SUPERB DRIVE IN MONTREAL: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton dedicated his Canadian Grand Prix victory to the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Image: AP / Paul Chiasson
Montreal - Lewis Hamilton pumped his fists in the air after claiming his second straight Formula 1 victory, and then headed to victory lane for a little shadow boxing.
He radioed to his crew: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. That was for Muhammad Ali."
Second win of 2016
Leaving from pole, Hamilton gave up the lead on Sebastian Vettel's audacious move at the start, but then regained it midway through the race when the German went to pit row. For the last 30 laps, Vettel's Ferrari tried unsuccessfully to chase down Hamilton.
It was the fifth win on Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Hamilton and the 45th of his F1 career. With the victory, he cut Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg's lead in the championship standings from 24 points to nine.
Vettel was second to move into third in the points race. Williams' Valtteri Bottas was third - his best finish of the season and his sixth time collecting points in seven races. Red Bull rookie Max Verstappen, the only non-Mercedes driver to pick up a win this year, was fourth.
Ali, who died last week, was a three-time world heavyweight champion, but Hamilton could claim his fourth F1 championship if he keeps going like this.
Nightmare race for Rosberg
And if his team mate keeps going in the opposite direction.
Rosberg won the first four events of the year to establish a 43-point lead in the standings. But he and Hamilton crashed in the first lap in Barcelona, two races ago, and Rosberg came in seventh two weeks ago in Monaco. Hamilton's victory then trimmed the lead from 43 points to 24.
Rosberg and Hamilton touched in the first lap again on Sunday, knocking the German into 10th. He worked his way back through the field and was in fifth on the penultimate lap when he tried to squeeze past Verstappen on the outside but couldn't hold it, spinning off course.
He was able to return to the course and maintain his position.
Actor Michael Douglas was at the track, conducting the post-race interview from the podium.
Canadian Grand Prix results:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes-AMG) 1h31:05.296,
2. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) at 5.011,
3. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams) 46.422,
4. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 53.020,
5. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes-AMG) 1:02.093,
6. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) 1:03.017,
7. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) 1:03.634,
8. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India) at one lap,
9. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Toro Rosso) one lap,
10. Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India) one lap,
11. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Honda) one lap,
12. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso) one lap,
13. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Haas) two laps,
14. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) two laps,
15. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber) two laps,
16. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Renault) two laps,
17. Pascal Wehrlein (GER/Manor) two laps,
18. Felipe Nasr (BRA/Sauber) two laps,
19. Rio Haryanto (INA/Manor) two laps
F1 drivers' championship: