Sebastian Vettel regained the Formula 1 points lead with a dominant victory in a Canadian Grand Prix that ended in confusion when the chequered flag was waved early.
The Ferrari driver led every lap of the race on the Montreal street circuit. The only real drama he encountered was when model Winnie Harlow waved the chequered flag too early. Although Vettel realised the error and completed the full 70 laps, race officials elected to declare the race early, with the result announced after 68 laps.
Here’s what else we learned in the Canadian GP.
You can’t fool Vettel
Despite seeing the chequered flag waved early, Vettel was quick enough to realise he hadn’t completed the race distance — and kept on pushing. Noting that he had a lap count on his steering wheel and on his pit board, he said: “After I saw the flag, I told the team ‘I think the race isn’t over yet’ and they said ‘No, keep pushing’. Some of the marshals were already celebrating — I think they peaked a bit early. Most of them are men, so it might happen.”
Wake up call for Mercedes
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said his squad needed to “wake up” after a poor showing in Montreal.
Bottas was unable to match Vettel, while Hamilton only qualified fourth and dropped a place in the race when an engine cooling issue forced him to pit early.
After the race, Wolff told Austrian TV: “It’s a strong track for us, but all weekend we made little mistakes. This is a track where we should have maximised points. It was not about performing damage limitation.”
Stroll’s home woes
Canadian Lance Stroll had a tough time in his home race, with the Williams driver involved in a first lap clash with Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley.
New Zealander Hartley had been trying to pass Stroll on the opening lap when the latter had a brief wobble, causing the two to clash. Hartley was pitched into the air, with both cars hitting the barriers.
The two drivers were taken to the medical centre for checks, with Hartley moved to hospital for evaluation. He was later released.
Stewards ruled the clash as a racing incident.
While Hartley was uninjured, not every animal was so lucky. A stray groundhog made a brief appearance on the track in one of the pre-race practice sessions and was struck by Hass's Romain Grosjean.