Lewis Hamilton once again ruled the roost at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, on the Ille De Notre Dame in the St Lawrence Seaway in Montreal is a highlight of the Formula 1 season, a break between the European rounds. Known as a power reliant track compared to the prior rounds at Spain & Monaco the pecking order was shuffled slightly. We analyse each driver’s race in the simplest way we can, through marks out of ten.
Lewis Hamilton – 9
Ten years on since his maiden win in F1, Hamilton once more sees the top step of the podium. Montreal is a happy hunting ground for the Brit – this is his sixth time winning in Canada. He destroyed his teammate in qualifying by 0.7secs and matched his icon Ayrton Senna’s pole total of 65. It was a weekend that he needed, the hat-trick, pole, lights to flag and fastest lap. He kept the action kept behind him and caught up in the championship as we head to Baku.
Valteri Bottas – 7
The first 1-2 of the 2017 campaign for Mercedes, signs of the previous three seasons, but with Bottas all the challengers fell by the wayside. A poor qualifying from the Finn, a quite considerable gap of 0.4secs from the front row. He was helped by Ferrari’s issues as he took a comfortable second place. A solid result from the Finn but once more in the shadow of his teammate Hamilton.
Daniel Ricciardo – 8
The Honeybadger made it three podiums in a row, taking advantage of other drivers and using a unique strategy of running softs on the second stint rather than the super softs. He struggled early in the weekend with car trouble, and missed most of free practice two. The most important factor was his quick out lap which managed to keep Perez in the Force India at bay. We got to see a shooey to the delight of the Canadian fans – even getting Sir Patrick Stewart himself to partake in the ritual.
Max Verstappen – 8
Verstappen looked for all the world as if he could split the Mercedes after a blistering start, clipping Vettel’s wings especially. His race ended only ten laps in after an ERS failure and battery shutdown, the Ducthman visibly angry at his misfortune. Red Bull look as if they’ve made a step forward.
Sebastian Vettel – 9
Excellent recovery drive after contact damaged his front wing. Dropped to last after repairs, and a despite a damaged floor came from 16th to 4th. The four-time champion provided entertainment in the final twenty laps, limiting the damage to his championship lead to 13 points.
Raikkonen 7: A poor start saw Kimi stuck behind Perez and Ricciardo early on, the Iceman came alive when Ferrari switched the strategy to a two-stop. Unfortunate with brake failure but did well to preserve seventh from a difficult position with ten laps to go.
Sergio Perez – 8
Perez will not have won himself many French fans as he kept a faster Esteban Ocon behind him in the race-long battle for a podium position with Ricciardo. Perez will have his reasons, while Force India showed their car to be strong once again this season.
Esteban Ocon – 9
Showed a good temperament during the race and kept his head despite losing out to Vettel late on. His tyres were fresher at the end of the Grand Prix as Force India kept him out for a longer first stint, and wanted to have a go at the podium, but Perez refused to let him by.
Nico Hulkenburg – 7
The reliable Nico Hulkenburg scores points again after taking a gamble early on with the virtual safety car switching the strategy that they more than likely had planned. Renault are still not where they want to be and with this in mind it was a solid job all weekend. Almost caught the ailing Raikkonen at the end.
Jolyon Palmer – 6
This is the second successive race that the Brit has finished just outside the points after 11th in Monaco last time out. He’s faced constant speculation about his future after Hulkenberg’s excellent start at Renault. A man under pressure, he will be heartened by the step forward made in Montreal.
Lance Stroll – 8
The Canadian rookie got the monkey off his back as ninth place secured his first world championship points, at his home race. He is the first non-Villeneuve Canadian to score points in F1. After struggling in qualifying, Stroll executed a one-stop strategy well and we may now see the tension that he’s driven with all season loosened for the rest of the year.
Felipe Massa – 5
Massa was pole-axed by a pirouetting Carlos Sainz on lap one after being boxed in at the start. A good qualifying saw the Brazilian take seventh, and with power circuits such as Baku and the Red Bull Ring coming up, Williams can be confident of further points.
Romain Grosjean – 7
Grosjean managed to snatch a point from the jaws of nothing. The Swiss-Frenchman was chopped by Sainz on lap one to spark a safety car as the Spaniard was speared into an unsuspecting Felipe Massa. Picking up the pieces from Alonso’s engine failure on the penultimate lap, Haas’ weekend was rescued.
Kevin Magnussen – 5
A weekend to forget for Magnussen. He tried to be opportunistic at the end of the virtual safety car by pouncing on Stoffel Vandoorne, but timed his jump too early and earning himself a penalty. Failed to get out of the first qualifying session as both Haas’ struggled for pace through the weekend/
Marcus Ericsson – 6
This was always going to be a case of rolling treacle up a hill for Sauber. An underpowered old Ferrari engine was always going to suffer on a circuit where top speed is crucial. Sauber will be stronger on other circuits.
Pascal Wehrlein – 5
Wehrlein did himself few favours when he spun in qualifying, breaking his rear wing and gearbox. The German’s only route to points this weekend was going to be a Safety Car strategy call as in Barcelona, but it didn’t materialise for the ex-Manor man.
Stoffel Vandoorne – 6
Stoffel Vandoorne was another man on a hiding to nothing this weekend, with his Honda engine severely lacking in power. McLaren will hope improved results come on more twisty circuits.
Fernando Alonso – 8
Alonso had tigerishly fought his way up to ninth place until the penultimate lap, when his engine expired in a familiar tale of woe for the former double World Champion. The Spaniard still found time to vent his feelings about his engine during the race at a weekend in which he demanded McLaren show that they could win races by September. That looks well off.
Danil Kyvat – 5
Failed to get away for the formation lap and couldn’t get back into position. As a result received a drive through penalty. The Russian managed to fight his way back up to tenth but damage ended his day. Another chapter in a frustrating season for Kvyat.
Carlos Sainz – 5
His race lasted a matter of half a mile before his squeeze on an unco-operative Grosjean sent him to the wall, via the Williams of Massa. At a circuit where Toro Rosso were expected to struggle, he showed solid pace until Sunday.
Chris Lord & Jack Prentice
Image Credit: Steven Tee via PIRELLI MEDIA