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26/03/2017 Disaster for the Aussie in Oz.

27/11/2016 Desert Decider - Abu Dhabi 2016

13/11/2016 Into-Lagos!

31/10/2016 Mexico City and the Revolving Third Step

23/10/2016 Star-spangled Hamilton

09/10/2016 The Decisive Race?

02/10/2016 Fiery Twist in Malaysia

18/09/2016 Showdown After Sunset

04/09/2016 Rosberg's Cathedral Domination

28/08/2016 A Champion's Drive

31/07/2016 Mercedes' Glorious Homecoming

24/07/2016 Changing of the Guard: Hungary 2016

10/07/2016 [Un]lucky 7?

03/07/2016 2016 Austrian Grand Prix - Sparks Fly in Spielberg

19/06/2016 Whitewash in Baku

12/06/2016 #LH45 in Montreal

29/05/2016 Hammertime in Monaco!

15/05/2016 Spain 2016 - Dazzling Debut

01/05/2016 2016 Russian GP Review - Rosberg Domination

17/04/2016 2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Rosberg Demonstration

03/04/2016 Bahrain 2016: Stunning Debut.

20/03/2016 2016 Australian Grand Prix Review

29/11/2015 Abu Dhabi 2015 Review

15/11/2015 Brazilian Grand Prix Review

10/11/2015 2015 Russian Grand Prix Review

Older stories here

#LH45 in Montreal

Montreal; home of the Isle de Notre Dame, in turn home of the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, named for Canada's favourite – if not most successful – son.

Kevin Magnussen shattered his chassis in FP3 and was forced to sit out qualifying.

Kvyat and Ericsson were both given 3-place grid penalties from their respective Monaco incidents – Kvyat piling into Magnussen at Rascasse, and Ericsson driving over the front wing of Nasr having spun the sister Sauber after Nasr defied team orders.

Haryanto lost a turning vane before his lap even got started – unlike his old GP2 car, that would do a lot of aerodynamic harm.

Palmer caught a wheel on the grass where his teammate hit the wall earlier in the day, luckily not mirroring the crash Magnussen endured.

Rosberg took a commanding position at the top of the timesheets, Vettel and Hamilton close but not quite able to oust the championship leader.

Verstappen reported light rain about halfway through Q1.

Palmer nudged the champions' wall as he fought to escape the drop zone, lucky again not to do any damage.

Haryanto brought out the yellow flags, demolishing the wheel rim on the right rear corner. He was forced to park on the back straight and qualified 21st. Palmer headed the drop zone, ahead of Wehrlein and the Sauber pair. Ericsson thus dropped to 21st, 22nd if Magnussen was allowed to take to the grid.

Sainz binned the Toro Rosso into the wall of champions and found himself sliding the full length of the pit straight with his right wheels no longer fully attached. The red flag was thrown. Sainz sat 4th of 5 runners so far, sandwiched between the Haas cars, teammate Kvyat leading from Hulkenberg.

Hamilton edged Rosberg when the session resumed by just 0.018 seconds. Ricciardo, Bottas and Verstappen split them from the Ferrari pair, Massa, Hulkenberg and Alonso rounded out the Q3 graduates. Perez led Button, Kvyat, both Haas cars and Sainz in the drop zone.

First blood in Q3 went to Hamilton by 0.062 seconds. Verstappen took 3rd from Vettel and Ricciardo, Bottas then leading Hulkenberg and Alonso. Massa and Raikkonen were only doing one run.

Massa slid into 7th behind his teammate, Raikkonen taking another lap to warm up his tyres as the other 8 cars joined them for the final run. Raikkonen took 6th from Bottas. Massa bailed from 8th. Vettel jumped to 3rd – Verstappen losing out to Ricciardo as well.

Magnussen started from the pit lane after failing to run in qualifying, while Sainz was demoted to 20th due to gearbox damage.

Raindrops falling on the camera lenses (and the track) made for tense times as the cars lined up on the grid.

Button and Haryanto took the super-softs while Perez and Magnussen started on track in the end, running the soft tyres.

A monster start from Vettel gave him the lead off the line while Rosberg was forced off the track. Verstappen led Ricciardo ahead of Raikkonen, the Williams pair, Alonso, Hulkenberg and Rosberg. Amazingly everyone survived the first couple of laps. Hulkenberg ended lap 2 ahead of Alonso. Rosberg made the same move a lap later.

Grosjean made the move on his teammate – seemingly a team order since Esteban opened his DRS flap and promptly closed it again. Further forwards, Verstappen was ordered to not hold his teammate up – so started to pull away.

Button retired with an engine failure on the back straight, bringing the VSC into play.

Vettel pitted the leader, just as the VSC ended. This rather undermined his ploy, but there was at least a small bit of time gained. Raikkonen also pitted.

Sainz pitted on lap 13 from behind his teammate, presumably trying to get some clean air. Gutierrez also stopped, having lost out to both Toro Rosso cars.

Rosberg overtook Hulkenberg by lap 15, now sat in 7th place.

Vettel took 3rd from Ricciardo, setting his sights on Verstappen.

Alonso, Grosjean and Palmer pitted on lap 17. Grosjean jumped Alonso thanks to a slow McLaren stop, while Palmer retired.

Verstappen pitted for softs, aiming for a one-stop strategy and dropping to 8th ahead of Raikkonen.

Lap 21 saw Ricciardo and Rosberg pitting, just one lap later. Raikkonen jumped them both, and Perez also held position over Rosberg.

Massa pitted on lap 22 for softs.

Vettel was setting fastest laps while Hamilton was struggling to keep the W07 on the track. Meanwhile Bottas narrowly missed clearing Ricciardo as the former came out of the pits after the fastest stop of the race.

Rosberg set the fastest lap on lap 23, Hamilton ceding the lead as he pitted on lap 24. The championship leader cleared Perez under DRS.

The fight between Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Bottas and Rosberg for 4th was hotting up, the latter 3 with DRS lap after lap at this point. At the front, Vettel was half a pit stop ahead of Hamilton.

Raikkonen dropped to 8th after pitting for soft tyres at the end of lap 33.

Ricciardo dropped behind Bottas after missing his breaking point at the final chicane. Meanwhile the sister Williams was retired with an overheating engine.

Rosberg jumped Ricciardo as the Red Bull pitted to replace a flat-spotted tyre, but the right front was slow to replace. Vettel also pitted, coming out and setting fastest laps before locking up behind backmarkers.

Rosberg asked the team what was happening with his car as he was receiving warnings on his steering wheel. The team confirmed the warnings were real, but not what they were.

Verstappen switched back to the ultra soft tyres on lap 46.

Hamilton was losing time to Vettel, the gap under 6 seconds with 22 laps remaining.

Rosberg was informed he had a slow puncture and was forced to make a second stop, dropping him to 7th and, strangely, leaving the soft tyre on. He started reeling in the fight for 5th between Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

Lap 53 saw Perez clearing Alonso out of the way for the final point.

Rosberg took 6th from Ricciardo on lap 54, giving chase to Raikkonen as Gutierrez was lapped by the trio.

Quietly trundling round in 3rd and 4th were Bottas and Verstappen, neither really under threat from the cars around them aside from Rosberg, who attacked Verstappen at the end of lap 63 only to find the Red Bull on every apex. The same happened a lap later.

Rosberg seemed to have brake issues, not using DRS on lap 65 and locking up into the final chicane.

Lap 69 saw a desperate move from Rosberg into the final chicane, the Mercedes briefly ahead before spinning and falling to 5th again.

Hamilton won from Vettel and Bottas. Verstappen surprised a few people, holding off Rosberg ahead of Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Sainz and Perez. Alonso dragged the McLaren to 11th, leading Kvyat, Gutierrez, Grosjean, Ericsson, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Nasr and Haryanto. Massa, Palmer and Button failed to make the flag.

This leaves just 9 points between the Mercedes drivers going into the new circuit in Baku.

 

Tufty



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