Lewis Hamilton: Canada win crucial to title hopes

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (L) celebrates winning the race with teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (44), of Britain, drives through the Senna corner to lead the Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Montreal.

It was the three-time champion's sixth victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve-where he claimed his maiden triumph in 2007-as well as his third this season and the 56th of his career.

"In Maranello we will carry out a detailed analysis of the race, making the most of the data gathered as we prepare as well as possible for the next round in Baku", admitted team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.

"Also we know now, after the last race, where to develop this vehicle moving forward, which I think is really going to make a difference in winning this championship". "I'm over the moon".

The four-time champion was last in the opening stages of Sunday's race after he was forced to change his front wing following contact with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at Turn One. The fact he clawed his way back to 4 spot - behind the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas, and Red Bull's Ricciardo in third - shows he's still very much in the championship hunt this year.

The incident ended both their days and brought out the safety car.At the restart Verstappen attacked Hamilton hard, nearly making a pass that would have changed the race.

As for the Force India drivers they fought well but ultimately it was Perez who took 5th in front of Ocon. I was flat out and when you are chasing other cars you lose quite a lot of grip, then you are sliding. "It was tough, I was defending the whole race and we weren't that quick".

It's a bit nasty", he joked, "getting the trophy in front of us during the national anthem at the beginning of the race. Vettel then overtook Sergio Pérez two lap laters and had the race lasted just another two laps he would have very likely gotten past Ricciardo as well.

"I know what I did, what issues I had, at the time that I encountered them, so I don't have to go back over that".

"Then, with the safety auto on track I did not realize that the damage to the front wing was as bad as it actually was, we only noticed it at full speed".

Lance Stroll (below) scored his first points in F1 with ninth place in his home race, completing a number of overtaking moves as he climbed through the field from his starting position of 17th.

It has been a hard debut for Stroll, the son of one of Canada's richest men, who has had some sharp criticism for his modest results. Montreal has been good to me over the years.

Lewis Hamilton admitted his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix was crucial to his and his Mercedes team's championship hopes this year. "Just feeling relaxed and excited".

As mentioned earlier, Alonso returns from his Indianapolis adventure this weekend, and has given McLaren an ultimatum; either win by September, or they can wave goodbye to retaining him beyond his contract, which ends at the climax of the season.

  • Julie Sanders