Untouchable Vettel Takes First Canadian Victory As Alonso Minimises Points Loss
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  09 Jun 2013   |  9:39 pm GMT  |  442 comments

Sebastian Vettel produced an almost faultless drive to claim a lights to flag victory at the Canadian Grand Prix and extend his World Championship lead over Fernando Alonso, who came home second ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

But the day was marked with tragedy as a 38 year old marshal was killed while recovering the damaged car of Esteban Gutierrez. He was hit by a mobile crane and died of head injuries.

He made a small mistake into Turn One on Lap 52, running down the escape road and losing four seconds in the process, but it was the only time he put a foot wrong all weekend.

It was Vettel’s 29th career win and the third of this season. He extended his championship lead over Fernando Alonso to 36 points.

With the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve one of few tracks that Vettel and Red Bull have yet to claim a victory on, the World Champions were never threatened as they extended their lead in both Championship’s and now have a strangle-hold as they chase a fourth consecutive their fourth title. Red Bull now has 201 points after seven races, an average of 28 points a race.

The points advantage to those behind could have been greater were it not for another strong drive from Alonso, who passed Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton to keep himself within touching distance of the German.

Vettel would have been hoping for some assistance from those behind to keep the Ferrari at bay, but as we have come to expect the Spaniard moved his way through from his sixth position start to limit the points loss to the Red Bull driver, in the process leap-frogging Kimi Raikkonen in the Championship.

Raikkonen – after bring dropped back on the grid due to a misdemeanor in qualifying –  was stuck in the middle of the pack for much of the race and the pace that Lotus promised in Free Practice never developed in to a podium challenge come the Grand Prix. He ended the race in ninth position and is now fourty-four points behind Vettel in the Championship.

Vettel had the race under control from the start; he had already cleared the DRS detection margin over the second car after the opening lap and was untouchable throughout the race. The battles behind drew more attention as the tyre issues that Mercedes have suffered during this first half of the season continued to hamper them. They held second and third places during the first stint of the race, but a decision to split strategies and put Rosberg on a second set of the super soft tyre – as the rest switched to the clearly superior medium – saw the German fall in to the clutches of Webber and Alonso and be prompted in to an early second stop.

The time Webber and Alonso lost behind Rosberg gave the sister Mercedes of Hamilton a ten second buffer over Webber and Alonso. But after making his way past Webber, in the closing stages Alonso quickly latched on to the tail of a struggling Hamilton and made his way past in the closing laps.

Hamilton was able to maintain his position until the chequered flag with Webber and Rosberg following him across the line, albeit with some distance between each position.

Hamilton lapping his old team McLaren was a poignant moment; McLaren did a poor job in qualifying, with Button missing his chance to do a lap at the end of Q2. But in the race they tried a couple of different strategies which did not work as the car didn’t really have the pace here; odd since they’ve always been strong in Montreal and won the three previous editions of this race.

Along with Vettel and Alonso the other main contenders for driver of the day come in the form of Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul Di Resta. The Frenchman made his way past third-place starter Valtteri Bottas early in the race and drove away from a large group behind, eventually coming home in sixth place.

After a poor qualifying, Paul Di Resta opted to start on the medium compound tyre and did not make a pit stop until lap 57, where he made a single stop for the super soft compound and gave Force India some good points on his way to seventh in their 100th Grand Prix.

It wasn’t a thrilling race, but it was interesting tactically and there were some good battles.

But with Vettel and Red Bull on this kind of form, going to the next race in Silverstone which is traditionally a strong Red Bull track, it’s hard to see how the others can stop him.

CANADIAN GRAND PRIX, Montreal, Race
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h32:09.143
2. Alonso Ferrari + 14.408
3. Hamilton Mercedes + 15.942
4. Webber Red Bull + 25.731
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:09.725
6. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1 lap
7. Di Resta Force India + 1 lap
8. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
9. Raikkonen Lotus + 1 lap
10. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
11. Perez McLaren + 1 lap
12. Button McLaren + 1 lap
13. Grosjean Lotus + 1 lap
14. Bottas Williams + 1 lap
15. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 2 laps
16. Maldonado Williams + 2 laps
17. Bianchi Marussia + 2 laps
18. Pic Caterham + 2 laps
19. Chilton Marussia + 3 laps
20. Gutierrez Sauber + 7 laps

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1

James any updates on how track marshals safety can be improved, especially with what happened on Sunday.

Is some sort of investigation is going to happen i.e. measures to be taken into accordance etc.

2

I enjoyed the race, but was horrified to hear about the track marshall.

I think the podium interviews can be retired now. The booing was very poor form.

3

Me too, was such a tragedy almost 12 years I think the last track marshal died, my thoughts are with his family.

The Track marshals are a major part of our racing and their safety comes as a paramount, their work they provide to cater for F1 carries the risks to their lives.

4

I felt that the race was between 2nd, 3rd 4th and 5th places. As we know the leader Vettel surged through the first few aps to maintain the gap away from the DRS detection (over 1 second), and the lap times increased and so forth. Interesting to see RB9, maybe some upgrade that helps the car or track temp. This reminds me of Valencia last year, Vettel leading with a huge margin until he ran out of luck. James do you know any upgrade that could make there car good on their tyres?

Fernado was fantastic its a shame that he qualified down on 6th place maybe if he was third he could have challenged the RB9 we may never know, maybe Silverstone can give further answers. Mercedes looked to have improved a bit maybe they understand the technique of combining the FRIC and the tyres i.e. gentle through the slow corners etc.

It would be nice if we could get a feature on any technical updates noticed on these cars?

Thanking you again James.

5

It wasn’t just RB that did well with their tyres. I don’t recall anyone struggling too much for grip. The Montreal track is a low abrasive track without any high speed corners. it’s basically a few straights joined by hairpins and chicanes. It’s high speed corners and high speed changes of direction that tear the tyres apart. Montreal has neither. I reckon if they went back to Barcelona next week they would still be 3, 4 stopping.

6

True, this track is more about traction and braking, Silverstone should bring us back to the usual picture?

Mercedes would find out if they have made improvements, Mclaren could come back if they can understand their car better. Canada, made Button drive too slow when he could have pounded on.

Ferrari will need to qualify higher up the field i.e. 3rd place or higher and not to affect the Race pace.

7

Mercedes now has almost the same number of points as the whole season from 2012. Well, I have never seen someone as lucky as Vettel. First, the qualifings under a rainy condition, then no safety car in the race. The most puzzling thing though is how it was possible for Vettel a two seconds advantage over Hamilton just after the 1st lap.

8

Seb does what he wants, Lewis does what he’s told and Nico just drives the bus.

9

The lack of a safety car meant there was no external or artificial factor to close the field up and decimate Vettel’s well earned lead. To argue that this (or qualifying on pole in the wet) is just luck is laughable.

10

Di Resta redeemed himself after his immature comments on Saturday. He could’ve driven all the way down to Texas on the same set of tires if he wanted to!

I’ve said this before, and i’ll say it again. Force India really extracts maximum performance for every penny they spend. One wonders what they can do if they had resources like the top 4 teams.

11

Di Resta did very well. Maybe in an odd way he should be thankful that he started P17 … if he had started P7 and ended up P6 it wouldn’t have highlighted his drive as much.

Now imagine if he had been more mature in his comments after qualifying (something like “again we’ve been caught out in a tricky qualifying session … we have to keep working at that … but we’ll be fighting throughout tomorrow”)? How much better would he look then??

12

Well stated. I’ve come around to that point of view as well.

13

When was the last time that we had an F1 race where the leader lapped 75% of the field. Red Bull have not suddenly found an extra 2 seconds so it has to be down to Pirelli and its manipulation of the tyres……

Vettel – a near faultless race….. Not sure thats true after he hit the wall and went off the track.

Not a great race to watch.

14

“he hit the wall “

Man, this seems to be growing in the retelling. He didn’t “hit the wall”. At most one of his tyres just barely grazed it. After looking at the replays a few times I’m not even sure THAT much happened – you can see some scuff marks on the wall before he passes, and they don’t seem to have been added to afterwards.

15

“Near faultless”, i.e. decimating the field on pace from pole, while pushing the limits (and making 2 minor mistakes).

16

Alonso needs to stop limiting losses and start winning races again!

He’s not going to win the championship by limiting his losses, Ferrari needs to give him a winning car!

17

He has one.

18

So, according to the Sky commentary (and some of the interviews) all the drivers were pushing all the time – on these “rubbish” tyres that are as much use as marshmallows according to all the shouting by the fans on message boards – and that lasted 50 laps on some cars!

Plus, it looks as if Mercedes didn’t get so much benefit out of the 1000kms of Pirelli tyre testing after all 🙂

19

Weird – it’s the same supersofts as in Australia and the same medium tyres which were used in Australia, Malaysia, China, Spain etc etc

20

Anyone know why RIC finished so far behind JEV? After 2 laps he was 2 spots behind him, and then just fell away. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come

21

James , where do you think Raikkonen will end up in 2014? Please don’t sit on the fence.

22

I cannot see why he would not be in a Red Bull

23
Grayzee (Australia)

Do you really think he would want to go up against Vettel? I dunno about that…would be good to see though…..assuming Webber retires.

24

Tragic news to hear of the marshal killed. May he RIP.

Looks like shut the gates to Red Bull again in 2013. Four years to a drinks manufacturer tells you something is not right in the sport. No doubt it was a great effort by Sebastian but its always been clear to me that until F1 has budget caps it very unfair to compare a €300m+ team to one on €100M. Guess you can scoff at it- but that’s the sad reality.

Alot of teams will have updates at Silverstone – I know Lotus have a new engine cover but i just hope they find more – it’s great to see mid field teams keep the big guys honest !James whatever happened to their passive DRS ?? Thanks

25

R.I.P. to the brave marshal, thoughts and prayers to his family.

Sadly this race confirmed that the Red Bull is the best car, Vettel will win the title by over 100 points IMO.

Shame the Ferrari and Mercedes cars couldn’t merge, then they’d be just as fast, if not faster.

26

Tragic death. That was someone’s father or brother or husband. Rest in peace.

27

Can someone explain why 17 cars/22 racing in CAN yesterday were backmarkers? Only top 5 drivers (VET/ALO/HAM/WEB/ROS)had completed the 70 laps but the rest got lapped, even if I noticed n°6-10 still got in the points zones!

I don’t understand! I’ve never seen that before…

28

You must be new to F1. Off the top of my head, Hamilton lapped the entire field up to and including the fourth place driver at Silverstone 2008. That is, there were only two unlapped drivers.

I expect there are simile recent examples if you look.

29

All the discussion about who did what in the race and who’s going to be WDC this year and who didn’t deserve it the other year becomes so trivial in the light of news that a marshal, who gave time freely to facilitate the racing, was tragically killed in process of recovering a crashed car.

30

Off topic. Sad to hear a marshall die yesterday. My thought are with him family. Hat off to all marshalls. They have a risky job and it´s not always appreciated enough

31

james, why oh why have the bbc moved the fantastic gary anderson over to the radio. last year he seemed to do 70% tv 30% radio, now it seems 20% tv/80% radio, surley the tv gets more viewers, his knowledge is massive. (not that yours is not)

32

I’m very glad he is with us on BBC Radio 5.

Our audience is pretty huge too!! He moves from one comm box to the next to do a bit with TV then comes back to us again.

Seems to work very well

33

I though it was interesting that Vettel clearly had sufficient confidence in the durability of the tyres to push flat out from the outset, whereas a lot of the others (both Mercs and also Alonso) looked very much like they were conserving them in expectation of being able to push later in the race.

So I’m left wondering how Red Bull was able to arrive at such a level of confidence by Sunday morning that was clearly lacking among the others.

34
Warren Groenewald

Scarily dominant win by Vettel, but Canada doesn’t put much load into the tires which I guess allowed him to exploit the full pace of his car.

Not good news for the rest of the season if RBR sort their tire issues out. Silverstone could see Ferrari and Lotus back at the top of the pile again with Merc and RBR struggling again during the race.

Certainly hope so or this could get rather uninteresting.

35

Looks like the loss of Allison and a smaller budget is hurting Lotus now as they look to 2014. I think Ferrari, RB and Mercedes will pull away from the other teams.

36

The weather was fantastic!

Race was not too bad, clean start overall and quite a few battles, especially when Alonso was catching Lewis and touched wheels during the overtaking. Webber and Rosberg too. Di Resta was impressive with 57 laps before pitting.

Gotta give Vettel the respect for his maturity, though he did run out of track losing 4 secs but with the lead he had he could afford a few mistakes. And he never pushed for the fastest laps at the end of the final stint.

Ferrari and Alonso must solve their quali problems than we’ll have some close racing with Vettel and also cut down the championship points deficit.

37

the major problem ferrari face is qualifying. the reason alonso has got the measure of vettle in past few races is that we have had mercs on the front rows. subsequent to the starts of races you will find that the merc race pace not as good as the red bull however the merc helps keep the gap between alonso and vettle contained. now if you analyse the end of race margin of 15secs between vettle and alonso this clearly illustrates that the gap came from the fact that alosno spent the 1st stint behind rosberg/webber with this margin. had he started further up he would have been able to fight vettle in front. it is crucial that ferrari improve theri quali pace otherwise they always going to find themselves in the customary P5 behind mercs and red bull. this again exposes alonso to dnf risks by being entangled is 1st corner incidents etc. whilst ferrari has good race pace poor quali performances are going to yet again cost them the championship this year again.

38

Very true what you just said. We certainly need to figure out qualifying. We have been singing this tune for a very long time now. However, Canada was a different case with the cooler temperatures / rain. What also hurt us badly, in this race, was poor traction when exiting a corner. We could have narrowed the gap to Seb, but not too sure to what extent. The car is good, overall. But, man, we need to get the qualifying sorted out.

A question for James…given the weather conditions in Canada. I doubt teams may have extracted decent data in evaluating the revised tire compound. Will this tire be rolled out in Silverstone or will teams be given another go at it, preferably with warmer weather conditions?

DS

39

Some teams trying to block the change altogether… you can guess who..

40

I’m ALMOST, starting to come around to the idea that Seb is actually quite good and I’ve not given him enough credit for his previous titles. Almost.

Good to see Hamilton do well :o) – sad to see McLaren take another beating though…

41

Something has to be wrong if you didn’t realize Vettel was an amazing driver after the last four years!! 😮

42

I think he has had an amazing car for the last four years! 😀

43

@aaron

Fastest car +fastest driver + consistency = world champion.

Name me one driver who defies the above equation.

How about Damon Hill? I am probably going to get hoards of his fans shouting me down now. He is a nice man and obviously not rubbish ,but I don’t agree he was the fastest driver of his generation. Thus, disproving your equation 😉

44

yes and so has all the world champions so far. Its common sense Fastest Car + Fastest Driver + Consistency = Word Championship. Name one Driver who defies the above equation?

45
Grayzee (Australia)

So, Van der Garde gets a 5 grid penalty for taking of Webbers front wing ( among other things).

Given that he generally qualifies on the back row of the grid, it’s not much of a penalty is it? Where’s the justice?

46

The real injustice is when you qualify last and have a 5 – 10 grid penalty doesn’t really get enforced.

If it was up to me, the penalty should be enforced the next race, and the next one, one grid place at a time, or two, until the penalty is complete.

47

Maybe the penalty could be a 10-place grid penalty, unless the driver is eliminated in Q1, in which case it will be a case of having to start from the pitlane a minute after the green light? Something like that.

48
Grayzee (Australia)

Ok! I don’t get it. How could Mark Webber have set the fastest lap……. with half his front wing missing??? Teams spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing and building these super front wings……….and then Webber gets a very large chunk of one side of his knocked of, and yet continues on as if nothing happened. And he even set the Ffastest lap ………. Can anyone explain this? I know he’s good, but……….

49

Maybe the drivers are driving within the capability of the car and to a delta set by the tyres.

So in the later stage of a race it’s not difficult to set a fastest lap, even with a broken wing.

That’s how I see it anyway and it brings into question, as to what F1 is all about at the moment.

50

+1, I think you are onto something there. A well thought out and reasoned comment 😉

51

Because Mark is easily the best at working around problems with his car.

52
Tom in adelaide

That seems to happen to Massa quite a bit too…..maybe their respective “go slow #2” devices are getting knocked off?

53

an angry aussie putting his foot down

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