Vettel breaks Red Bull’s north American curse as Canada victory extends title lead

 
Julian Harris
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RED Bull's Sebastian Vettel says that last night’s win at the Canadian Grand Prix makes up for the string of disappointments in North America that plagued him and his team in past seasons.

The German took the chequered flag at Montreal in one hour, 32 minutes and nine seconds – over 14 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari – to secure the first Formula One victory that either he or Red Bull have recorded in Canada or the US. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton completed the podium.

“Finally we got our first win [in Canada] – it's off the list now and it was great to win,” Vettel said.

“We had good races here before but it didn’t come together to win, then I lost it in the last lap two years ago which was my fault but I made up for that [this time].”

Vettel was half a lap away from victory in 2011’s Canadian Grand Prix, yet made a mistake which let McLaren’s Jenson Button past.

Leading from pole yesterday, Vettel made a couple of mistakes – nudging the wall once, and driving over grass after missing a turn on another occasion – yet in the end did more than enough to win.

Topping the podium for the third time this season, Vettel extended his lead in the drivers’ rankings to 36 points.

Alonso, who climbed from sixth on the grid to finish second yesterday, moves up to second in the championship.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen – who is believed to be in the running to become a team-mate of Vettel’s at Red Bull next season – had a tough day, ending in ninth place as his car lacked pace. He is now 44 points behind Vettel.

Meanwhile, starting second on the grid, Mercedes’ Hamilton drove well yet was pipped into third by Alonso. Hamilton held off pressure from the Ferrari for several laps, but succumbed on a straight of lap 63. The Brit nearly reclaimed the position when Alonso lost time on a subsequent chicane, yet could not make it stick and settled for third.

His compatriot Paul di Resta took many of the plaudits after an exceptionally strong performance saw him move from 17th at the start to finish seventh.

Driving in Force India’s 100th race in F1, Di Resta took advantage of the car’s ability to look after its tyres, managing to avoid pitting until lap 57.

Fellow Brit Jenson Button had a less successful race, however, ending in 12th position. It was the first time in 65 races that McLaren had failed to get either of their cars to finish in the points.

“I have never been so pleased to get out of a car,” Button said. “I am looking forward to Silverstone, because it can’t be worse than here.” The British Grand Prix takes place 28-30 June.