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Published: 20:31 | 12/6/16

Hamilton closes on Rosberg with Canada win

German leads Englishman by just nine points

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton secured victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, while teammate Nico Rosberg could only manage to finish in fifth place.

The result brings current champion Hamilton to within nine points of Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ standings, with the German having careered wide on the opening lap at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, before later suffering a slow puncture.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel jumped both pole-sitter Hamilton and second-placed Rosberg as the lights went out but was unable to utilise a two-stop strategy to bag the win.

Vettel finished second, with Valtteri Bottas producing a fantastic performance to take third place for Williams, after being seventh on the grid.

Max Verstappen came home fourth for Red Bull, having held off the late advances of Rosberg, who spun in trying to overtake the youngster at the death but managed to right his Mercedes to finish fifth.

Kimi Raikkonen finished where he had started, sixth, in the second of the Ferraris, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took seventh place on a disappointing outing for the Australian.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg avoided trouble to secure eighth place, with Carlos Sainz superbly coming from close to the back of the grid to finish ninth.

The final available point was scored by Hulkenberg’s teammate, Sergio Perez.

It was a disheartening day for McLaren in Montreal, with Fernando Alonso finishing one place outside of the points after Jenson Button had succumbed to a blown engine.

Williams driver Felipe Massa was another to suffer from power-unit troubles, as the Brazilian failed to finish due to overheating in his Mercedes engine.

Off the line at the start of the race, Vettel powered away masterfully to grab the lead from Hamilton prior to the opening corner, before Rosberg was pushed off the circuit by the pole-sitter between Turn 1 and Turn 2, dropping into the midfield as a result.

Vettel kept hold of the lead despite missing the chicane at the end of the first lap but was pitted by Ferrari earlier than expected, as a virtual safety car period was called for Button’s retirement, committing the German to a two-stop plan.

After overtaking both Red Bulls, Vettel began an impressive pursuit of leader Hamilton, regaining the lead when the Englishman came in his for solitary stop at one-third distance.

Vettel made his second and final visit to the pits a little after the midpoint of the race, handing Hamilton a seven-second lead at the front.

The former Red Bull man appeared to have the pace to catch the leader but a brace of further mistakes at the final chicane lost him crucial ground in the gripping battle.

Vettel’s errors provided breathing space to Hamilton, who calmly completed the remaining laps without any undue drama.

Meanwhile, Verstappen defended superbly from Rosberg late on. In desperately trying to take fourth, the second Mercedes spun on the final lap after moving past the Dutchman, but the German managed to recover to prevent a further loss of ground in the points battle with Hamilton.

With Rosberg having dominated the early stages of the 2016 season, it is Hamilton who is now well and truly the man in form, increasing the pressure on his fellow Mercedes driver with every passing event.

Canadian Grand Prix: provisional race results
Pos. Driver, Team, Time/Gap

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1hr31:05.296
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +0:05.011
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +0:46.422
4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +0:53.020
5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, +1:02.093
6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +1:03.017
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +1:03.634
8. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +1 lap
9. Carlos Sainz Junior, Toro Rosso, +1 lap
10. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1 lap
11. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1 lap
12. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +1 lap
13. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +2 laps
14. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +2 laps
15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +2 laps
16. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +2 laps
17. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, +2 laps
18. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +2 laps
19. Rio Haryanto, Manor, +2 laps
Not classified/retired
Driver, Team, Laps (of 70)
Felipe Massa, Williams, 35
Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 16
Jenson Button, McLaren, 9

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