Hamilton holds off Rosberg in Canada

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton held off the challenge of team-mate Nico Rosberg to take victory in the Canadian Grand Prix and extend his championship lead.

Having started from pole position, Hamilton appeared set for a comfortable afternoon as he opened up a four second lead over his team-mate in the opening stint of the race. However, Rosberg fought back after the pit stops and was consistently within two seconds but never quite closed the gap enough to attack Hamilton.

Valtteri Bottas took his first podium of the season in third place after a solid drive from fourth on the grid, but was gifted a position when Kimi Raikkonen spun. Raikkonen had been unable to match the Mercedes pace after the opening ten laps of the race and was being kept honest by Bottas but was under no major threat when he made his first stop. On his first lap out of the pits, however, Raikkonen spun at the hairpin in similar fashion to 2014, allowing Bottas to pit and rejoin ahead.

Raikkonen was unable to make a big impression on Bottas after the spin, so took advantage of a big gap behind to pit for a second time and switch to supersoft tyres in an attempt to close again. Raikkonen did close the gap to less than five seconds on the final lap but had to settle for fourth place as Bottas delivered what Rob Smedley described after the chequered flag as "an absolutely flawless drive".

While Raikkonen disappointed, Sebastian Vettel impressed in the second Ferrari as he climbed through the field from 18th place to finish fifth, just 4.2s behind his team-mate. Vettel also opted for a two-stop strategy, starting on the supersoft tyre and pitting early for softs to get clear air.

Felipe Massa similarly delivered an impressive recovery drive from 15th place to finish sixth and ensure Williams extended its advantage over Red Bull in the constructors' championship. Massa made good progress in the opening laps before losing time behind Marcus Ericsson's Sauber, eventually finding his way through after some good racing between the two in the opening three corners.

Massa opted for the same strategy as Vettel having been running ahead of the Ferrari on the road, but dropped behind after the second stop. Vettel then was caught in an incident with Nico Hulkenberg, having to cut the final chicane as he attacked around the outside of the Force India, with Hulkenberg spinning. The incident was investigated but no further action was warranted by the stewards.

Hulkenberg recovered to finish eighth but lost out to Massa and Pastor Maldonado as a result of the incident. Maldonado scored his first points of the season in seventh place, benefitting from an error by team-mate Romain Grosjean as the Frenchman turned across Will Stevens as he lapped the Manor and made contact. With the collision happening approaching the final corner, both cars were able to pit - with Grosjean suffering a puncture and Stevens requiring a new front wing - and it was the Lotus driver who was hit with a five second time penalty for the incident.

Grosjean harried Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull in the closing laps in the battle for ninth place but was unable to find a way past. Finishing tenth on the road, Grosjean also had enough of a margin over Sergio Perez in 11th place to ensure he retained the final point despite the penalty.

While McLaren expected Canada to be a tough circuit for the Honda power unit, but the race turned out to be a disaster as both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were told to save fuel heavily throughout the race before both retired within ten laps of each other.

Hamilton's victory extends his championship lead over Rosberg to 17 points, while Vettel slips 43 points behind the leader.

Click here for the latest photos from the Canadian Grand Prix

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01Lewis HamiltonMercedes70 laps - 1h31m53.145s1
02Nico RosbergMercedes+2.21
03Valtteri BottasWilliams+40.61
04Kimi RaikkonenFerrari+45.62
05Sebastian VettelFerrari+49.92
06Felipe MassaWilliams+56.31
07Pastor MaldonadoLotus+66.61
08Nico HulkenbergForce India+1 lap1
09Daniil KvyatRed Bull+1 lap1
10Romain GrosjeanLotus+1 lap2
11Sergio PerezForce India+1 lap1
12Carlos SainzToro Rosso+1 lap1
13Daniel RicciardoRed Bull+1 lap1
14Marcus EricssonSauber+1 lap1
15Max VerstappenToro Rosso+1 lap1
16Felipe NasrSauber+1 lap1
17Will StevensManor+4 laps2
18Roberto MerhiManorDNF2
19Jenson ButtonMcLarenDNF3
20Fernando AlonsoMcLarenDNF2