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Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal

Vettel CanadaSeb breaks his duck

Sebastian Vettel broke his Canadian duck yesterday, dominating the Montreal round of this year’s world championship and extending his lead in the title battle to 36 points. Second in the race was Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari driver moving up to second on the log.

But celebrations after a thrilling contest were muted after news filtered through that a track marshal had died in the process of removing Esteban Gutiérrez’s Sauber from the barriers late in the race. The man, who had still not been named at the time of going to press, fell under the wheels of a mobile crane when the car was being removed.

He is the third marshal to have been killed in Formula One since 2000. At the Italian Grand Prix that year Paolo Ghislimberti died after being hit by a wheel that bounced over the barriers after a pile-up at the chicane on the first lap. At the 2001 Australian Grand Prix Graham Beveridge was killed when he was struck by a wheel that had flown through a gap in a safety fence.

Vettel, starting on pole after  cleverly reading the changing conditions during qualifying, leapt into the lead at the start and ran away with the race. Alonso, starting from sixth after a disastrous performance in qualifying, had a dramatic drive into second place, passing Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in the closing stages. Had he started higher up the order, the Spaniard might conceivably have been able to challenge the winner, but he had to battle his way past several cars, earlier also passing Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber. Hamilton filled the final place on the podium.

Webber was fourth, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) fifth and Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne scored an impressive sixth place. Paul di Resta, who started on hard rubber and only stopped on lap 56, finished seventh ahead of Felipe Massa, who recovered from a bad crash during qualifying to take eighth after a thrilling battle with Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen, Vettel’s closest pursuer on the points log before Canada, lost second place on the table after finishing a lowly ninth. Tenth went to the second Force Indi of Adrian Sutil. McLaren failed to score points for the first time in 63 races after Button and Perez failed to make the top 10.

 

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