Bias F1 Stewards gift Hamilton a win in Canada
Lewis Hamilton wanted a fair fight with Sebastian Vettel, and he had it.
However, the Stewards wanted Hamilton to win so they handed Vettel a 5-second penalty for what most would view as a racing incident.
Vettel went off into the grass on one corner and slithered back onto the track, the car's tires dirty and Vettel going along for the ride.
Hamilton had to touch the brakes to avoid a collision and they carried on their battle no worse for wear.
The fans thought they were watching a great battle for the win. Vettel crossed the line 1.3-sec ahead of Hamilton in what was the greatest F1 race in a very long time, but it was all ruined by the race Stewards.
It was a record 7th win in the Canadian GP for Hamilton.
Charles Leclerc crossed the line in third in the 2nd Ferrari.
Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly endured a frustrating race to finish P8, while a strong home race from Lance Stroll saw him finish ninth from 17th on the grid, ahead of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.
Sebastian Vettel has admitted he didn't want to join in with the podium celebrations, but felt he had to out of respect for his rivals and team-mate.
Vettel had to be persuaded to return to the podium – but before doing so he switched the #1 and #2 boards around – and admitted he only took part out of respect.
"I didn’t want to join in with anything," he said. "I was angry and disappointed, I think everyone understands why, but I think it’s respect to show to Lewis and Charles [Leclerc] and the representative from Mercedes to be part of the podium.
"Certainly it’s not the place I wanted to be, at that point I wanted to get out, being there is not of my free will but I had to be there."
Vettel remained on the podium during the celebrations and stuck around for the driver interviews with former driver Martin Brundle.
What does the rulebook Say?
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton (1st):I'm really, really grateful - I had a crash on Friday, so I was on the backfoot, and then this morning we had an engine problem. The guys worked so hard and did a great job to fix it, so they truly deserved to have a car out there. I was trying to drive for them and really wanted to get the best result I can for them. It's not easy to follow around here, so I was trying to build the pressure on Sebastian to maybe push him into an error and he made one. I still wanted to win the right way and overtake him on the track, so I was fighting until the finish line, but my tires were gone. Ferrari did a fantastic job this weekend, they were so fast on the straights and Sebastian drove a great race, it took absolutely everything from me to try and keep up with them. It's not a great feeling and ultimately that's not how I want to win races, but I drove my heart out today to make my team proud and I feel like I did that.
Valtteri Bottas (4th):I made a costly mistake in qualifying yesterday and that made today very difficult. I struggled to get through the Red Bull and the Renaults in the beginning; whenever I closed in on the cars in front, the engine and the brakes were close to their temperature limits, so I had to do a lot of lift and coast which made it tricky to attack. By the time I had finally passed them, I had lost too much time to fight for a podium place. The pace of the car was good once I was in free air, so we decided to do an additional pit stop at the end and fight for the quickest lap on fresh tires. It's nice to get the extra point for fastest lap, but ultimately I lost the race in qualifying yesterday. I think we can expect another tough battle in France; it's a circuit with long straights so Ferrari should be quick again, but I'm looking forward to the fight.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal:It was a tricky weekend for us and a tricky way to end the race. The Stewards have looked at the incident with Sebastian and Lewis and I think it needs to be respected. Sometimes decisions go against you, and sometimes they go in your favor. A decision like this is never black and white and everyone will have different opinions on this and of course I respect that. We've had one of the most difficult weekends this year. We've had to overcome some challenges this weekend like a fuel pressure issue on Valtteri's car on Friday and a hydraulic leak on Lewis' car this morning which required rebuilding almost the entire car. We were not even sure that we'd make it to the race or whether the car would finish. And all this is happening behind the scenes, so I can only congratulate the team for their incredible efforts this weekend to be competitive and of course Lewis for what was a fantastic drive which in the end got us the victory. Valtteri had a trickier day in the office, starting P6 and struggling with overheating issues. His race was lost in qualifying yesterday, so coming home fourth and getting the additional point for the fastest lap was damage limitation.
James Allison, Technical Director:It's been a hot, hard and difficult day in the office, not just for our two drivers, who raced strongly in the heat today, but also for the whole team. A hydraulic leak caused us to have to do a lot of work on Lewis' car in the morning and was not at all easy to get the car ready for the race. The mechanics did tremendous work to get everything prepared and ready. For a race weekend that had started pretty strongly, our races were very tough. Valtteri was able to make really decent progress and good pace in free air, but it was a different thing altogether getting past those really quite quick Renaults in front of him. Eventually having done that, he made a good fist of getting into fourth place. Lewis had one of the hardest races with us for some while, having to wring every last drop out of the car to keep up with a very hard charging Sebastian. You could say that the incident which gave rise to the penalty was a result of the pressure that Lewis was putting on him and therefore you can take some satisfaction from the win, but it clearly doesn't feel quite as joyful to win under these circumstances - however well-earned - as it does in a more conventional manner. But it was a really great drive by Lewis today and he got the just rewards for his efforts.
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow
Sebastian Vettel (2nd): “I think we had a great race and the stewards’ decision is too harsh. In turn 3, I lost control of my car and I had to run long onto the grass, rejoining at turn 4 ahead of Lewis. I couldn’t see where he was, as I was too busy trying to keep my car on track without crashing and I didn’t squeeze him on purpose. I think given the way things went this weekend and even though our rivals’ race pace was very strong, we deserved the win, and I get the impression that lots of the spectators here today at the circuit agree with me. It’s always nice to race in Canada, I feel a lot of support from the people and it would have been wonderful to have given all our fans the first big result of the season.”
Charles Leclerc (3rd): “I am quite happy with my race today, despite it having been a rather lonely one for me. I think that we couldn’t have got a better result and our performance was strong from the first to the last lap. At the same time, it is a shame for the team to have lost the first win of the season. I look forward to the next race in France now. It is difficult to say where we will stand there, as the circuit here in Montreal suits our car very well, but we will work as hard as we can to continue improving and fighting for strong results.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: “At the moment, we, as a team, are naturally disappointed, but most of all our thoughts are with Sebastian and the spectators. As for Seb, I don’t think he could have done things differently, which is why we have decided to appeal the Stewards’ decision. We leave Canada knowing that today, as indeed over the whole weekend, we proved we were competitive and that fact has been a confidence booster for the whole team.”
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen (5th):It was a controlled drive today. We stayed out of trouble at the beginning of the race and there was not much more I could do in the closing stages. I did a very long first stint which worked quite well to clear the traffic and once we pitted I quickly cleared the Renault’s. From there I pulled away and was able to focus on my own race but we were not quick enough to catch the leaders. It was at least fun doing a bit of overtaking and we scored good points again but I think realistically fifth was where we expected to finish. It was not our weekend and I would of course like more but we have to work hard now to try and close the gap at the next race.
Pierre Gasly (8th):It was a pretty difficult day but the car actually felt quite good so it is disappointing to finish where we did. We expected to be stronger than this. We struggled with traffic and had to save the brakes, which compromised us a bit, and I of course wanted to finish better than this. We need to analyze everything and see what we can improve but I also need to work hard before the next race. I hope we can find more pace and come back stronger for my home race.
Christian Horner, Sporting Director:Another strong race and a good recovery drive for Max today progressing from ninth to fifth. He lost quite a bit of time in the early laps clearing traffic but running long on the hard tire was a strategy that worked well. He managed a small brake issue in the last few laps but finished the race comfortably in P5. With Pierre we tried to get the undercut on Daniel during the pit stop, we nearly made it, but he unfortunately got stuck behind Stroll which pretty much ended his race, allowing Hulkenberg to sneak ahead. Fifth and eighth were not the results we were looking for but heads down and the focus is on Paul Ricard.
Renault Sport Formula One Team
Daniel Ricciardo (6th):I did all I could out there and I’m happy with the end result. It’s the team’s first double points of the year and it’s a big one in sixth and seventh, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. There are definitely positive signs this weekend. We know the top teams are superior at this stage, but still, it was a lot of fun to battle Valtteri [Bottas] for a few laps out there. We’re realistic in our approach, but the team should be proud of this weekend. They have that drive and determination to push on now and that’s really encouraging.
Nico Hulkenberg (7th):We can be pleased with that today as it’s a really good team result. I had strong pace throughout the race, kept the Softs in good shape, and then had fresher tires at the end. I had to back off a little bit to stop the car overheating and from there we settled for a solid team result. We’re leaving here with a smile on our faces. The last three or four weekends have been compromised for various reasons and today we achieved the full potential of the car. It’s an excellent reward for the team’s hard work at both Enstone and Viry and now we have to aim to keep the momentum going.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:This weekend is no more than the blueprint we set ourselves as an objective and the demonstration that we are able to achieve it. We need it to continue in the upcoming races and Daniel’s sixth position and Nico’s seventh, the best possible results at this stage under normal conditions, restart our season. The drivers were faultless all over the weekend. Daniel was exceptional in his qualifying lap yesterday, he gave us all a smile nearly as wide as his! The rest of the team executed everything impeccably giving us confidence back while also not forgetting errors made at the beginning of the season. We remain very concentrated and conscious of the work there is left to do. We’re moving forward to the French Grand Prix from tonight, as it marks the second stage of our recovery plan after the first one on the engine side, which has benefitted from the visibility and the recognition it deserved on the most challenging circuits of the calendar.
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
Romain Grosjean (14th):It was a long afternoon. Everything went south at the start; the guys take a lot of risks going three-wide. I just picked up all the damage. I was dead last, and after that we didn’t have much pace. A few laps were good, then others were very difficult. We need to analyze everything, get a better understanding of how to go fast in the race.
Kevin Magnussen (17th):We have such a good car, and qualifying is brilliant, we can fight anyone in the midfield – and we’ve been on ‘best of the rest’ pole many times this year. So, it’s very hard to keep emotions under control in situations like today. There was nothing meant towards the team over the radio. They did an amazing job this weekend. I made a mistake in qualifying, and they’ve been able to build me a completely new car for the race today. We just have these tires that don’t work in the race for us. It’s hard to not be very disappointed, I know the whole team is. They deserve a lot better.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:The weekend didn’t end better than yesterday. We got two cars to the end, but the result is quite disappointing.
McLaren F1 Team
Carlos Sainz (11th):Disappointing end to the weekend. I was forced to pit very early on lap three because of a tear-off stuck in a brake duct. We had to pit immediately to remove it, since it caused excessive overheating, and to go onto the Hard tires. We had good pace at times but 67 laps were just too many for the tires, and not even the extra tire management was enough to maintain the fight for points. We weren’t able to show our true pace today, which I think was a solid points finish had it not been for that early pit-stop.
Lando Norris (Retired):I had a problem with overheating at the back of the car which led to my retirement – I have no clue what happened and until the team have looked at it in detail we don’t know for sure. I didn’t hit a wall or anything so I’ve no idea. It’s annoying because until then it had been a fun race, battling with Max in the opening laps. There was good potential to maybe get some points today so it’s especially frustrating. But these things happen, so it’s a case of now looking ahead to Paul Ricard.
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal:After having some good Sundays at recent races, there were several incidents today which meant we weren’t able to score the points we hoped would be on the table with the pace we had in our cars. Unfortunately we lost Lando’s car quite early in the race due to an mechanical issue at the rear of the car, which we still need to investigate in full once the car is back in the garage. For Carlos, we had to pit on lap three as one brake corner was overheating. Frustratingly, we found some parts of a tear-off visor inside one of the brake ducts, which we tried to remove as best we could. At the same time we had to put him on the Hard tires, and try to manage the pace over the remaining distance of the race to make the strategy work by not adding an additional pit-stop. Carlos did a great job managing the tires for 67 laps but unfortunately ran out of tires in the last five laps and there was no way for him to hold the two cars behind. It's important now for the entire team to leave this weekend behind us as quickly as possible and focus on preparation for the French Grand Prix.
Racing Point F1 Team
Lance Stroll (9th):The car performed so well today and it feels great to score points in Montreal. The lead up to the race wasn’t easy – losing the power unit yesterday and taking a performance hit by going back to the old engine – but we kept pushing, went out there and grabbed a couple of points. My start was strong, which moved me up a few positions and the key to our strategy was all about going long on the first stint with the hard tire. By the time we switched to the medium, we were in good shape and I was able to chase down [Carlos] Sainz and make the move for ninth place. It was a really fun race: I put all my emotions on the table today and loved every minute of it. The team really deserved this: they’ve put in some long hours this week and it’s a boost for us all. It has been an awesome week with great support from the crowd. I’m going to remember this one for a while.
Sergio Perez (12th):Not such a good day for me - but a good day for the team, scoring two points with Lance. We knew that getting into the points was going to be tricky, so we went with different strategies to try to maximize the opportunities. As it turned out, Lance was on the better strategy - but you only know which was the best strategy after the race. The whole weekend wasn't great for me. The pace today was quite poor - but I was always stuck in traffic, so the temperatures were on the limit and we couldn't do much about that. In the first stint, I suffered with the high track temperature, but, more than that, I could only put pressure on Kvyat ahead for two laps before I had to look after the brakes, which made things even harder. As a team we minimized the damage of the weekend - and that's important at the tough races.
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer:It’s fantastic to see Lance score points at his home race. After such a tough Saturday, he delivered a really strong performance today to fight through the field from P17 to ninth. He kept his head down and made the strategy work with some decisive overtakes too. Checo’s strategy - with the medium tire for the first stint - didn’t play out as well, but we felt it was worth splitting the strategies between the cars. These two points are important after a tough couple of races and show all the hard work is beginning to pay off in terms of performance and results.
Alfa Romeo Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi (13th):Finishing in P13 is quite a disappointment, especially since we thought we had the speed to make up some places in the race. The pace wasn’t really there, easy as that. We need to find a solution because we appear to lose our competitiveness on Sunday and that is really hurting us.
Kimi Raikkonen (15th):Not an easy weekend, not an easy race, as we didn’t have the speed to fight for position. Some laps it felt better, then there were laps where we struggled to find grip. We have work to do and we also will get new parts and this should help us to get back into the fight for points.
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal:After being very close to getting into Q3 yesterday, we were convinced we could have a good race performance. However, an unscheduled stop for Kimi due to a visor strip – not his own, this time – in his brake duct and Antonio suffering contact in lap one prevented us from competing against the rest of the midfield. We are working hard to understand the performance of the tires and we’ll make the most of the developments we have lined up for the next few races. I am confident we can recover the speed we showed earlier in the season and get back in the fight for points.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Daniil Kvyat (10th):It was a cool race! I really didn’t want to finish P11, it would have sucked if we didn’t get any points today. It was a good fight with Carlos at the end, I like having battles with him on track as it’s always on the limit, and it was nice to get the overtake done. I think we got pretty much everything we could out of the car today, so I’m very happy with how the race went. Now we’ll continue to work hard to score more points in the next races.
Alexander Albon (Retired):It was a tough race today, we had some front wing damage at the start which pretty much put an end to my race. Maybe I could have braked later in the corner and Perez could have gone on the inside, but it is what it is. After that to be honest, the pace wasn’t so strong, so we need to have a look at that. I’ve been struggling a bit on the long runs this weekend, so we have some work to do to understand why.
Franz Tost, Team Principal:From the beginning of this weekend, our performance showed we weren’t on the same level as in Monaco. Nevertheless, the engineers and drivers did a very good job to compensate for the deficiencies we had. We started the race from P10 and P13 and both drivers had relatively good starts. Unfortunately, Alex had a collision with Giovinazzi where he lost the front wing, so we had to pit him early to change to a new one and move him onto the base tire. At this point, the race was more or less over for Alex because he lost too much time after the collision, so we retired him to save mileage on the PU. Daniil had a fantastic race and defended his position very well against Perez at the start, and towards the end of the race, he was able to increase his performance which enabled him to pass others and score a point. I think this was the maximum we were able to achieve here, so we have to analyze all the data and figure out where we were losing here in Canada compared to others, to come back in the upcoming races with a stronger performance and get both cars finishing in the points.
Jody Egginton, Head of Vehicle Performance:Today leaves me with mixed emotions really. On the one hand, we had a good race with Dany scoring a point following a nice little end of race battle with Stroll and Sainz. On the other hand, unfortunately, the opportunity for Alex to be involved in the midfield fight has ended at the start of the race with contact, necessitating a front wing change and no possibility to come back from this. On the team side, the guys performed well in the pit stops, the engineers managed the tires and race strategy well and we have learnt a few things about our car here in Canada. We now look forward to the next few races, which we expect will suit our package a bit better.
Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director:We leave Canada having got three cars in the points, but in every case not as high up as we would have liked, after a difficult qualifying on Saturday. Daniil never gave up fighting and claimed his point for tenth right at the very end. As for Alex, he was unlucky to be involved in a first lap collision which meant he had to pit to change the nose and there was nothing much he could do from there. We must work to improve in order to perform better as soon as possible, given that we are now coming to our first back-to-back races in France and Austria.
ROKiT Williams Racing
George Russell (16th):The car was feeling relatively nice to drive and we made the most of the package. We now need to bolt some downforce on it and hopefully we will find some laptime. Overall, I was pleased with my performance today and we made the most of the situation.
Robert Kubica (18th):Unfortunately, there is no magic. Yesterday the handling was difficult, but today was harder. I had no grip with high fuel, hotter conditions and longer stints. Overall grip is missing, we know it’s like this, so we are not able to push.
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer:The hottest day of the weekend threw up some new challenges and led to many drivers managing their car, be it for brake temperatures, tire degradation, or engine temperatures. Fortunately for us we had most things under good control and were able to race cars around us. For George, this meant that he was able to race Magnussen and, until his retirement, Albon. For Robert, who struggled more this weekend, we opted to make a second stop and use our full complement of Prime tires. We made some small improvements to the car this weekend, and we managed a difficult race well. The team continue to do a very good job with the pitstops and both drivers again completed well-constructed races and brought both cars home with no damage.
*Handed 5-sec penalty by bias F1 Stewards
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