German driver, Sebastian Vettel, lead Ferrari to victory on Sunday
It was all about Ferrari at this year’s Canadian Grand Prix. The race took place at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Canada where Sebastian Vettel managed to keep the lead from pole position to seal the victory.
It was the Italian team’s first Canadian GP win since Michael Schumacher in 2004, a race Vettel watched on television as a teenager at home in Germany. It was also the 50th career victory for the 30-year-old, who was a four-time Formula One champion in his days at Red Bull Renault.
And it came as the event celebrated the win of 40 years ago by another Ferrari driver — Gilles Villeneuve of Berthierville, whose son Jacques drove his dad’s 1978 Ferrari around the track in the pre-race parade lap.
“Like every Grand Prix there’s not one person to dedicate it to,” said Vettel. “I dedicate it to the team and to the Canadian [Ferrari] fans.
“I think they’ve waited long enough for Ferrari to do well here. Forty years after Gilles won his Grand Prix here, I think it’s great to show that Ferrari’s still alive, winning races. I’m extremely proud to become part of that story. Hopefully a bit more in the future.”
Vettel took his fourth pole of the season in Canada. He would convert pole into his 3rd victory of the season & the 50th of his career, becoming just the 4th man in F1 history to reach a half-century of wins (after Schumacher, Hamilton & Prost). It was also the 14th time in Vettel’s career he led a race from start to finish, with only Senna (19) having more. He would leave Montreal with a one-point lead in the championship. Even though Lewis Hamilton had made Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve his own during his F1 career, he had a difficult weekend and only finished 5th.
After taking pole position by less than a tenth of the second from Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, Vettel emphasised how crucial the improvements on Ferrari’s engine were to place the Italian team back on top of the podium.
“The car’s been beautiful today,” he said. “At the end, I was just praying the car stays fine, nothing would break, but it’s been a really good weekend.
“Yesterday was perfect, Friday was difficult, but we bounced back. With the improvements we made for this weekend, mostly on the power unit, introducing a new engine helped us around this track probably a bit more than other tracks, but it was a team effort. It goes hand in hand.
“We had new oil, new fuel — our partnership with Shell is important. Getting everything together is the key. I’m just happy. It was a great Grand Prix to win.”
But it is never all plain sailing on the tracks as he did have issues with the car midway through the race.
“I think after the stop, we had a sequence of… I don’t know, I had to change a lot of things on the steering wheel. At some point, I was saying ‘OK when am I allowed to drive again?’ I was looking down, changing something, then looking back. Obviously, we were managing some things in the background.”