Lewis Hamilton’s love affair with the Canadian Grand Prix continued on Sunday in Montreal as he stormed to a fourth victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, re-establishing his dominance over Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg in the process.
That is if it was ever in question. In Spain, Hamilton was clearly second best, and his Monaco defeat was down to a frankly astonishing strategic error. Even then though, Rosberg admitted that Hamilton had been better and deserved the win. This time around, there was no stopping the Briton.
His victory was nothing too spectacular, but that is what was perhaps so good about it: it didn’t need to be. On the podium after the race, Rosberg explained how he was pushing like mad to try and catch Hamilton, lurking within two seconds of his teammate for much of the race.
Hamilton had plenty in reserve though. His challenge was to save fuel – no safety car meant the margins were very fine – whilst maintaining a pace to curb any threat from Rosberg. It was an exemplary display.
And one that, as he admitted himself, was dearly needed. The defeat in Monaco and the fall-out from the result will undoubtedly have been playing on the Briton’s mind on race day, even if he claimed otherwise. What he needed was a run-of-the-mill race: no safety cars, no drama, just a simple Sunday drive.
It all went according to plan on that front. Hamilton didn’t need to put his race in the hands of his team or make any big strategic calls himself. All he had to do was control the race from the front.
Rosberg made an interesting claim on the podium after the race, saying that qualifying was the decisive factor in his defeat, suggesting he had the race to dominate like Hamilton did had he started on pole. Yet again though, the German didn’t really get close to winning the race, nor did he ever look capable of making a pass. When was the last time Rosberg passed and beat Hamilton in a straight fight?
Montreal brings out the very best in Lewis Hamilton. He won his first race back here in 2007, and is now a four-time winner at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Canadian Grand Prix wins is surely going to come under threat in years to come.