If Monaco was the race in which everything went right for Ferrari, the Canadian Grand Prix was the exact opposite.
Arriving in Montreal on a high after a 1-2 in Vettel’s favour with Hamilton only seventh in the principality, the Scuderia were confident that they could repeat their form in North America.
Second and fourth for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying put a damp towel on those expectations, but it was just the start of a frustrating weekend.
At the start, Verstappen’s jet-propelled Red Bull got ahead of and subsequently hit Vettel’s front wing as Sainz and Massa collided to bring the Safety Car out.
Vettel’s front wing was badly damaged with debris hitting his floor also hampering him for the race.
The German elected to pit two laps after the Safety Car period on lap 5, and bolted on the supersoft tyres. He emerged down in 17th position. Meanwhile, Raikkonen ran wide at turn seven and lost out to Perez.
At the front Mercedes were comfortable, Hamilton and Bottas pulling away after the retirement of second placed Max Verstappen with battery failure on lap 11.
This was just the tonic for a poor Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel’s determined drive earned him fourth place eventually after some masterful overtaking including a move on the inside of Esteban Ocon as he attacked Force India teammate Sergio Perez with five laps to go.
That result represents something of a save, as Hamilton took 13 points out of Vettel as opposed to the 19 Vettel took off the Brit in Monaco.
Raikkonen meanwhile had to limp home to seventh, after his brakes wore out towards the end. The Iceman was a little hot under the collar after an off at the final chicane, but held off the charging Nico Hulkenberg.
Formula One’s second visit to Azerbaijan in two weeks looks set to follow the rest of the season in being on a knife edge.
Image Credit: Pirelli Media