Bottas scores 4th podium of the year in Montréal
Valtteri Bottas racked up his fourth podium in eight races at the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, placing 2nd behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton bringing the car home in P5.
After the race, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport retains a 17-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship despite a strong performance from closest rivals Ferrari.
Both opting to start on the Ultrasoft tyre for their opening stints, Valtteri and Lewis held their respective positions through the Turn 1-2 complex, fending off aggressive challenges from both Red Bull drivers.
As is common within the close walls of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Safety Car was deployed almost immediately on Lap 1 after Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley came together exiting the fast right-hander of Turn 6.
5 laps later the race resumed with the running order largely unchanged as most drivers committed to a one-stop strategy.
In response to the Red Bulls pitting on Laps 16 and 17, Lewis Hamilton opted to pit early (Lap 16) into his stint and fitted the Supersoft compound. Lewis would then continue to chase the Red Bulls home for the remainder of the race, with the gap closing to just 0.3s in the final laps.
At the front of the pack, Valtteri was hunting down Sebastian Vettel for the lead, with the two trading fastest sectors as they pushed long into the race on their Ultrasoft tyres. An undercut attempt on Lap 38 by Valtteri wasn’t enough however, as Vettel’s electric pace (1:14.163) following his Lap 39 pit stop couldn’t be matched.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers maintained P2 and P5 to the chequered flag with Daniel Ricciardo holding on to 4th despite immense pressure from Lewis Hamilton – who was also reporting engine issues himself at this time.
In a bizarre finish to the Canadian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo would only momentarily hang on to Fastest Lap of the race (1:13.835) as the final two laps were retroactively discounted in response to an early chequered flag. This meant Max Verstappen’s effort on Lap 67 (1:13.864) would count as the official Fastest Lap of the race.
Despite the opening lap incident and the harsh nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s heavy braking zones, there were only three retirements from the Canadian Grand Prix, mirroring last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The team leaves Canada conceding the lead in the Drivers’ Championship to Sebastian Vettel (121 points), with Lewis Hamilton only a point behind (120 points) and Valtteri Bottas placed 3rd (86 points).
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (206 points) leads Ferrari (189 points) by 17 points in the Constructors’ Championship