Sebastian Vettel has excused a brush with the wall at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve by explaining that he was still trying to build a gap to his pursuers.
What the German didn't know was that he already had a sizeable advantage and was never likely to come under threat from those behind – unless he made a mistake…
Clipping the wall at turn four actually went unnoticed in the cockpit – Vettel remarked later that he had noticed marks on the barrier without actually realising that he had made them a lap earlier – but a trip across the infield at turn one provided the wake up call that not only refocused the leaders attention but saw him dissuaded from pursuing fastest lap to go with his win and pole position.
“I was pushing very hard, especially at the beginning of the race,” he commented, “I had a moment when I hit the wall, but I didn't feel it….
“I was trying to get away from the field, as you don't know what will happen towards the end. It turned out that we could control things in the later stages, but you don't know that, so I was just trying to push all the time and stay in the rhythm.”
Despite setting the fastest time in qualifying, Red Bull was not considered as firm a favourite for the race as Vettel's margin of victory would suggest, but the German cruised home with almost 15 seconds in hand over closest challenger Fernando Alonso.
“It was good to see that we were quick in all conditions this weekend and had speed in the race,” he reflected, “We had average tyre wear, which hasn't always been the case for us, so we have made a step forward there too.”
The victory was also the first for Red Bull in Canada, leaving only the USGP circuit at Austin to be conquered by the Milton Keynes team.
“It's nice to win here, as it's a very special race,” the German noted, “Not just the track, but the whole city enjoys the race and it's a nice atmosphere.”
“To win in Montreal is a fantastic result for the team,” RBR principal Christian Horner agreed, “Having come so close two years ago, to win in the dominant fashion that we did today was a tremendous performance, despite a couple of heart stopping moments, particularly when Seb touched the wall.
“But he was totally commanding today and thoroughly deserved the victory.”