F1: Hamilton gets title bid back on track with commanding Canadian victory

Lewis Hamilton returned to winning ways, scoring victory in Canada for Mercedes-Benz

Lewis Hamilton returned to winning ways, scoring victory in Canada for Mercedes-Benz

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Lewis Hamilton cruised to a comfortable victory at Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal to stamp his authority on the battle for the 2015 FIA F1 World Championship Drivers’ title.

Having failed to win either of the last two Grands Prix, Hamilton was keen to make amends at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and despite commenting afterwards that he didn’t feel his car had a “comfortable balance”, he was able to lead all but one lap of the race to stretch his championship advantage to 17 points over his Mercedes AMG Petronas team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton said afterwards: “The car was generating bad understeer during the race but I never felt under too much pressure.

“Nico was quick, but I felt like I always had a little bit of time in my pocket to be able to pull out a gap when I needed to. It was a great race, I am not sure what it was like to watch but from where I was sitting it was pretty intense and I enjoyed it.”

After winning in Spain and Monaco, Rosberg had been hoping to bag a hat-trick of 2015 victories, but it was not to be.

He said: “I had good pace all weekend, but just not quite as much as Lewis. He made a great start and really controlled the race. I kept him within reach, but he didn’t suffer any problems or an issue. I will continue my fight for the championship in Austria.”

The two Brackley-based Mercedes cars were again the class of the pack, with Valtteri Bottas finishing well adrift in third for the Williams team.

Sebastian Vettel, the closest rival to Hamilton and Rosberg in the title race, was fifth for Ferrari and he commented afterwards: “We have found some engine performance and the Ferrari is feeling better all the time. If everything goes to plan, then I think we can challenge for wins very soon.”

Nico Hulkenberg bagged his first points since the opening round of the season by finishing eighth for the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team.

The German said: “I feel really pleased to be back in the top ten. I wanted to do this for the team as everyone has been working so hard. It is always good to score points and this reward if for everyone.”

As a result, Hulkenberg leaps up to 12th in the overall championship standings. Sergio Perez, driving the second Force India, was finished the race in 11th.

The Toro Rosso team left Canada with little to show for their weekend. Carlos Sainz Jr. was classified 12th with Max Verstappen three places further back in his Renault-powered car.

The 17-year-old expressed his frustration after the race, saying: “This race was difficult for the team. I crashed heavily in Monaco and I wanted to do better here in Canada.

“Sadly it didn’t happen, but the next race is at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, so that will be pretty special for the team.”

Points after Rd.7: 1) Hamilton, 151pts; 2) Rosberg, 134; 3) Vettel, 108; 4) Raikkonen, 72; 5) Bottas, 57; 6) Massa, 47. Next race: Austria, June 21.