Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel heaped plenty of praise on his team after winning the Canadian Grand Prix. This win was a special one as it was 40 years after Gilles Villeneuve’s triumph for the Scuderia at the circuit.
Vettel proceeded to dominate from lights to flag in Montreal, giving the team their first Canadian win since Michael Schumacher in 2004.
“Like every Grand Prix, there’s no one person to dedicate it to,” said Vettel. “I dedicate it today to the team, to the guys in Maranello, and to the Canadian fans and the Canadian tifosi. I think they’ve been waiting long enough for Ferrari to do well here.
“Forty years after Gilles won his Grand Prix here, I think it’s great to show that Ferrari is still alive, still there, winning races. I’m just extremely proud to become part of that story, step by step, and hopefully a bit more in the future.”
Starting from pole, Vettel took off at the start like a rocket. He controlled the race from the front to finish over seven seconds clear of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. Even an early Safety Car wasn’t enough for the others to mount a challenge. However, he confessed that his 50th F1 victory was not ‘easy’.
“No, it’s never easy,” said Vettel. “In the middle of the race, I think after the stop, we had a sequence of… I don’t know, I had to change a lot of things on the steering wheel.
“At some point I was saying ‘Okay, when am I allowed to drive again?’ I was looking down, changing something, then looking back. Obviously we were managing some things in the background.”
But Vettel acknowledged his SF71H and its upgraded power unit as well as the team for the win. With Lewis Hamilton down in 5th, the triumph carried him back to the head of the driver standings.
“The car’s been beautiful today. It was just getting better, so we were able to match the gap and just control the race from there. At the end I was just praying the car stays fine, nothing would break. It’s been a really good weekend. Yesterday was perfect – Friday was difficult, but we bounced back.
“With the improvements we made for this weekend, mostly on the power unit, introducing a new engine helped us around this track probably a bit more than other tracks, but it was a team effort.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Ferrari garage, Kimi Raikkonen took sixth to help Ferrari closed the gap on Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.