. There are of course 14 races left, with France next in two weeks' time. For Vettel to truly re-establish his title challenge, he first has to rediscover his composure.
As it happened:
1 Hamilton 2 Vettel 3 Leclerc 4 Bottas 5 Verstappen 6 Ricciardo 7 Hulkenberg 8 Gasly 9 Stroll 10 Kvyat
— Vettel says that Hamilton shouldn't be booed. Nice touch, but this will go down as another tricky day for Vettel, and one that might mark a turning point in the season.
— Just because it was incredible to see, that is worth another look. Vettel takes the trophy, graciously. Then Vettel stays away from the champagne of Mercedes. Hamilton and Vettel clink bottles though, in thanks. It looks like Vettel has recovered his composure a bit. A human response is perfectly normal, but that was still a surprise.
— He comes in, shakes hands with everyone, but you could cut the tension with a knife. It might be warm in Montreal, but it is freezing in that green room. They head to the podium. Vettel has a face of thunder. Hamilton takes top spot and invites Vettel to join him. Nice touch. Vettel thanks him, but then returns to the second spot. Vettel still looks furious.
— Leclerc said the team deserved a win, and he's not sure why Vettel didn't get one. Vettel makes his way back towards the podium, waving to the fans. Perhaps he has got his frustration out, but then Vettel walks up to where the cars and puts the number two sign where Hamilton's car is, swapping the number one to his spot. If he heads to the green room now, it will be intense.
— This is interesting. Vettel misplaces his car and so it's not near the usual spot. He then heads off through the garage, avoiding the interviews and going straight to the stewards.
Hamilton says Vettel is entitled to his opinion, but that he doesn't agree. He is grateful for his teamwork.
— "Where the hell am I supposed to go? This is the modern world. This is not fair. Great crowd, great race," Vettel says on the radio. His frustration is clear to hear.
"That's not the way I wanted to win, but great race guys," Hamilton says on the radio.
70/70 LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX!
Vettel crosses the line first, but the time penalty bumps him down and means that Lewis Hamilton takes top spot. Still waiting on Leclerc's time...
69/70 Leclerc is smashing the time down behind Vettel. He might just run out of laps though. He has it down to 5.7 behind Vettel. We approach the final lap. Hamilton is just 0.5 behind Vettel.
68/70 Leclerc posts the fastest lap, right when he needs to. That's putting pressure on Vettel. He is pushing it! Bottas is asked to box in order to get the fastest lap, and he can do so with such a huge lead over Verstappen. Vettel told to push, but it seems a weak effort of encouragement. Stroll overtakes Sainz on his home track. Nice moment for him and his family.
66/70 Vettel has gone from being in control, to out of it, to back in it and then back out of it again. His season in a race. That lead has completely gone now. Hamilton is just 0.6 behind. If he overtakes him that might have an effect on Leclerc (who is 7.9 behind). Alborn's race day is over, just before the end. That's tough.
63/70 "I am focused, but they're stealing the race from us," Vettel says after repeating that he had nowhere else to go. He is not a happy man. Hamilton just has to stay in touch to seal the win here. We have 7 laps to go and Hamilton is 1.5 behind. The rest of the pack are as they were. Renault looking good for a 6th and 7th finish, which would make for a top weekend. Stroll in 10th on his home lap. Leclerc posts the fastest lap.
60/70 OUCH! Vettel is hit with a 5 second penalty for dangerously returning to the track. As it stands, he won't win this one. He is 2.5 ahead of Hamilton, who is just told that Vettel has a 5 second gap.
"I had nowhere to go. I didn't see him," Vettel said over the radio when he's told. Not happy. There could be some post-race drama. Hamilton asks for more power. Just 10 laps to go!
57/70 Vettel seems to have got himself together after that issue. He's edging away a bit from Hamilton all of a sudden. Not long to go now. Has Vettel done enough? The turn 4 incident is still under investigation though. Bottas posts the fastest lap.
"This is the worst experience I've ever had in any race car ever," says Kevin Magnussen on the radio. A nightmare weekend for the Haas man. He's 18th. "It's also not nice for us. Enough means enough," says team boss Günther Steiner. That's a telling off if ever there was one.
52/70 Well, well, well. Vettel and Hamilton's near crash is under investigation, which may mean a time penalty for the German. Did he force Hamilton out of the way right at the end when there was no room to move? That's what they're looking at, I believe. Hamilton did say he rejoined the track dangerously. Verstappen speeds past Hulkenberg and Ricciardo in no time at all, loving life on his new tires. Vettel posts a fastest lap.
49/70 Hamilton wants to know where Vettel is faster so he knows where to push. Hamilton is hunting him down. What's this? Vettel slips off the track, skids across the grass, opening up a gap for Hamilton but the German gets across just in time to block him and force Hamilton to break as well. Vettel is at his limit. Can he hold on. That was nearly a crash! Verstappen pits and then comes out in 7th.
46/70 Verstappen is reaching the end of his tire life, and will surely pit soon. Vettel is holding Hamilton just at bay. Bottas posts the fastest lap. Vettel knows that Hamilton is faster. The German knows now that he must drive to superbly to keep his top spot. "The numbers on the steering wheel are correct." Vettel is told on the radio. "Take action." Can Vettel do that?
42/70 Moment for Stroll, who started in 17th but is now up to 8th. Must be nice on his home track. Bottas is 32.6 from Vettel, but has a good chance of keeping close on Verstappen who still hasn't pitted. Hamilton loses it a bit with some heavy breaking, but he is still very close! Perhaps there is more drama ahead...
40/70 Ricciardo is 14 seconds behind Verstappen. Hamilton keeps posting fastest laps. Vettel will be looking in his mirror. Ricciardo can no longer hold off Bottas and his great defense finally comes to an end.
37/70 Verstappen can't hold off the faster Ferrari of Leclerc, and he hasn't pitted yet. Hamilton is faster than Vettel now. Ricciardo is just 0.505 ahead of Bottas. Very tight.
35/70 Leclerc pits and comes out just behind Verstappen, who has yet to pit. Not an ideal move there by Ferrari. Hamilton posts the fastest lap.
33/70 Bottas pits and comes back out in 6th on hard tires. The plan appears to be to get Leclerc to cover Vettel's lead, although he's a second slower than the two behind him. Don't think he'll win, but he might help his teammate to do so. Grosjean can't hold off Perez in midfield. Ricciardo is just about holding off Bottas.
30/70 Hamilton pits after saying his tires are, to put it politely, done. Ferrari seemed to have played this well. Hamilton comes out in third. Leclerc now leads ahead of Vettel, who sets the new fastest lap time. When will Leclerc and Bottas pit? Vettel's teammate is told to stay out and push on. Let's see how that works.
28/70 Vettel pits. Hamilton pushes. There's around a 50 percent chance of a Hamilton overtake of Vettel. Hamilton is just told to push on because they don't have the gap. Not sure that's a great call. His chances of overtaking are going to reduce with each corner. That 50 percent chance drops to 9 by the end of that lap.
26/70 Renault are loving life at the moment. Ricciardo and Hulkenberg are in 6th and 7th. There are some concerns about Hulkenberg though. Vettel is told to push. Hamilton says he doesn't have much life left on the current tires. Pit lanes are about to get busy I think...
23/70 Leclerc is 3.3 behind Hamilton. The front four are all on mediums. Leclerc is closing in on the Briton though. However, Hamilton is closing in on Vettel. It's making for a tight race at the top and the pit strategy will prove decisive.
21/70 Vettel just told on the radio: "Plan B". Does that mean he won't pit until much later? The top 5 have yet to pit. Leclerc is told the same. No response from either driver.
19/70 Hulkenberg is the only one soft but the strategy seems to be working for him. What a start for him! But, he comes in to pit after 17 laps. He comes back out ahead of Gasly though, and so only drops to 7th. Ricciardo is up to sixth. The question is how long can Verstappen and Bottas hold off given that they haven't pitted yet. Vettel is looking dominant. He's already overtaken the last three drivers. Speed. Leclerc with the fastest lap.
15/70 Norris' car is cleared, with means the yellows are gone. Back to racing! Hamilton took half a second off Vettel on lap 12 but Vettel posts another fastest lap and now is back to 2.6 seconds ahead. Ricciardo is up to 7th, leaving hometown Stroll in his wake.
12/70 There are yellow flags out by they go after two laps. Perez pits, which bumps Ricciardo and Gasly up in midfield. Hamilton is 2.1 behind Vettel. Bottas is struggling in fifth and Verstappen is chasing him down. Expecting a move there soon. Yellow flags are back now, although not sure why.
9/70 Verstappen powers past Norris, almost annoyed that he lost that spot in the first place. Gasly goes into the pits on lap seven. He swaps to soft and drops to 13th. Norris' back tire is broken and there's a fire on it. No need for the safety car I don't think. He sprints off, and the car is well placed not to disrupt the race. Vettel sets another fastest lap. Ricciardo goes from softs to hard, which drops him down as well but he's still ahead of Gasly. Hulkenberg benefits from all the pits and moves up.
6/70 Norris has overtaken Verstappen but that is already shaping up to be a tasty battle. Leclerc sets a new fastest time only for Vettel to beat it a lap later.
4/70 I might have been a bit generous to Hulkenberg there. He overtook only Bottas, but still that bumps the Mercedes man down to 7th. Vettel has laid down a very fast pace early. Will be a question of whether the tires can handle it. He posts a fastest lap on lap four.
1/70 Off we go! All the eyes on Hamilton given his technical issues but he holds off Leclerc who tries to cut in on the first corner. Vettel streams away. Hulkenberg does brilliantly, moving through the field.
— Toto Wolff, Mercedes boss, says before the race: "The car was in bits earlier. I hope we make it through." That doesn't exactly sound encouraging, does it? Could be a tough day for Hamilton. Is Vettel going to win in Canada for the second straight year?
— Last year's race saw Vettel take the checkered flag, ahead of Bottas and Verstappen. Hamilton finished fifth.
— Not the best news for Lewis Hamilton as start approaches.
— A photo says a thousand words. What were you up to when you were 21?
— And a look at the top half of both the drivers' and the constructors' championship standings.
1. Hamilton - 137 points
2. Bottas - 120
3. Vettel - 82
4. Verstappen - 78
5. Leclerc 57
1. Mercedes - 257 points
2. Ferrari - 139
3. Red Bull Racing-Honda - 110
4. McLaren-Renault - 30
5. Racing Point - 17
— Here's a reminder of how the starting grid will look later on.
— It's lights out tonight in Europe, but make sure you know when it starts where you are.
— Good afternoon! Well, who expected that? Sebastian Vettel claimed his first pole of the season, pipping Lewis Hamilton to top spot. The German finished second in Monaco last time out but has spent most of the season just beyond the podium. It hasn't really been his season. Hamilton, on the other hand, hasn't finished lower than second and leads the drivers' championship by 17 points over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. It should be good fun!