Hamilton increases F1 lead with Canada win

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton has bounced back and increased his lead in the drivers world championship, driving to a well-measured victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The two-time champion’s delight was not shared by Red Bull’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who last year stood atop the podium, but had to settle for 13th place on Sunday.

Hamilton made the most of the 44th pole position of his career to lead from the lights to the chequered flag, finishing the 70 laps contest at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 2.2 seconds clear of the 29-year-old German.

His victory ended Rosberg’s run of two wins and confirmed his own full recovery from the disappointment of the Mercedes pit-stop fiasco in Monaco, where Hamilton was deprived of a near-certain victory in the closing laps.

It was Hamilton’s fourth win in Canada, his fourth win this year and the 37th win of his career, lifting him 17 points clear of Rosberg in the title race with 151 points to the German’s 134.

“Did I need this (after Monaco)? Yes, I think I did,” said Hamilton, adding: “I love Montreal, I love this track and love this city. And it really feels good to be back on the top step again”

Rosberg was unable to mount a serious challenge as he came home second ahead of Finns Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

Rosberg conceded defeat for the first time in three races gracefully.

“I was pushing like mad, but I couldn’t quite make it. Second place is still ok. It was just a little bit in qualifying that I lacked, for me. The race pace was good.

“There were issues, of course, with fuel and brakes, but they are the same for Lewis.”

Bottas, enjoying his first podium finish of the season, said: “We really needed this. It really boosts the confidence. We are a top team and we can fight for the podiums.”

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after surging through the field from 18th on the grid in the second Ferrari.

Brazilian Felipe Massa finished sixth in the second Williams after another strong drive ahead of Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who completed his first race of the season in seventh for Lotus.

The race proved disastrous for McLaren with both their cars driven by former champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button failing to finish.

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