Text: Anton Andres / Photos: Formula 1 | posted June 13, 2016 11:45
Hamilton now just 9 points behind Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton is just 9 points away from taking the championship lead from his teammate following his win in the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg had a difficult race after being forced wide by Hamilton, suffered from overheating, a slow puncture and a spin on the last lap. Despite that, Rosberg was able to cling on to the championship lead.
The race started with dark skies and drizzle but the marshals decided to go for the standard grid start instead of a rolling start. Hamilton launched poorly off the line while Vettel, who qualified third, overtook the Mercedes pair for the lead. In a bid to cling on to second place, Hamilton made contact with team mate Nico Rosberg, forcing the latter wide and dropped to tenth by the end of the first lap. During the first half of the race, Vettel maintained a far enough gap for Hamilton not to be a threat. Despite DRS, Hamilton was unable to catch up to Vettel
The first round of pitstops occured just over ten laps covered and Vettel dove in on lap 12 and team mate Kimi Raikkonen entered the following lap. Vettel rejoined behind Ricciardo and Verstappean and made quick work of the Red Bulls to regain second. Vettel regained the lead when Hamilton pitted for fresh super-soft tires on lap 24. At that point, Rosberg had recovered to seventh place.
Meanwhile, the fight for third was heating up with Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo vying for the final spot on the podium. Eventually, Nico Rosberg soon caught up to the pack after Ricciardo suffered a flat spotted tire, forcing the Red Bull Racing driver to the pits. For the second race in a row, the Australian had problems with his pit crew when they did a slow tire change, dropping Ricciardo to seventh. Raikkonen was now slowing moving backwards through the field as well. The biggest beneficiary of the other's misfortunes was Valtteri Bottas although Rosberg could have challenged the Williams driver had he not suffered a slow puncture and cooling issues near the end of the race. Max Verstappen eventually took fourth from Rosberg.
With fresh tires, Hamilton diced through the field to catch up to Vettel who now held a gap of over 10 seconds. Mercedes-AMG took a gamble by sticking with a one-stop strategy after Vettel dove into the pits for the second time. The lead was inherited by Hamilton and was able to put a far enough gap between him and the charging Ferrari of Vettel. Fortunately for Hamilton, Vettel ran out of laps despite the latter posting quick laptimes. With everyone behind hm suffering problems, Valtteri Bottas cruised to third, followed by Max Verstappen in fourth. Despite a spin on the last lap, Nico Rosberg finished fifth. Just behind him was Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo in sixth and seventh respectively. Nico Hulkenberg crossed the line eighth with Carlos Sainz Jr. in tow for ninth and rounding up the top ten was Sergio Perez, fresh from a podium finish from the Monaco GP.