Despite a short stint away from the top step of the podium, it was Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel that came through to win the 2013 F1 Grand Prix in Canada last weekend.
The German driver started his weekend well, clinching pole position in qualifying ahead of British driver Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes-Benz and William’s driver Valtteri Bottas in a surprising third place.
Vettel’s main championship rival – Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso – had a dismal qualifying, taking up sixth slot on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Our local team from Woking recorded solid results in qualifying, with the McLarens of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button finishing in 12th and 14th position respectively. Having used one fewer set of tyres each in qualifying, it put both cars in good shape for the race in terms of strategy.
Vettel got a strong start and built up a near-three-second lead after the first two laps, while the field duked it out. The current World Champion only relinquished his grip on the race for three laps having made his first pit stop, before he reclaimed first place from Lewis Hamilton as the Brit dived in for tyres.
This left Vettel around 15 seconds clear, looking like he could command the pace for the rest of the race – which is exactly what he did.
Apart from brushing the wall and making an off-track excursion at the first corner – at least proving he was still pushing – Vettel cruised to victory, cementing his championship charge for this season. He now stands 36 points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who moved into second place in the drivers’ standings after a scoring second place in Canada – a strong result given his qualifying position.
Hamilton slipped to a third place finish and Rosberg to fourth, although the Mercedes’ tyre issues weren’t as bad as in previous races. Both racers managed the tyres well, too.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate was on for a podium until he tangled with Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham when trying to lap the backmarker. The latter received a 10-second stop-go penalty for his role in the collision, but the damage cost Webber front downforce and meant his pace slowed, allowing Alonso to pass him for second.
A poor showing for Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, getting lapped by Sebastian Vettel before half-race distance and finishing ninth overall, meant he drops to third in the championship behind leader Vettel and second place man Alonso. McLaren recorded an 11th place finish with Sergio Perez, with Button crossing the line just one position behind in 12th.
Sadly, the race was overshadowed by terrible news after it was confirmed a trackside marshal was killed after an incident that occurred in trying to remove Esteban Gutierrez’s stricken Sauber following the finish of the race.
After a Red Bull whitewash in Canada, Formula One moves to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix at the end of June. We’ll be getting behind our boys at McLaren, who’ll be pushing for a good result on home soil. We can’t wait.