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Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix to seize championship lead

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Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix to seize championship lead

Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix to seize championship lead

Sebastian Vettel delivered a first Canadian Grand Prix win for Ferrari in 14 years on Sunday to snatch the lead in the Formula One world championship.

Vettel claimed his 50th career victory largely untroubled from pole position with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen following him onto the podium in Montreal.

Previous standings leader Lewis Hamilton struggled all day in his Mercedes and had to settle for fifth, behind Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull.

Vettel now has 121 points after seven season races with Hamilton on 120 and Bottas 86. The French Grand Prix is next on the calendar on June 24.

The 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has been kind to Hamilton in the past but starting from fourth, he never looked like challenging for a record-equalling seventh win in Canada.

Instead it was Vettel who dominated from the start, pulling away from Bottas and Verstappen who narrowly avoided a clash on the first lap.

Home favourite Lance Stroll was not so lucky as his Williams seemed to block out the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley, who rebounded off the wall into the Canadian to end both their races and bring out the safety car.

Both Red Bulls were on the quicker hypersoft tyres from the start, with Ferrari and Mercedes on ultras, but could not make their rubber advantage count.

Ricciardo passed Hamilton having pitted better on lap 18 and when Vettel finally pitted from the front after lap 37, he returned to lead Bottas by 5.7 seconds with the Finn having dived in just before.

Though the gap narrowed, Bottas made a needless 56th lap error by clipping the curb on turn one to end his slim chances and Vettel had no problem in seeing out the rest of the 70-lap contest to take victory.

It was a first win for the prancing horse team in Canada since Michael Schumacher won in 2004.

Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth ahead Renault duo Nico Huelkenberg and Carlos Sainz while Esteban Ocon (Force India) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber) completed the top 10.

Pierre Gasly finished just outside the points after taking his Toro Rosso from the back of the grid following penalties for changing his engine.

Fernando Alonso had a disappointing 300th race in F1 as he had to retire his McLaren with exhaust failure just after halfway.

Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen (both Haas), Sergio Perez (Force India), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Sergey Sorotkin (Williams) all made it to the end but didn’t score.

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