Hamilton – A Great Blow For Ferrari
Canadian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton believes the outcome of the race will have served as a “great blow” to rival team Ferrari, which finished off the podium with both cars for the first time in F1 2017.
Mercedes driver Hamilton dominated proceedings in the 70-lap Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event, leading home Valtteri Bottas in a comfortable 1-2 for the Silver Arrows.
The German manufacturer’s race was made easier by a troubled outing for Ferrari, as championship leader Sebastian Vettel could only recover to fourth after opening-lap front wing damage – and teammate Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for seventh due to late-race brake woes.
It proved a stark contrast to the preceding Monaco F1 race from two weeks ago, where Ferrari managed an easy 1-2 and Hamilton was only seventh.
Celebrating his sixth Canadian GP win, Hamilton said: “It has been an incredible weekend, I couldn’t be happier, firstly for the team.
“To have come away from Monaco, really, everyone scratching their heads and wanting to work and pull together, and we did.
“In these five years [with Mercedes], I’ve not seen the team pull so well together and work towards the same cause, to understand the car and come here and deliver what we delivered – a great blow to Ferrari.
“Valtteri did a fantastic job this weekend, our first 1-2 for the team, solid points, so well done.”
Having cut Vettel’s championship lead down to 12 points, Hamilton says Mercedes is now back where it needs to be to sustain its title challenge.
“[Mercedes] did such great work, analysing where we went wrong, all the points – this is where we went wrong and this is what we need to do to fix it – it was just amazing teamwork,” Hamilton said. “We came here, the car is back to where it should be. Doesn’t mean it’ll be like that every time.
“Although Monaco would’ve been a good one to win, I am happy it happened early in the season. It should put us in a good position from here moving forwards.”
Bottas, whose second-place finish helped Mercedes leapfrog Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, said: “Like Lewis said, I am also really happy for us as a team, impressive to see in only two weeks what we have been able to do and improve with everything in the team.
“The 1-2 here is amazing and we are glad to be on top of that.”
The Finn finished 20 seconds behind his teammate, having opted to do his final stint on softs, whereas Hamilton had gone for the ultrasoft compound.
“[The soft] was not quite as good as I was expecting so pace was missing. Still, I knew what I had to in the end, bring the car home and get the points.”
Dovizioso Gives Ducati Back To Back Victories
Andrea Dovizioso made it back-to-back MotoGP victories for Ducati for the first time since 2010, beating Marc Marquez to win the Catalan Grand Prix.
From seventh on the grid, Dovizioso jumped into the lead pack and then emerged on top after a battle with Honda’s Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Seven days after winning in the dry for the first time at Mugello, Dovizioso claimed Ducati’s first win at Barcelona since Casey Stoner’s 2007 victory.
Stoner was also its last winner of consecutive races, at Aragon and Motegi in 2010.
Despite making a terrible start from the middle of the front row, Jorge Lorenzo was able to pass Pedrosa for the lead at Turn 5 on the opening lap, and ran at the front for the opening stages.
But the Ducati rider never led by more than half a second and then fell to sixth in the space of just over one lap, a chain started by Marquez firing a move down the inside at Turn 10 on lap six.
Pedrosa followed Marquez through, before Lorenzo was passed by his teammate Dovizioso at Turn 14, then Tech 3 Yamaha’s Jonas Folger and Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci – who bumped into Marquez off the line – the next time around.
Lorenzo’s drop left the Hondas and Dovizioso as the lead three, shadowed by Folger.
Dovizioso passed Marquez for second on lap eight, and starting the second half of the 25-lap race the lead quartet was covered by just eighth tenths.
It was status quo for the next phase, until Dovizioso made his move, passing Pedrosa into Turn 1 starting lap 17, finishing it with a 0.439s buffer.
Marquez put a move on Pedrosa into Turn 4 the next time around to reclaim second, by which point Dovizioso’s lead had doubled.
While Marquez initially looked like he might be able to mount a challenge, Dovizioso responded and led by more than one second for the first time entering the final five laps.
From there, Dovizioso charged on to take his fourth career MotoGP victory by 3.544s.
Marquez settled for second, having crashed five times across the weekend, while Pedrosa faded late but still completed the podium.
After dropping down the order in the first third of the race, Lorenzo regrouped to finish in fourth place as his hard rear tyre came into its own.
He fought off a challenge from Valentino Rossi, then emerged on top of a spirited battle with Alvaro Bautista and Johann Zarco.
With a pair of quick moves on Folger and then Petrucci, at Turns 10 and 13 with four laps remaining, he moved into fourth place, ultimately finishing 9.608s behind Dovizioso.
Petrucci crashed at Turn 5 on the penultimate lap, while Folger struggled late on heavily-worn tyres and was passed for fifth by Zarco, the pair split by just 0.083s crossing the line.
Bautista finished seventh, while Rossi was the best of the Yamahas in a distant eighth, 20.821s off top spot.
Rossi’s teammate Maverick Vinales got away slowly from ninth and fell to 16th, and ultimately finished in 10th, largely aided by attrition.
He maintains the championship lead, but now only by seven points over Dovizioso, with third-placed Marquez 23 adrift.
Aleix Espargaro started fifth and lost several places early, before pulling his smoking Aprilia over on lap eight.
Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller was the only rider other than Petrucci to crash, also at Turn 5, from 10th place early in the second half of the race.
Tanak Lands First WRC Win
M-Sport driver Ott Tanak completed the final four stages of Rally Italy to claim his maiden WRC victory.
Tanak came close to winning the 2016 edition of Rally Poland when he lost the lead in the penultimate stage with a puncture, and this year’s Portuguese rally, where he crashed from first place on Saturday.
The 29-year-old inherited the lead in Rally Italy after Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon crashed on Saturday afternoon.
The Estonian ended that day with a 24-second lead and maintained his gap over Jari-Matti Latvala throughout the final day of action.
Latvala took his first podium finish for both himself and Toyota since his second- and first-place finishes in the first two events of the season.
The Finn lost a couple of seconds in SS17, the second of the four stages, after stalling and pushing “the stop button instead of the start button”.
He also made a small error in the Power Stage by running wide at a hairpin, missing out on winning the test by 2.3s, which left the Finn massively frustrated.
His mistake allowed teammate Esapekka Lappi to top the Power Stage, the Finn taking fourth overall behind Thierry Neuville, who took his fifth straight podium finish.
The Toyota rookie completed his only second rally in a WRC car in fourth, impressively taking the most stage wins with six.
His teammate Juho Hanninen was struggling with steering issues and gave up fifth to Sebastien Ogier despite starting the day 44 seconds in the clear.
Norwegian duo Mads Ostberg and Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top eight, the former losing two minutes after having to tackle the most of the Power Stage with a broken rear right wheel.
Mikklense finished his first WRC rally with Citroen more than eight minutes behind the winner, as the top representative of the French marque.
After crashing on Saturday, Paddon went off again in the penultimate stage.
Other main-class drivers to finish the rally were Dani Sordo (Hyundai) at 17 minutes behind and Craig Breen (Citroen) and Elfyn Evans (Dmack), who were both 44 minutes adrift.