Lewis Hamilton powers to Canadian Grand Prix win ahead of Nico Rosberg

With no outside interference there was nothing to stop Lewis Hamilton as he comfortably kept Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg behind him to pick up his fourth win of the season and the 37th of his career, writes Graham Caygill.

Lewis Hamilton (front) of Mercedes-GP and teammate Nico Rosberg at the Canada Formula One Grand Prix, 07 June 2015.  EPA
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In many ways yesterday’s Canadian Grand Prix was a repeat of the action in Monaco two weeks ago.

Lewis Hamilton converted pole position into the lead at the start and then controlled proceedings at the front in his Mercedes-GP.

But there was no safety car late in the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, unlike there had been in Monte Carlo, and no chance for Mercedes to get their tactics wrong and lose him track position with an unnecessary pit-stop.

With no outside interference there was nothing to stop Hamilton as he comfortably kept Mercedes Nico Rosberg behind him to pick up his fourth win of the season and the 37th of his career.

It was the perfect riposte for the world champion after his Monaco woe, where he had taken third and lost 10 points to the victorious Rosberg and he will now head to the next round in Austria on June 21 with his championship lead up to 17 points.

The Briton said: “I didn’t feel I had the most comfortable balance but I didn’t feel under too much pressure.

“It felt intense, I really enjoyed it. Did I need this? I think so.”

His lead over Rosberg in Montreal was never more than five seconds, but despite concerns from his team over fuel management, he ensured Rosberg never truly looked like putting him under real threat.

Rosberg, who has now been beaten by his teammate in five of the seven races this year, put on a brave face post-race as he said: “I was pushing like mad but I couldn’t quite make it. Second place is still OK.”

The race demonstrated again Mercedes’s superiority at present over the rest of the field with the victory their 22nd in the past 27 races.

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It had helped their prospects that Sebastian Vettel, the man most likely to cause them trouble in a straight fight, had started from the rear of the field in 18th place after engine problems and then a five-place grid penalty for overtaking another car under red flag conditions in practice had hampered him.

The German was one of the highlights of the race as he demonstrated just how much improved Ferrari are this year compared to their disastrous 2014, as he charged through the field with a number of aggressive moves.

The four-time world champion was fortunate to escape without a penalty, however, after almost coming together at the final corner with compatriot Nico Hulkenberg on Lap 45 in an incident which led to the Force India man spinning.

Vettel, who had also come close to hitting the McLaren of Fernando Alonso earlier in the race, went on to complete a successful damage limitation job by taking fifth spot.

He finished only 4.4 seconds behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who continued his frustrating season by missing out on a podium finish thanks to a spin at the hairpin mid-race after he made the first of his two pit stops.

Raikkonen’s error allowed Valtteri Bottas to claim Williams’s first podium of the season as he took third, albeit a distant one from the Mercedes cars, crossing the line 40 seconds adrift of Hamilton at the finish.

“It was really good teamwork all weekend,” Bottas said. “A mistake by Kimi allowed us to make up one position.

“We really needed this. It really boosts the confidence. We are a top team and we can fight for the podiums.”

Bottas’s teammate Felipe Massa was the other star of the race as he came up from 15th on the grid to take sixth behind the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, with Hulkenberg recovering from his drama with Vettel to take eighth.

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Star performer There were fine drives through the field from Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa but Lewis Hamilton drove beautifully, dealing with fuel management concerns with his team while ensuring he was never truly threatened by Mercedes-GP teammate Nico Rosberg.

Underperformer Romain Grosjean threw away his and Lotus's first chance of a top-five finish this season when he clumsily pulled across into the path of the Marussia of Will Stevens as he lapped him, causing a collision that gave Grosjean a puncture and earned him a five-second penalty.

Key moment As is so often in F1 the start was the defining moment of the afternoon. Hamilton did not get away well off the line, but he was able to block Rosberg and once he had the lead he was able to pace his way to a fourth win from eight visits to Montreal.

Low point The continued feeble form of McLaren as their reunion with Honda goes from one disappointment to another. Both cars failed to finish, supplying two of the three non-finishes in the race, and a frustrated Fernando Alonso summed it up well when he told his team on the radio: "We're looking like amateurs."

Move of the race Massa produced a sensational move to overtake the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson early in the race, going wheel-to-wheel around the outside of Turns 1 and 2 before completing the move at Turn 3.

Our verdict Not a classic at the front as the racing was largely processional as the Mercedes cars again proved too good for everyone else. The entertainment value came from the midfield and from some great overtaking by Vettel and Massa particularly.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

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