Mercedes invited massive criticism after the Monaco fiasco, in which Lewis Hamilton lost not because he did badly. His failure to take the top podium finish was directly attributable to the strategic blunder committed by the Mercedes “Think-Tank” that showed the potential weakness of the German team. But on Sunday at Montreal, the reigning world champion cruised to a pole-to-flag victory with his teammate Nico Rosberg taking the second place. Yet again it was a repeat 1-2 finish for Mercedes for the umpteenth time since the start of the 2014 F1 season. Hamilton’s command performance in Canadian F1 GP prompted Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to comment that he was relieved in proving that Mercedes was not run by a bunch of idiots. It wasn’t easy for Hamilton because during the entire course of the race, Nico Rosberg kept breathing down his neck. Though, Hamilton controlled from start to finish, Rosberg went ahead in the 29th lap during the pit stops. Hamilton quickly regained the top position and the Mercedes pair remained locked together until the finish with the rest of the pack way behind. It was the fourth time that the British driver has taken the top podium spot in Montreal after his first victory in 2007. The international media was not amused because it thinks that F1 had shifted gear from traditionalism and driver skills were now secondary to machine performance. Italy’s Tuttosport reported that the Mercedes team is too strong because of superior engines and if there are no misunderstandings or surprises, Hamilton or Rosberg will always finish as winners. Another Italian mouthpiece La Gazzetta dello Sport commented that the Montreal F1 was boredom from beginning to the end.
After taking the top pole position for 44th time in his career, world champion Lewis Hamilton finished 2.2 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg at the end of 70 laps that remained relatively uneventful as the Team Mercedes dominated. With his victory at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton has gone 17 points ahead of Rosberg in the driver’s championship table. Both Hamilton and Rosberg started on the super-soft Pirelli tyres and changed once to soft tyres at their pit-stops, during which Rosberg took a one-lap lead. But Hamilton regained the no.1 position in next to no time to win the race.
At the end of qualifying session on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton tackled creditably with bad weather and ill-timed stoppages. Rosberg suffered a technical issue in Q1 and was dumped out. Sebastian Vettel also failed at the first hurdle and earned a 5-place grid penalty for passing Roberto Merhi under red flags during the earlier FP3 session. During Q2, Rosberg came back strongly and challenged Hamilton. In the end, Hamilton took the pole with Rosberg right behind. Though Vettel had gone out of the reckoning, his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen took the third place with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas coming fourth. Lotus-Mercedes’ Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were fifth and sixth, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg seventh, Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat and Daniel Ricciardo were eighth and ninth and the other Force India driver Sergio Perez was tenth.
During the main race on Sunday, the two Mercedes drivers pulled away from the pack and got locked at 1-2 over the entire 70-lap race. The race, therefore, remained confined to drivers vying for third to tenth places. Third on the grid at start, Raikkonen held on to his position until the 26th lap, when he went to the pits. But as the Ferrari driver emerged, he lost his place to Williams’ Bottas and with Williams’ driver not yielding until the end; Raikkonen had to be content with his fourth-place finish behind Bottas. Despite starting from the 18th place on the grid, Vettel had remarkable race to finish fifth. The ex-world champion made up five places in the opening laps but he got stuck behind Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Williams’ Felipe Massa. After a surprisingly early pit-stop for Vettel engineered by the Ferrari team, the German returned to the track in last place. But he attacked again with soft tyres after 35 laps. As Vettel surged forward, he had a tussle with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in the 45th lap, in which Hulkenberg spun through the chicane. Vettel, however, went zooming in to finish fifth at the end. Massa was sixth, followed by Pastor Maldonado. Hulkenberg was eighth, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat ninth and Romain Grosjean finished tenth.