It’s difficult to call what happened in Montreal today a race, exactly. At the front of the field, it was Sebastian Vettel who had qualified on pole, run away at the start, and set the car on cruise control leading every single lap and never looking back. This was an incredibly boring Formula One Grand Prix, which is not exactly typical of the Canadian circuit, having forged a number of indelible memories in the collective consciousness of the F1 viewing public. I guess it’s cool that Ferrari won forty years after Gilles Villeneuve’s first win here, so there’s that.
In stark opposition to the Canadian pride invoked by the Villeneuve anniversary, the opening lap of the race was marred by an utterly bone-headed move by current Canadian F1 driver Lance Stroll. While being passed by Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley, Stroll applied too much throttle coming out of Turn 5, lighting up the rear tires and sliding wide through the exit of the corner. This pushed Hartley out wide, and ultimately squeezed his car between Stroll’s and the concrete wall, launching the Toro Rosso chassis into the air. The pair slid, interlocked, into the gravel at the outside of turn 6, where they both retired from the race. Oh Canada, indeed!
The remaining drivers were forced to bunch up under a safety car period while the crash was cleaned up, negating the small margin Vettel had stretched in just a few short corners. It turns out, he needn’t have worried, as he just jumped away from everyone again when the field went back to green.
The only other excitement came in the form of Sergio Perez running through the grass, not hitting anything, and returning to the race circuit unharmed. And some 40 laps into the GP, Fernando Alonso’s car suffered an exhaust manifold failure, and he was forced to retire. An ignominious end to his 300th Grand Prix start.
Behind Vettel, the podium was finished out with Valtteri Bottas in second and Max Verstappen not crashing to bring it home in third, allowing for a huge championship points mix up. With the victory, Sebastian Vettel re-takes the lead of the points championship from Lewis Hamilton. The German Ferrari driver now leads the world by just one single point, 121 points to 120. By securing second, Bottas now moves up into third in the championship with a distant 86.