Two things didn’t happen on Sunday in Montreal that would have otherwise spiced up the first “Sebastian Vettel benefit” since Bahrain: rain, and safety cars.
The mixed conditions that had hit Circuit Gilles Villeneuve all weekend created something of a jumbled grid, notably with Valtteri Bottas taking his Williams FW35-Renault to heights it could never have hit in dry conditions in third.
Still, with Vettel on pole, all he had to do on Sunday was his usual task of pulling out a big enough gap in the first few laps to avoid having the car behind him close enough to use DRS. A gap of more than two seconds after lap one was pretty much all he needed to set sail on what has traditionally been a “bogey track” for him and the Red Bull Racing team.
Bottas’ presence, too, was always going to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of the faster cars behind him. Sixth-starting Fernando Alonso was desperate to get past in the opening laps and even though the Spaniard did, he was already too far back of Vettel to have a proper chance of catching the Red Bull.
That Alonso made it to second, but still some 14.4 seconds back by the checkered flag, was a testament to both of their races. Alonso did everything he could but was never in with a chance against the Red Bull.
The other thing to note was the obvious lack of safety cars. A frequent staple at Montreal, the safety car never made an appearance on Sunday, and thus never had the chance to wipe out Vettel’s insurmountable lead.
Adrian Sutil got off lucky when he spun at Turn 3 and 4, not getting collected or hitting the wall on his own. The Giedo van der Garde/Mark Webber dust-up at the hairpin was a clumsy moment but not worthy of bringing out the safety car.
Vettel’s domination and the cleanliness of the Formula One field ensured there weren’t the necessary ingredients to spice up what’s usually one of the more intriguing Grands Prix of the year.
Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.
Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.
The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.
Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.
“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.
“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.
“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.
“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”
Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.