The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is always a track with plenty of evolution, but this year the surface was even more slippery and dusty than usual, with very little grip during a weekend that would end up in controversy!
The practice finished with a very dominant Mercedes team setting fastest times with Lewis Hamilton ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas by just 0.147 seconds. Third came Ferrari Charles Leclerc a massive 0.953 seconds behind Hamilton.
Ferrari reacted to Mercedes dominance in FP1 and set fastest times. Hamilton was trying to sort things right but crashed at turn 9 very hard, damaging his W10 and missing the rest of the session. Max Verstappen kissed the Wall of Champions a bit harder than desired and damaged his Red Bull. At the end it was Leclerc on top, just 0.074 seconds ahead of Vettel. Bottas was third, 0.134 seconds behind.
A total of 5777 Km were covered on Friday using 81 sets of tires (1 set = 4 tires) by the 20 drivers.
Saturday started with a bit less action than on Friday. Lance Stroll had a spectacular hydraulic leak half way into the session, as flames came out of the back of his RP19, missing the rest of the practice. Vettel set the fastest lap with a time of 1:10.843, ahead of teammate Leclerc, and the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas.
It was the 2008 Canadian GP winner, Robert Kubica, the first one to get out on track. The end of Q1 saw Vettel being fastest, and Perez, Raikkonen, Stroll, Russell, and Kubica not getting into Q2. At the end of the Q2, Kevin Magnussen crashed heavily on the Wall of Champions, ruining his teammate Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Max Verstappen's chance of getting into the next round. Out were Verstappen, Kvyat, Giovinazzi, Albon, and Grosjean. Q3 started with Hamilton setting a new track record with a 1:10.493, ahead of both Ferraris. At the end it was Sebastian Vettel who gets Pole in Canada with a blistering 1:10.240, smashing the track record. Hamilton 0.206 seconds behind. Then came Leclerc, Ricciardo, Gasly, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Norris, and Sainz.
This was one of the hottest Canadian races in recent history, with more than 50 degrees of track temperature and 30 degrees ambient as the race started with Vettel on pole, Hamilton beside him in second, Ricciardo in 4th on soft tires, Bottas with a point to prove in 6th, and Verstappen fighting through the field from 9th. Albon hit Giovinazzi, a bit of debris landed on Grosjean's VF19, no damage whatsoever, Albon had to stop for a new cone nose. On lap 9, Lando Norris' brakes became so hot that literally melted his McLaren's rear suspension, becoming the first to retire from the race. Such was Vettel's pace that he started lapping back markers by lap 13! Vettel pitted on lap 27 for whites coming out in third, behind Hamilton and Leclerc, who stopped on la 34 for whites, coming out in fourth, behind Verstappen, who started the race in whites and had yet to stop. In any case, the battle between Vettel and Hamilton was magnificent. Vettel went out of the track at lap 3 on lap 48, but was given a five-second time penalty for unsafe entering the track handing the victory to Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas ended up wining the Fastest Lap point with a track record 1:13.078.
After the race, Vettel stopped his car at the entry to the pit lane where all the non-podium finishers park, and even pushed it out completely as a sign of protest, instead of parking it on the reserved second place spot. He then went inside through the paddock and disappear into Ferrari's private area. After a little cool down, he went back to the podium, but not without switching the P1 and P2 signs, placing the P2 board in front of Hamilton's car and the P1 board in front of the empty space his Ferrari would have used. He then proceed to the podium ceremony, and though with a very sad and troubled face he took part on the celebrations.
When Martin Brundle interviewed Hamilton, the crowds were booing and Vettel said this:
"I enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed the crowd cheering me on. I think I've said enough. You should ask the people what they think. But [they] shouldn't boo Lewis. If anything, they should boo these funny decisions."
Sebastian Vettel was voted the Driver of the Race.