Vettel obliterates rivals on way to masterful victory in Canada

Sebastian Vettel wins the Canadian GP for the first time

Sebastian Vettel wins the Canadian GP for the first time

Sebastian Vettel delivered one of the most dominant performances in recent memory as he powered to a commanding victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, and with it ended his and Red Bull’s North American win drought while extending his championship points lead.

Fernando Alonso bounced back from a mediocre performance in Monaco two weeks ago, and a subdued qualifying session 24 hours earlier, to take second place. Alonso reeled in Lewis Hamilton in the dying stages of the race and went toe-to-toe for a number of laps before the Ferrari edged ahead, the pair finishing second and third respectively.

But the day belonged to world champion Vettel and he was clearly delighted with what will most likely go down as one of his most ruthlessly efficient performances and with it a most famous win. The only blip in an otherwise flawless performance was the hefty smack that ‘Hungry Heidi’, his RB9, suffered when he tagged the wall on lap 11.

With 132 points on the board Vetel leads the standings with a healthy 36 point margin. In the constructors’ standings, Red Bull leads Ferrari by 56 points, with Mercedes 11 further back in third, with seven rounds ticked off in the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel

Race winner Sebastian Vettel

“It was a great race and I had a great start which was important. I just kept that gap through out the race and at some points we had a full pit ahead of others. Finally we got our first win [in Canada]. It’s off the list now and it was great to win. The sun came out as well so it doesn’t get any better. We had good races here before but it didn’t come together to win, then I lost it in the last lap two years ago which was my fault but I made up for that today.”

From sixth on the grid Alonso battled his way past Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and eventually Hamilton, the Spaniard delivering on his prediction a day earlier that he was podium bound.

He summed up his sentiments on the podium to MC Eddie Jordan, “Yesterday we didn’t have a good qualifying. I didn’t get a fast lap and the conditions were not easy. But we knew the pace in dry conditions [would be] good. We had high hopes. I was fighting top drivers and I had very good fights with Mark, Nico and Lewis at the end. It was not easy because they are super-talented. But I think second [place] tastes of victory, because we scored some good points after a very difficult weekend.”

The biggest cheer for the trio on the podium was a toss up between Alonso and Hamilton; the Briton enjoys strong support in Canada, as does Ferrari. After outshining his Mercedes teammate in qualifying, he did the business again in the race.

Montreal podium: winner Sebastian Vettel, second placed Fernando Alonso,  third placed Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin

Montreal podium: winner Sebastian Vettel, second placed Fernando Alonso, third placed Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin

He said afterwards, “I have a great time here every year. I think a small part of the wing came off. It was really close, we had a great battle, he [Alonso] is a fair driver and had a great drive. We just have to keep pushing so we can get closer to these guys.”

At one stage Mark Webber looked good for a podium finish, but contact with with Giedo van der Garde as he was lapping the Caterham driver damaged his front wing and compromised the downforce on his Red Bull. This allowed Alonso easy passage, and demoted the Australian to fourth place where he remained until the chequered flag waved to end the race. In the wake of the incident, Van der Garde was given a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags.

Webber reflected, “It [the car]was pretty knackered to be fair, it didn’t help from then on, I don’t know what [Van der Garde] was doing, we had blue flags there but in the end he kept trying to make the apex but I don’t know. Some guys maybe have their eye too much on their drive. The car was very hot so we had to stay out of the slipstream. The car was tough in traffic but when I got past him it was all OK, but I didn’t have long before I then suffered the damage.”

After his victory in Monaco, the Canadian GP weekend was a disappointment for Nico Rosberg who ended fifth but was never in the hunt for a podium spot, and was simply outclassed by his teammate this weekend.

Sebastian Vettel was untouchable in Canada

Sebastian Vettel was untouchable in Canada

Jean Eric Vergne drove a mature race in the Toro Rosso, after starting from seventh, and went on to finish sixth, the best finish of his career thus far and a fair reward for the young Frenchman who is starting to get the upper hand over teammate Daniel Ricciardo, in the Red Bull junior team.

Vergne was understandably pleased,  “Sixth is really good result, but I already forget it and I concentrate on the next race. I don’t have to be satisfied with sixth, we always want better and I want to do better for the next races and that’s why we have to keep working.”

Drive of the day must go to Paul Di Resta who finished seventh on a single stop strategy. The Scot endured a ‘Keystone Cops’ style qualifying session which saw him start 17th on the grid. The Force India driver was one of the few to start on the medium (white branded) tyre, which he remarkably nursed through to lap 52 before pitting for the super softs.

“We have pulled something way out of the basket today,” said Di Resta. “I think we got it absolutely spot on today. Whether there was a chance to fight Vergne I don’t know, but we took the decision to make sure we got some points.”

Felipe Massa also made up for his qualifying mistake (he crashed during Q2) by finishing eighth and giving Ferrari a double points finish. The Brazilian was feisty on the day, as he carved his way through the field from 16th on the grid.

Paul di Resta delivered the drive of the day

Paul di Resta delivered the drive of the day

For Lotus it was another forgettable weekend as both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean did not feature as a force all weekend. Raikkonen complained of poor grip.Vettel lapping him around mid-distance illustrated the extent of the team’s woes. Nevertheless the Finn scored points yet again, with eighth place, and equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes.

Grosjean started from the back of the grid thanks to a ten place penalty for his Monaco shenanigans, but was never a factor in the race and ended up 13th.

Final point went to Adrian Sutil for finishing tenth, having started from eighth on the grid, but was ragged for most of the race and his holding up of Hamilton and Alonso earned him a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags.

It was another bleak day for McLaren, in fact the bleakest of the season thus far, as both drivers failed to score points, with Sergio Perez 11th and Jenson Button 12th. So ended an incredible consecutive points scoring streak that had stretched back 64 races.

Button summed up the situation, “We finished outside the points and we have a lot of work to do. We’ve got to get our act together and improve. Are we going to be quicker at Silverstone? Yes. We had parts here that didn’t work on this circuit but will work at Silverstone. Soon we’ll start to pick up more points. We’ll not be on the podium but we’ll get more points.”

Esteban Gutierrez crashed out of the race

Esteban Gutierrez crashed out of the race

Final word to the winning team principal, Red Bull’s Christian Horner, “It has been an amazing day and a great drive by Vettel. He touched the wall quite significantly as he was pushing to try to build up a pit stop but in the end it was a tremendous drive. It was a wake up call for him because when you are so far ahead it is easy to lose concentration but it it was flat out from everyone from start to finish today, and that’s how it should be.” (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal – Sunday, 9 June 2013

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time Grid Pts
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 70 Winner 1 25
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 70 +14.4 secs 6 18
3 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 +15.9 secs 2 15
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 70 +25.7 secs 5 12
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 70 +69.7 secs 4 10
6 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 7 8
7 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 69 +1 Lap 17 6
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 16 4
9 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 69 +1 Lap 10 2
10 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 69 +1 Lap 8 1
11 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 69 +1 Lap 12
12 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 69 +1 Lap 14
13 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 69 +1 Lap 22
14 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 69 +1 Lap 3
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 68 +2 Laps 11
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 68 +2 Laps 13
17 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 68 +2 Laps 19
18 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 67 +3 Laps 18
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 67 +3 Laps 20
20 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 63 +7 Laps 15
Ret 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 45 +25 Laps 9
Ret 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 43 +27 Laps 21

Note: Grosjean qualified 19th; penalised 10 grid spots for causing collision at previous round. Raikkonen and Ricciardo qualified ninth and tenth respectively; penalised two grid spots each for pit-exit infringements during qualifying.

  • Steve

    This always looked like it would end up being won by either Vettel or Alonso, so no surprise that the finished one-two. What happened to Kimi though?

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Missed opportunity for Alonso, even with the lucky moments against Webber and Hamilton. He paid the price of bad qualifying performance. This was a clear Ferrari track and he had the best car. He knows it, that is why he is pissed off. The upcoming tracks will all favour Red Bull / Vettel until Monza.

    Vettel flawless. He does not even need the fastest car to play around with Alonso. He has every reason to be happy.

    Hamilton finally neutralizing Rosberg, but the car does not allow him to go for the title. Hungry for more.

  • Apex Assassin

    Kimi and Lotus had a tragedy of errors. Not enough fuel, pit errors, traffic… and if he didn’t sign with RBR you can bet he will now. He would have been lucky to score 10th, but Sutils awesomeness gifted him and Massa an

    Vettel meanwhile stole a huge win and extended his lead while both ferraris and Di Resta had outstanding drives through the field. Vergne too was very impressive coming in 6th.

    Have to wonder what went wrong for Rosberg… worst strategy ever.

  • seeing scarlet

    So is poor wittle Wettle and cry baby RBR happy with the tires now?

  • fools

    ALONSO!!!! BRAVO!!!

    Yet again showing his dominant pace from P6 to P2.

    Good job Vettel..but he started first off grid.

    What happen to all the #Bottas supporters…? What a fluke there.

    Alonso did fantastic today. Massa well done considering the the 3 crashes within 3 weeks.

    Alonso for the 2013 WDC!!!

  • Tinto

    Different league, different planet, F1 Weltmeister, well done Seb!

  • Lol

    Alonso overtook that Guitterez bloke under yellow flags on the straight. The American channel kept showing it and it was very clear. The British media, quiet as always.

  • bert

    Vettel may not have the fastest car.But he has the fastest fingers on the steering wheel…If you know what I mean

  • Lol.

    Love it when clowns steal my name.

    Yanks too. *sigh*

  • Steve

    “Good job Vettel..but he started first off grid.”

    He started first on the grid because he did an outstanding job of qualifying in the wet.

  • Steve

    “ALONSO!!!! BRAVO!!!”

    “Yet again showing his dominant pace from P6 to P2.”

    Alonso was helped by Van der Garde illegally blocking Webber and Sutil blocking Hamlton. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t anything brilliant either.

  • visz963

    “Yet again showing his dominant pace from P6 to P2.”

    he wasnt able to show his dominant pace in qualifying, that is why he could not go higher than P2. That is a decisive mistake by the driver, and it is also a shame as he has the fastest car at the moment.

    Ferrari will not be able to give more than the fastest car for Alonso. If this is not enough for him to win, than a replacement is necessary.

  • BobMendon

    The Vettel haters are getting tiresome. Criticizing his win by saying something stupid like, “Of course he started from pole.” Well duh! Just because someone starts from pole doesn’t guarantee a win. I don’t know how beating your fellow competitors is “stealing a win” as someone put it here. Fact is that Red Bull had an exceptional weekend in that they have been struggling with straight line speed and managing the tire situation. I think it was a well deserved win!

  • Not Bernie

    @Lol,
    “Alonso overtook that Guitterez bloke under yellow flags on the straight. The American channel kept showing it and it was very clear. The British media, quiet as always.”

    I noticed that too and wondered why he wasn’t given a penalty for it. Is there something in the rule that allows you to overtake back markers? I don’t think there is, but maybe Ferraris have a different rule book?

    Vettel was superb. He did no more than enough to get the win; a very mature performance. The Ferraris, however, were the faster cars on the day.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Vettel won the race because he was on pole.

    Excuse of the year right there.

  • fools

    @steve

    quit being a troll

    Alonso drove well

    Vettel was helped by Newey’s design. Thats why he won like his last 3 WDC.

    Only ALONSO challenged him the last 3 years.

    Step off Vettel dick and give credit your troll

  • fools

    Because he was lapped @not bernie. Common son…

  • fools

    Everyone knows Vettel only wins from the front grid. I give him credit there.

    Alonso would of smashed VetTel if he had been P2 from the start…. Not even LH or NR can keep up.

    To many trolls in here.

    Leap frogged Kimi! Yeahhhhh

    Alonso for the 2013 !!!

  • fools

    Umm actually starting from pole unless your Nico or LH or Webber means you will win about 80% of the time. Hence why its crucial for quali. We all know Newey helps the boy. Come on lads…dont be mad that Alonso is your only threat. Ha.

    You guys are jokes not giving AlonsO his credit. Much deserved.

    JUST LISTEN TO THE CROWD CUTTING OFF VETTEL STUPID LONG SPEECH. THEY DONT CARE FOR VETTEL

    BECAUSE ALONSO IS THE BEST ON THE GRID REGARDLESS OF THE WDC. WE ALL KNOW IT. AND YOU DO TOO TROLL FANS BOYS!

  • madnessisfame

    @ fools…I love your 1st comment…
    Outstanding performance from Alonso again…controlled his pace and tiers quite well…The Ferrari is on the right track and sooner or later it will outmatch the RBR in normal circumstances & when strategy have the say and not luck.
    Congratulations to vettel who also drove superbly…and lucky enough to only fight backmarkers…he managed a good quali in a missed up situation…it happens…
    Toooo bad Kimi’s car wasn’t quick enough…yes had some breaking issues, but I believe the tires Pirelli put togather for this GP wasn’t helping…though some teams had benefited from the same…it happens…

  • iMark

    So kimi was a snail, was it perez fault too?

  • ukblack

    Seb has smoked again his sparring partners, he is the man that ruthlessly beats the boys. Many of his haters better convert, otherwise they should change the sports, F1 is going to be teutonically dominated for many years from now on.

  • Steve

    @fools
    Champ you need to get off alonso’s wang and shut up seriously!

    Even if alonso was on pole are you going to tell me that Vettel today would have not overtaken him? To win on pole is a win granted… But to stretch your legs like Vettel did with this win that’s dominance.

    You cannot also say that Alonso was not gifted the chances with both Webber and Hanilton with the hold ups that they had?

  • Henk

    @ Steve

    You say that Vettel would have overtaken Alonso, had Alonso started on pole. I am not so sure about that. Alonso’s pace was remarkable, given that he had to overtake Bottas, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton. How many seconds lost is that? How much time on dirty air is that? Did you see how Webber was aggressively avoiding turbulence? It seems that the Red Bull in untouchable on clean air, but vulnerable if a little behind. Alonso even cut the deficit with Webber twice, managed to hold Hamilton, who had DRS.

    So, I don’t think you have any evidence to claim that Vettel would have overtaken Alonso with the roles reversed. The evidence we have so far is that in dirty air, Vettel uses up his tires. Moreover, Alonso has passed Vettel when Vettel was not on pole.

    I will give you that, knowing his strength, Vettel did well to secure himself a pole, especially on a circuit that is not so tough on tyres. Ferrari will have to do something about this issue because they cannot compete with Vettel if they have two Mercedes and another Red Bull before getting to him.

    So it would be interesting to see what happens if Ferrari gets their car a bit up on the grid again, and Vettel is not at the front. Your forecast should be proved wrong, being Alonso the better driver.

    BTW, what exactly do you mean by ‘to win on pole is a win granted’. Improve your writing, please.

  • Steve

    @Henk

    How many overtakes did Vettel need to do to pass back markers? Quite a few… I’ll give you that Alonso did well but he lacks qualy pace, that is his weakest link otherwise you will never know how good he is from pole cause that never happens anymore.

    What I wrote is exactly right if your on pole your chances of winning are greater than what you are rather than starting from second or further down the track!

    You still cannot say that he is better on track the last 3 years has been proven to that.

  • Wel

    fools, then Alonso should do a proper job on Saturday if he is that much faster. He keeps failing on Saturday with the fastest car this season.

  • visz963

    Alonso is a bad qualifier, and an ordinary (not outstanding) driver. This combined with having the fastest car on the grid means that he is always starting from behind, making up a few places thanks to his car, but does not challenge for victory. This is not what ferrari needs. They need good qualifying and good racing (e.g. Vettel performance).

  • Henk

    @ Steve

    I actually do think Alonso is a better driver. All 3 of Vettel’s titles are explained by a car that was untouchable for at least six races each year. In the previous three years, the Ferrari has been quick for at most three races per year.

    And I wouldn’t classify passing on blue flags as ‘overtakes’.

  • visz963

    @henk

    please also cout in that Vettel lost from 1st-2nd place for roughly 3-3 races due to car failures both in 2010 and 2012, which Alonso did not have.

    Also that mighty car allowed no better then a mere 3rd place for Webber in the last 3 years – not even 2nd!

    I am sure Vettel would have won a title with Ferrari as well. Ferrari needs Vettel to replace Alonso!

  • madnessisfame

    @Henk…I appreciate your rational facts…keep it up.
    No doubt Vettel is a remarkable racer and the one to beat specially if RBR maintain to stay at the top of performance hierarchy…having a strong car that can qualify well. Unfortunately Ferrari hasn’t yet been able to do that, but Mercedes has. Look at Rosberg this season…All of a sudden he has been doing very well in quali due to car performance…
    If Ferrari manges to upscale their performance for the quali to put Alonso 2nd or 3rd, I have a good feeling Alonso has the greatest chance to secure the championship this season…the majority of experts in the F1 circuit believe that & hopefully bad luck will not out perform a complete driver like Alonso…

  • Henk

    @ visz963

    The fact that Webber didn’t perform as well has little to do with the car and more to do with (i) Webber not getting the most of it and (ii) Red Bull using Webber as a test driver. It’s clear that these things got to his head. The point I am making is that Alonso is better than Vettel.

    I’m all for Vettel moving to Ferrari. It will be sweet.

  • visz963

    @Henk
    I would like to see it as well as I expect Vettel to completely destroy Alonso from day 1, but I am afraid it will not happen as it is Alonso himself who does everything to prevent the arrival of a competitive teammate at Ferrari, and he will fight hard to keep Massa as long as possible to shield his weaknesses.

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  • fools

    @henk

    thank you.. :)