Hamilton defeats Vettel on strategy in Montreal
Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back victories as Mercedes strategically out-played Ferrari in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel sensationally blasted past both Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg off the start, cutting ahead of the Mercedes pair into Turn 1.
The German led Hamilton until lap 11 of 70, when the presence of a Virtual Safety Car to retrieve the stopped McLaren of Jenson Button saw Ferrari commit to a two-stop strategy.
Hamilton made his one and only stop on lap 24 and, after a short middle stint, Vettel made his second trip to pitlane 13 laps later.
Facing an eight second deficit over the remaining 32 laps, Vettel proved unable to seriously threaten the Mercedes, eventually taking the flag five seconds adrift.
“We overestimated the degradation of the tyres,” admitted Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene post-race.
“That’s the reason why we called him in and it was the wrong decision. We made a mistake.”
The bulk of the field joined Ferrari in running two-stop strategies after deeming a single stop too marginal on tyres in the cool conditions.
Valtteri Bottas made a one-stop work to score Williams’ first podium of the season in third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and championship leader Rosberg.
It was a fraught race for the second Mercedes driver, who was forced wide at Turn 1 on the opening lap after minor wheel-to-wheel contact with Hamilton.
Dropping to 10th, Rosberg appeared set for fourth when a puncture required a second stop late in the going.
Making short work of Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo after his unscheduled stop, Rosberg then suffered a wild spin into the final chicane on the penultimate lap while attempting to pass Verstappen.
Rosberg regained his composure to secure fifth ahead of Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.
All three retirements were due to engine issues, which claimed Button’s McLaren, Felipe Massa’s Williams and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault.
The results see Hamilton cut Rosberg’s championship lead to just nine points after seven of 21 races.