Formula 1 - Vettel claims maiden Montreal victory

Sebastian Vettel led from start to finish to secure a dominant maiden victory in the Canadian Grand Prix to win from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

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Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany kisses his throphy on the podium after winning the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 9, 2013. (Reuters)

The pole sitter drove an imperious race and never looked in trouble on his two-stop strategy, Alonso winning an exciting tussle with arch-rival Hamilton to pass the Mercedes for second seven laps from the end.

Mark Webber finished fourth from Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen matched Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes in ninth.

Victory for Vettel means he now leads the championship by 36 points from Alonso, who leap-frogs Raikkonen in the standings with Hamilton a further 11 points behind the Finn.

Vettel led from the start, keeping Hamilton at bay as Valtteri Bottas dropped from his grid place of third to sixth behind Rosberg, Mark Webber and Alonso.

Despite a near miss for Vettel as he clipped the wall on lap 11, it always looked like the battle would be for the remaining podium spots and so it transpired, Webber the first to pit before Hamilton and Alonso followed suit.

Rosberg took the decision to bolt on the super soft tyre on his opening stint and a three-stop strategy soon put him out of the picture but Hamilton held second from Webber and Alonso after their second stops for the medium compound tyre.

But an incident between Webber and backmarker Giedo van der Garde damaged the furious Australian’s chances as the Caterham chopped part of his front wing off at the hairpin, leaving him vulnerable to Alonso’s attack on lap 42, the Ferrari passing for third place.

Alonso then set about Hamilton, the Englishman telling his team over the radio "just let me drive man!" during a brisk radio exchange as Alonso ate into his lead.

And the Ferrari finally made the move stick on lap 63 to take second and put pressure on rival Vettel at the top of the drivers’ standings.

Rosberg, who qualified fourth, finished fifth ahead of the impressive Jean-Eric Vergne and the one-stopping Paul di Resta. Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil rounded off the points places but there was disappointment for star of qualifying Bottas who ended the race down in 14th place.

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