The 2018 Canadian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Grand Prix Heineken du Canada 2018) was the seventh race of the 2018 Formula One season, the fifty-fifth time the Canadian Grand Prix has been held, the forty-ninth time on the Formula One calendar, and the thirty-ninth time it was held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It took place between 8 June and 10 June 2018.
In qualifying, Sebastian Vettel took his fourth pole position of the season, while Valtteri Bottas qualified alongside him on the front row, and Max Verstappen qualified third ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
The race started with a crash between local hero Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley, bringing out the safety car, The race unusually ended early with results taken from the end of lap 68, due to the chequered flag being waved after only 69 laps by model Winnie Harlow.
The race was won from pole by Vettel who led every lap but was denied the Grand Chelem by Max Verstappen setting the fastest lap (Ricciardo set a faster time on lap 69, but this was voided by the early race finish). Valtteri Bottas finished second, with Max Verstappen third.
The victory propelled Vettel into the championship lead by a single point ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Hypersoft tyres will be used for the second race in a row, with ultrasoft and supersoft tyres also being used.
Into the Championship and a second victory of the season for Daniel Ricciardo in Monte Carlo had propelled the Australian racer into the top three in the Championship, although he remained a dark horse rather than serious contender. Indeed, with Championship leader Lewis Hamilton finishing third, and Sebastian Vettel second, the gap between the leading duo and the rest of the field had, in reality, grown. However, the gap between themselves was down to fourteen points, although with the Canadian Grand Prix one of Hamilton's strongest races historically, that gap was set to expand.
Elsewhere, Mercedes had seen their gap over Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship reduced to 22 points in the Principality, a healthy but by no means unbreachable advantage. Behind, victory for Ricciardo had dragged Red Bull-TAG Heuer marginally closer to the lead fight, while Renault had solidified themselves in fourth. Elsewhere, another strong result for Toro Rosso-Honda had put them ahead of Haas-Ferrari, while Force India-Mercedes were heading up the table towards McLaren-Renault in fifth.
There was talk before the race regarding Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso seat, with reports claiming that McLaren had been approached to secure young British driver Lando Norris as a replacement from the Austrian Grand Prix onwards. McLaren rejected Toro Rosso's request.
The full entry list for the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix is outlined below:
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1:13.518||3||1:12.603||3||1:12.053||5|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso-Honda||1:15.004||10||1:14.486||18||1:13.334||15|
|11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:13.754||9||1:12.903||7|
|27||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault||No Time||20||1:13.967||14||1:12.946||8|
|28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso-Honda||1:15.756||16||1:13.889||12||1:13.076||12|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.071||11||1:13.747||8||1:13.064||11|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1:13.302||1||1:12.198||1||1:11.599||1|
|34||Nicholas Latifi||Force India-Mercedes||1:17.145||19|
|55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Renault||1:14.116||8||1:14.433||17||1:13.331||14|
It was a warm afternoon in Montreal for qualifying ahead of the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, with the air temperature hovering at 35°C. That fact, combined with largely cloudless skies, ensured that a competitive hour of running was expected, with Q2 set to draw interest in terms of race strategy for the top teams. Regardless, Lewis Hamilton's circuit record of 1:11.459, which had taken the Brit to pole in 2017, was expected to fall.
First out onto the circuit in Q1 would be Kevin Magnussen, although it was his teammate who drew the eye in the early exchanges for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, as he pulled his Haas out of the garage to head out behind his teammate, Romain Grosjean would see his Ferrari engine expire in an old fashioned plume of white smoke. Indeed, the Frenchman would coast to a stop at the end of the pits having created his own smokescreen, with Haas mechanics running, ultimately in vain, to recover the car.
Grosjean's early demise meant that there were only four drivers set to drop out in Q1, although with Carlos Sainz, Jr. having a late turbo change that figure could have been as low as three. The Renault team had made a late call to change the part after debris flew into an air intake during FP3, which had chewed up the fan inside the turbo. As such, the Spaniard's crew were working at record speed to try and get him out before the end of the session, as Charles Leclerc came charging across the line to open the session for Sauber.
It proved to be a rather uneventful session on track, with the top six taking two runs to secure their places in Q2, Sebastian Vettel the fastest with a 1:11.710. The German's teammate Kimi Räikkönen was next, just 0.015s behind, while Hamilton edged out his teammate Valtteri Bottas for third. The two Red Bulls were also safely through after their mid-session runs, as was Nico Hülkenberg in the healthier Renault.
At the back of the field, meanwhile, home hero Lance Stroll was struggling, throwing away two efforts ahead of his final run with lock ups, first at turn one and then at the final chicane. Indeed, the latter lock-up would compromise his final run, meaning he ultimately dropped out having just beaten teammate Sergey Sirotkin. The two Williams would be joined by Marcus Ericsson, who ruined his afternoon by slapping the wall on the exit of turn nine, a slap that almost carried the Sauber into the side of Max Verstappen.
There would, however, be a last minute scramble to survive, with Fernando Alonso in the bottom five with two minutes to go. His compatriot Sainz had made it out a couple of minutes earlier and was a secure ninth, while Alonso himself would improve to fourteenth with his final run. That effort was enough to knock Pierre Gasly into the drop zone, while Alonso's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne ended the session two tenths clear of the Frenchman in fifteenth.
Into the second session and, as expected, both the Ferraris and Mercedes would emerge early on with the purple walled "ultrasoft" Pirelli tyres. Indeed, both teams believed that the "hypers" were too delicate to risk using on a one-stop strategy, and so elected to use the "middle" compound safe in the knowledge that they would still make it into Q3 regardless. It therefore came as a surprise that both Red Bulls emerged on the pink "hypersofts", particularly as they only came out of the pits after the other quartet had completed their runs.
As such, there was little surprise that the two Red Bulls would top the times at the end of the session, with Verstappen a couple of tenths clear of Daniel Ricciardo on a 1:11.472. That was, until the Australian appeared at the end of the session to complete a practice run for Q3, and duly broke Hamilton's old circuit record with a 1:11.434, going fastest in the first two sectors. The Mercedes and Ferraris were safe with Bottas ahead of Vettel, Räikkönen and Hamilton, with those four also coming out on "hypers" at the end of the session, albeit abandoning their laps to avoid starting on the softest compound.
Elsewhere it proved to be a miserable session for McLaren, with Alonso and Vandoorne rooted to the foot of the table throughout. They were therefore out having been outside Leclerc, who pushed his Sauber to the limits to record a 1:12.661 to just fall shy of Brendon Hartley's Honda powered Toro Rosso in twelfth. Indeed, the Kiwi himself was just a fraction behind eleventh placed Magnussen, although all three were over two tenths behind Sergio Pérez in tenth.
The final session of qualifying would see Hamilton head out first, but a mistake on his first run at the hairpin ultimately left him with a 1:11.227. That effort was duly beaten by teammate Bottas, recording a 1:10.857, before Räikkönen split the pair of them with a respectable 1:11.095. Vettel was next and a stunning sector two time saw him move into pole with a 1:10.776, while the two Red Bulls elected to wait until those four had come in to set their times.
Yet, when they did join the fray both Verstappen and Ricciardo were found to be lacking, falling into fifth and sixth respectively with their first efforts. They would, however, join the other quartet when the field head out with two minutes to go, with Verstappen, the better bet of the two Red Bull racers, running in the Australian's wake. That decision was made to try and give the Dutchman a better run through the final sector, with both Red Bulls struggling to combat the long back-straight compared to their rivals.
First blood in the final fight should have gone to Räikkönen, but the Finn threw his final effort away at the second corner by running onto the grass. Hamilton therefore led the final charge, but another lock-up at the hairpin saw him fall shy of Bottas' first run, leaving him third behind his teammate. Bottas was next but a mistake at the final chicane saw him fail to improve, while Vettel eeked out another couple of hundredths to reinforce his grip on pole, recording a 1:10.764.
Next up was Ricciardo, but again the Australian would be punished by his draggy Red Bull in the final sector and duly stayed in sixth. However, the ploy of putting Verstappen behind him would work, for the Dutchman found a full quarter of a second in the final sector to jump into third, a 1:10.937 moving him up past both Hamilton and Räikkönen at the chequered flag. Elsewhere, the best of the rest spot went to Hülkenberg, with Esteban Ocon splitting the German from teammate Sainz, while the Frenchman's teammate Pérez ultimately completed the top ten.
The full qualifying results for the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||5||1:12.008||2||1:11.472||3||1:10.937||3|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||6||1:12.459||1||1:11.434||6||1:11.116||6|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||7||1:12.577||9||1:12.141||8||1:12.084||8|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Renault||10||1:12.689||8||1:12.097||9||1:12.168||9|
|10||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||11||1:12.702||10||1:12.395||10||1:12.671||10|
|12||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso-Honda||8||1:12.579||12||1:12.635||12|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso-Honda||16||1:13.047||16|
|107% time: 1:16.729|
|20*||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas-Ferrari||20||No time||20|
- * Grosjean would be allowed to start at the stewards' discretion despite failing to set a time.
|Carlos Sainz, Jr.||10|
- * Grosjean was allowed to start at the stewards' discretion despite failing to set a time.
It was a pleasant afternoon in Montreal ahead of the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, with the air temperature holding at 20°C (68°F). Furthermore, with no threat of rain, or even of cloud cover, the track temperature hit 36°C (96.8°F) as the field assembled on the grid, with no major issues to report. With that, the field were sent to complete a very slow parade lap ahead of the start, with the back markers making pole starter Sebastian Vettel sweat it out in his gird slot for over a minute.
In spite of the fact that his car had sat baking in his grid slot, Vettel would make a perfect getaway from the grid to claim an early lead into turn one. That left Valtteri Bottas to fend off the attentions of Max Verstappen into the opening corner, with the Dutchman getting his Red Bull up the inside of the Mercedes. Bottas, however, would hold on and hold the inside line into turn two, and duly ran Verstappen wide, with the rest of the field following through without issue.
Indeed, the opening lap would be trouble free until the end of the first sector, at which point Brendon Hartley would find himself on the wrong side of an out of shape Lance Stroll. Having made a strong start to scythe past the McLarens off the line, Stroll managed to get out of shape through the flat out flick that formed turn five. Unfortunately for him, Hartley was coming around the outside of his Williams and was duly elbowed into the outside wall. The Kiwi's ruined car then bounced back into Stroll, sending both into the barriers on the outside of turn six.
With two cars left in ruins in a run off area, and debris littering the scene of the initial accident, there was little choice but to call the safety car. Bernd Mayländer duly appeared at the end of the opening lap, with Vettel leading Bottas and Verstappen across the line at the head of the field. Behind them came Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Räikkönen, with latter getting passed by Ricciardo off the line, while, at the back of the field Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson stopped to gamble on a new set of "supersoft" Pirellis.
The race resumed at the start of lap five, with Vettel sprinting clear of Bottas, who was himself able to keep clear of Verstappen into turn one. Sergio Pérez, meanwhile, would come under attack from Carlos Sainz, Jr., and his attempts to squeeze the Renault to the inside of turn one ultimately resulted in the Mexican getting spat out onto the run off. Momentum then carried the Force India into the middle of turn two, although fortunately everyone managed to scatter around Pérez's car as he rejoined.
Over the following laps Vettel would pull out a lead over Bottas and Verstappen, while Hamilton slipped off the back of those two with an overheating engine. Indeed, the Brit was complaining about the resultant lack of power from his Mercedes, although neither Ricciardo nor Räikkönen were able to muster a challenge. The top six would also steadily pull clear of Ocon, who had both Renaults on his tail at the head of the midfield.
Ocon himself would decided to abandon his rearguard action at the end of lap eleven, pitting to replace his "hypersoft" tyres for a set of "supers". Unfortunately for him an incredibly slow stop negated any chance of an undercut, with Nico Hülkenberg duly leaping ahead when he completed his stop two laps later. Sainz would also jump the Frenchman when he made the switch to "supersofts", with his stop also opening a huge gap between the lead sextet and the now seventh placed Charles Leclerc.
That gap ultimately tempted both Verstappen and Hamilton to stop at the end of lap sixteen, despite the fact that Hamilton had started the afternoon on "ultrasofts", the medium tier compound. Verstappen would rejoin in fifth, while Hamilton, whose stop was made so that the Mercedes team could open out some extra air ducts, came out in sixth, but instantly ran wide out of turn two. That allowed Leclerc to attack him into the first chicane, although Hamilton was able to fend off the young Monegasque racer.
Ricciardo was the next man to stop on the following lap, and an excellent in-lap from the Australian racer ultimately got him ahead of the Championship leader. Behind, Fernando Alonso, running in eleventh before the stops behind Leclerc, made his stop, with the aforementioned Leclerc reacting on the following tour. Ultimately, however, the McLaren crew were faster than the Sauber mechanics, meaning Leclerc rejoined behind the man with whom he had been fighting since the restart.
More pitstops were completed over the following laps, allowing Romain Grosjean, from the back of the field, to climb as high as seventh before being overtaken by the Renaults. Out front, meanwhile, Vettel and Bottas were able to lap half a second faster than Verstappen and co., while Räikkönen, now in third, was matching the pace of the stoppers. Indeed, the latter's pace was particularly important, for he was hovering around seventeen seconds ahead of Hamilton in sixth, with a pitstop taking around eighteen seconds to complete.
Ultimately, Räikkönen would stop at the end of lap 32, emerging just behind Hamilton despite the fact that the Brit had got caught behind the lapped Sergey Sirotkin. Bottas, meanwhile, would complete four further, and quick, laps to slash the gap to Vettel before making his stop, with Verstappen's group just beginning to close the gap to the leaders. Regardless, Bottas would rejoin in a safe second, while a quick stop for Vettel on the following lap ensured that he retained the race lead.
The race largely died down after that, with the only action in the next fifteen laps coming when Alonso suffered an exhaust failure, causing him to retire from a net tenth. Indeed, it was only when Ocon finally got a strong run on the back of Grosjean down the back straight that any change to the order came, although it almost resulted in a hefty accident. Indeed, having breezed past the Haas down the straight, Ocon rightly went back onto the racing line to brake for final chicane, while Grosjean, who did not have to brake so soon, headed for the pits.
Indeed, with the Force India suddenly slowing in front of him, Grosjean had to throw his Haas towards the outside wall, trying to avoid the Force India. Fortunately no contact was made and so Grosjean was able to complete a trouble free pitstop, but was adamant that Ocon had brake checked him at the chicane. In truth it was just the nature of the pit-entry at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and so no action was taken against Ocon.
Into the closing stages, and Hamilton was right on the tail of Ricciardo, although nervous of the fact that his Mercedes was down on power. Grosjean, meanwhile, was closing in on eleventh placed Pierre Gasly, with the Haas one of the fastest cars on the circuit on its new "supersofts". Furthermore, Verstappen was beginning to catch Bottas, for the Finn had decided to turn his engine down and secure second, rather than risk a failure trying to break Vettel's five second lead.
Yet, there would be no major changes to the order, with Hamilton unable to take advantage of lapped traffic to pass Ricciardo, while Grosjean's pace faltered in the final laps. Verstappen, meanwhile, would get within a second of Bottas, but the Finn was able to keep the Dutchman at arm's length without any issue at all. All that was left was for Vettel to complete his cruise home to claim victory, with the #5 Ferrari running so quickly that he won with a lap to go.
Indeed, in a rather confusing, and embarrassing, set of circumstances, a celebrity guest, Winnie Harlow, had been invited to wave the chequered flag, which she duly did with a lot of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, there was still a lap to go, a fact which did not escape the drivers whom were instead focusing on their pitboards. The incident therefore had no impact on the final order, although the officials ultimately decided to declare the final race classification based on positions held at the end of lap 68 to eliminate any potential confusion.
Regardless, Vettel had claimed a comfortable victory for Ferrari, his third of the season, with Bottas a content and largely untroubled second ahead of Verstappen. Ricciardo kept Hamilton at bay for fourth, meaning that the Brit would lose his Championship lead to Vettel at a circuit at which he had dominated. Räikkönen ended the day a solid but unspectacular sixth, while Hülkenberg, Sainz, Ocon and Leclerc completed the scorers.
Nicola Bariselli Ferrari team joined on the podium to receive the winning manufacturer’s award.
The full race results for the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- Fernando Alonso entered his 300th Grand Prix (298th start).
- 50th career victory for Sebastian Vettel.
- Ferrari claimed their 232nd victory as a constructor.
- It was also the Italian firm's 233rd win as an engine supplier.
Victory, combined with Lewis Hamilton's relatively poor afternoon, had propelled Sebastian Vettel to the top of the World Championship, the German ahead by a single point. Indeed, with two thirds of the season still to run it seemed as there would be a season long duel for the title, with their gap over the rest of the field climbing to 34 points in Montreal. The man in third, at the back of that 34 point gap, would be Valtteri Bottas, whom had overtaken Daniel Ricciardo after claiming second for the fourth time in seven races.
In the Constructors' Championship it had been a fairly inconsequential day at the top of the field, with Ferrari only able to chip a couple of points out of Mercedes's lead. Behind, Red Bull-TAG Heuer were now a solid third, just hanging on to the lead duo, while Renault had further reinforced their fourth place in the table. McLaren-Renault, meanwhile, had endured a miserable weekend but retain fifth, although Force India-Mercedes had closed the gap between themselves and the former Champions to twelve points.
Images and Videos:
- "Formula 1 Grand Prix Heineken du Canada 2018". formula1.com. Formula One Administration. http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/championship/races/2018/Canada.html. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Khorounzhiy, Valentin (29 May 2018). "Mercedes takes fewest hypersofts of all F1 teams for Canadian GP". Autosport.com. https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/136373/mercedes-chooses-fewest-hypersofts-for-canada. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Khorounzhiy, Valentin (7 June 2018). "Hartley: "Silly" to comment on Norris offer "rumours"". Motorsport.com. https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hartley-comment-toro-rosso-replacement-mclaren-norris-1045025/?v=2&s=1&q=lando+norris. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- 'Entry List', fia.com, (FIA, 08/06/2018), https://www.fia.com/file/69146/download?token=3CDDuduC, (Accessed 08/06/2018)
- "2018 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 1 results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 8 June 2018. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2018/races/985/canada/practice-1.html. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "2018 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 2 results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 8 June 2018. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2018/races/985/canada/practice-2.html. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "2018 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 3 results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 9 June 2018. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2018/races/985/canada/practice-3.html. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- 'Final Qualifying Classification', fia.com, (FIA, 09/06/2018), https://www.fia.com/file/69216/download?token=iwPuaOWw, (Accessed 09/06/2018)
- 'Steward Decision Doc18 - R.Grosjean', fia.com, (FIA, 09/06/2018), https://www.fia.com/file/69214/download?token=RwuAsVWj, (Accessed 10/06/2018)
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- "Canada Grand Prix 2018 Race Results". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 10 June 2018. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2018/races/985/canada/race-result.html. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- '7. Canada 2018', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2018), http://www.statsf1.com/en/2018/canada.aspx, (Accessed 11/06/2018)
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