It may have been cold and overcast in Montreal, but there was plenty of shining performances throughout a strategic and intriguing Grand Prix. And, although some unnoticed underdog performances would have been worthy of the accolade, we could only really give it to…
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, Lewis’ victory lap tribute to the late Muhammed Ali, was a fitting quote to ice the victory cake with. Not only was Hamilton in full control of the race the moment Ferrari threw the dice against the Virtual Safety Car early on, but also had the power and poise to strike with fast laps where it counted. Mercedes called the strategy, but Lewis had to execute it, which he did masterfully.
The temperature of the track played its part too; many were expecting a two-stop race for the majority of the field, which they duly delivered, but it became more and more apparent that stopping only once was possible. Valterri Bottas took the gamble and was rewarded with Williams’ first podium of the season, making him a contender for Top Dog. Fernando Alonso’s McLaren didn’t have enough puff to get him into the points, which means he isn’t.
Lewis did have to rely on Vettel not pulling off a miracle and making a Ferrari pitcall work, which seems less likely than Sauber being competitive, but let’s not take that away from what this victory actually was; a performance that delivered a result, which this season hasn’t happened thanks to unreliability and sprinkles of bad luck.
The title race is now cracked wide open too. Nico Rosberg is carrying the wounds of two maulings in consecutive races and has seen his 43 point championship advantage battered down to just 9, compounded by being pipped by Nico Hulkenberg in Monaco and rope-a-doped by Max Verstappen in the closing stages of Canada. A bloody nose from Hamilton’s first corner jab didn’t help matters either.
It took over 6 months for Hamilton to find his winning form once more, and only a fortnight to get back into that title winning rhythm. At this rate the Brit will have a few more trophies to go alongside his TOP DOG award.