Sebastian Vettel has admitted he took a 'full risk' to get ahead of Esteban Ocon in the closing stages of the Canadian Grand Prix after fighting his way from last to fourth.

The championship leader fell to the back of the field during the early stages of the Montreal race after pitting for a nose change but demonstrated the strength of his Ferrari SF70H package by working his way back up the order.

Running sixth with a handful of laps remaining, Vettel came up against stiff opposition in attempting to pass the Force Indias of Ocon and Sergio Perez but took advantage of their inter-team squabbling to get by both.

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Even so, it took an aggressive overtake on Ocon to secure fifth position, the German admitting he had expected a pass on the rookie Frenchman to be 'more straightforward'.

"[It was] Full risk! I wanted to get past, full stop. I was surprised because I was so much faster and I thought it should be fairly straightforward to pass them, but also the tow effect is smaller and the loss of downforce is quite big so you I was sliding quite a lot and more than I thought.

"They had a run at each other into Turn 13 and 14 and I hooked up the exit, which was good, and then I committed half way down the straight and said I go down the inside no matter what.

"Esteban had a bit of a wobble and I reacted to that and it was really slippery on the inside and I just made Turn 1, which was fine and enough, so I'm happy with that."

Vettel went on to pass Perez to secure fourth position, less than a second shy of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

He remains in the lead of the F1 World Championship standings, 12 points ahead of Canadian Grand Prix race winner Lewis Hamilton.