Hamilton had a good start and squeezed his team mate Nico Rosberg out before Turn 1 after the German got a slightly better launch than Hamilton. Otherwise it was mostly single file into turn 1 with Nico Hulkenberg climbing up 1 place and the out of position Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Williams of Felipe Massa also made up ground after technical glitches in Qualifying saw them at the back of the grid.
On lap 4 Sebastian Vettel attempting to pass the McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso into the hairpin at the back of the circuit but a lock up on the front left allowed the former Ferrari driver to take back the place. However the pleasure of regaining the place would soon disappear as the Ferrari breezed past the slow Honda powered McLaren by the time they reached the final chicane.
In the early stages of the race Felipe Massa whom started on the prime Soft compound tyres was stuck behind the Ferrari powered Sauber of Marcus Ericsson which led to Sebastian Vettel going for an early undercut just to avoid getting stuck in traffic and switched onto the Prime tyres, but had a 6.5 second stop losing him even more time.
As Vettel made his way back through the pack he again encountered Fernando Alonso on lap 20 but when the Ferrari tried to make the move around the outside of the final chicane there wasn’t enough room thus forcing the 4 time world champion over the kerbs and nearly into the ‘Wall of Champions’.
However by lap 25 Vettel was through and Alonso was instructed to fuel save as the Honda engine wasn’t having good fuel consumption which was added to the list which contains poor reliability and not enough power making it the slowest engine in F1. The McLaren driver replied with “I don’t want to ... We are looking like armatures”. Even Jenson Button complained about having to save fuel which was the first time that the McLaren PR masks have come off the two drivers this season in their attitude to Honda
When the pit stops arrived on lap 28-31, 3rd placed Kimi Raikkonen attempted the undercut to try and close up to Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes but in similar fashion to Canada 2014 and Lewis Hamilton in FP1 when Raikkonen got onto the power at the hairpin there was a burst of torque to the engine and it meant that Kimi spun on his out lap which allowed Valtteri Bottas to comfortable jump his fellow Fin when he stopped a lap later.
After Vettel had made his second stop of the afternoon he was making his way back through the field again. On lap 46 he got a run on his fellow countryman Nico Hulkenberg, who is racing in Le 4Mans this weekend, but an audacious move around the outside of the final chicane saw Hulkenberg take avoiding action thus causing a spin for the Force India. Vettel didn’t make contact with the Le Mans driver and thus avoided a penalty.
Lap 47 saw the first retirement of the day as the McLaren of Fernando Alonso retired with a broken exhaust. The Spaniard later admitted that he would’ve run out of fuel anyway having ignored their calls to save fuel early on in the race. McLaren-Honda’s day was made worse when Jenson Button also retired with an exhaust problem, rounding out another miserable day for the Brit in 2015.
But it was Lewis Hamilton who cruised to victory in Canada one of his strongest tacks alongside Britain, Hungary and Abu Dhabi. The 2014 World Champion had Rosberg covered all race once again this season. Had Vettel hadn’t had the MGU-H issue in qualifying he could’ve given the Mercedes a good run for their money but it wasn’t to be and Bottas took his and Williams’ first podium of the season, one race earlier than last year.
Going to Austria it’s looking like another torrid weekend for the Renault powered teams of Toro Rosso, Red Bull and the Honda powered McLaren. Can Mercedes keep their pole and winning streak going at the only track they never claimed pole at in 2014. Will Williams and or Ferrari be able to make the race an interesting one as F1 2015 style is yet to take off?
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Nico Rosberg
3. Valtteri Bottas
4. Kimi Raikkonen
5. Sebastian Vettel
6. Felipe Massa
7. Pastor Maldonado
8. Nico Hulkenberg
9. Daniil Kvyat
10. Romain Grosjean
11. Sergio Perez
12. Carlos Sainz
13. Daniel Ricciardo
14. Marcus Ericsson
15. Max Verstappen
16. Felipe Nasr
17. Will Stevens
Roberto Merhi DNF
Jenson Button DNF
Fernando Alonso DNF