Vettel replaces Hamilton atop standings with Canada triumph

Sebastian Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix for 50th career victory

Sebastian Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix for 50th career victory

Vettel covered the 2.71-mile (4.36-km) track in 1 minute, 10.764 seconds to deprive Lewis Hamilton of a record seventh pole in Montreal.

Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was second followed by the Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Daniel Riciardo, the victor two weeks ago in Monaco.

On the basis of Friday practice, Sebastian Vettel does not see himself as a contender for victory even though Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen set the second fastest time.

Starting cleanly, Vettel was pulling away from the field when a crash between Brandon Hartley and hometown favourite Lance Stroll brought out the safety auto in the very first lap.

Vettel has now opened up the race for the Drivers' Championship title, but can he extend his slender lead in the coming weeks?

Mercedes offered Hamilton the option of turning down his engine in the closing laps, but he declined, pressuring Ricciardo and getting to within a second of the Red Bull.

"The auto was incredible in qualifying and it just kept getting quicker", said Vettel, whose Ferrari team were using new engines.

Vettel, who stuck his Ferrari auto on pole position with a stunning performance in qualifying by breaking the lap record with a 1:10.764, will be starting on the ultrasoft compound and said it never crossed their mind to think otherwise.

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"I think this is a major wake-up call for every member of the team", he said. We are still in the fight for the race win but it is a three-team fight and Red Bull will make things interesting by starting on the hypersofts.

"This championship is going to be won or lost with the tiniest of margins, and certainly not having given the drivers enough track time on the hyper is something that if we could have changed it on the weekend we would have", said Wolff.

"I'm very happy with this weekend so far", said Verstappen, who has been much criticised for his mistakes this season. There's one point in it at the top, and Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen can all get themselves right back in there if a result or two goes their way.

"We think it's a good tyre for us, and in the long run [in practice] I felt good on it", he explained.

"Pole position is always important", said Vettel.

"We knew that, in general, we're lacking power, so we just try to compensate with that", said Verstappen. It was his second Canadian GP win after 2013, when he drove for Red Bull Renault.

"It will be interesting to see how it does in the start of the race, especially because Red Bull will start on the hypersoft".

The day was less positive for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who was celebrating his 300th Formula One race.

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