Inheriting victory as a result of a rival’s time penalty may not have been how Lewis Hamilton wanted to win Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, but the Mercedes driver remained initially coy over the stewards’ ruling on Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton crossed the line second in Montreal on Sunday, but was named the race winner after Vettel received a five-second time penalty for unsafely rejoining the track at Turn 5.

After nearly being pushed into the wall as Vettel regained control, Hamilton initially called the move “dangerous” over team radio, with the stewards handing down their ruling soon after.

Vettel was left fuming by the decision, saying the “blind” stewards were “stealing” the race from Ferrari. He refused to take part in the initial parc ferme procedures, only to return to put the second-place finisher board in front of Hamilton’s car.

Speaking soon after the race, Hamilton paid tribute to the Mercedes team after taking his fifth win of the year, but admitted he was unhappy with the fashion of the victory.

“Firstly, thank you to my team. I wouldn’t be standing here without them,” Hamilton said.

“It was an incredible effort. We had a problem this morning with the engine, with my crash on Friday. If they hadn’t been so diligent, I wouldn’t have been able to race today as I have.

“Naturally, absolutely, it’s not the way I wanted to win. I was pushing to the end to try and get past. I forced him into an error, he went wide, I had the run on that corner and we nearly collided.

“It’s unfortunate, but this is motor racing.”

Hamilton was informed of Vettel’s belief he could go nowhere else, something he called “his opinion of course.”

“I took the corner normally. When you come back on track, you’re not supposed to go straight back on racing line, you’re supposed to come back safely,” Hamilton added.

Hamilton spent much of the closing stages within a second of Vettel at the front, eventually winning the race by 3.6 seconds after the penalty was applied, but doubted he could have got past the Ferrari on-track.

“Not towards the end I don’t think. I think we were all struggling with brake temperatures towards the end,” Hamilton said.

“The tyres were good at that point where he made the mistake, so I was as close as I was ever going to be. I got that block and then the gap opened up. It’s very hard to follow here.”

The victory saw Hamilton extend his lead at the top of the F1 drivers' championship to 29 points over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who could only finish fourth.

 

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