MERC DOMINATES MONTREAL: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton bounced back after his Monaco fiasco to claim his fourth victory of the 2015 season in Canada Image: AP/ Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press
MONTREAL, Canada - Lewis Hamilton bounced back and extended his lead in the 2015 Drivers' championship on Sunday (June 7) when he beat Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg at the 2015 Canadian Formula 1 GP.
Hamilton made the most of the 44th F1 pole of his career to lead from the lights to the chequered flag, finishing the 70-lap race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 2.2 seconds ahead of Rosberg.
His victory closed off Rosberg's run of two wins and confirmed his own recovery from the disappointment of the Mercedes pit-stop fiasco at the 2015 Monaco GP, in which Hamilton was deprived of near-certain victory in the closing laps.
'I LOVE THIS TRACK'
It was Hamilton's fourth win in Canada, his fourth win in 2015 and the 37th win of his career, pushing him 17 points ahead of Rosberg in the title race with 151 points to his team mate's 134.
Hamilton said: "Did I need this (after Monaco)? Yes, I think I did. I love Montreal, I love this track and love this city. And it really feels good to be back on the top step again."
Rosberg was unable to mount a serious challenge as he came home second ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after surging through the field from 18th on the grid.
Felipe Massa finished sixth in the second Williams after another strong drive ahead of Pastor Maldonado who completed his first race of the season in seventh for Lotus.
The race proved disastrous for McLaren with both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button failing to finish.
On a mild and dry afternoon Hamilton oozed confidence and revelled in the pre-race 'Hollywood' build-up with actors Michael Douglas and Al Pacino in attendance.
MERCEDES IN COMMAND
Before the start, Hamilton thanked Mercedes for "all the hard work this weekend putting the car back together again," a reference to his crash during the second practice session on Friday (June 5).
Knowing Mercedes had never won at the track and that pole position had led to victory only five times in the previous 14 races, Hamilton made light of all expectations and worries when the lights went out.
By lap 10, he was 3.7 sec clear and controlling the race while, at the back, Vettel fought to find a way through from 18th in his Ferrari and Button chose to take his drive-through penalty almost immediately.
Alonso was left frustrated by McLaren's fuel consumption problems.
'WE LOOK LIKE AMATEURS'
Told on the radio to conserve fuel, Alonso snapped back: "I don't want to... I don't want to... I already have big problems... We look like amateurs... I will race and then concentrate on the fuel."
Raikkonen spun on lap 28, gifting third to Bottas, and a lap later Hamilton pitted for new tyres. After a 2.8 seconds stop, he was out behind Rosberg who pitted in 2.6 on lap 30 and re-joined second.
The two Mercedes driver were unchallenged but Rosberg had no intention of settling for second and closed the gap to less than two seconds. By half-distance in the 70-lap contest, Hamilton enlarged the advantage to 2.3 seconds again.
Hamilton maintained a 1.2 seconds lead on Rosberg as the pair were warned about fuel and brakes with 23 laps remaining. By lap 50, the gap was 1.6 with Bottas third, 23 seconds adrift.
'HE HIT ME!'
The relative serenity of proceedings was interrupted when Grosjean collided with Will Stevens of Manor Marussia, as he lapped him going into the chicane. Grosjean's car suffered a puncture while Stevens front wing was damaged.
Grosjean shouted on the radio: "He hit me, he hit me!"
The stewards investigated and the Grosjean driver was handed a five-second penalty. Stevens said: "Where does he want me to go? Off the track? He does that all the time..."
Recovering from his early difficulties, Vettel surged through the field and showing his Ferrari's speed he flew past Maldonado for fifth behind Raikkonen with 12 laps to go, his 13th place gained in the race.
By then, the leading duo were 28 seconds clear of Bottas and set for a duel in the final laps to the flag.
2015 Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.