Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari will falter in championship battle

Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari will falter in championship battle

"I think his charisma, the character he brought to Formula One and racing in general, is still alive today".

The Ferrari man started on pole and lead throughout around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where Hamilton had triumphed in each of the past three seasons.

"It was just a very hard session", he said. "For sure it's a good side effect". "But in qualifying I couldn't quite hit the potential we had shown".

The race started with a dramatic crash on Lap 1 when Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and William's Lance Stroll took each other out in an incident.

A steward's investigation found neither driver at fault. He has a 14-point lead over Vettel and a 38-point edge on Ricciardo.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, victorious in Monaco two weeks ago, was sixth in the second Red Bull as his team-mate Verstappen, who had been fastest throughout practice, continued to deliver a flawless riposte to his critics.

But the early stop unleashed Ricciardo's superior pace, and when the Australian emerged from the pits on the next lap ahead of the Briton to net fourth place.

The Ferrari and Mercedes drivers will start the race on the ultrasoft Pirellis, having used that compound to set their fastest times in Q2, with Red Bull and the rest of the top 10 using hypersofts.

Ferrari was the first to pull the trigger, stopping Raikkonen on Lap 33. Ferrari have not won the drivers' championship since 2007 when it was Kimi Räikkönen who claimed the title for them and after Vettel's previous victories in Australia and Bahrain, this result gives great impetus to their attempt to end the drought.

"Since Lap 1 really seemed to be a bit quicker all the time and they could kind of control the race", he said.

But ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Verstappen made clear he was unimpressed by both those pleas for him to calm down, and by people pushing him more on what has happened this year.

There's much more scope for overtaking in Canada than there is at most Grands Prix, so Hamilton could still get on the podium or better if he does well on Sunday, but he'll need to find the kind of pace his rivals displayed so readily here.

Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz of Renault, Esteban Ocon of Force India and Charles Leclerc of Sauber also finished in the points.

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