THIS STORY APPEARS IN THE JUNE 12 ISSUE OF MOTORSPORT ILLUSTRATED NEWS
There’s not much Red Bull hasn’t achieved in its last three years of Formula One dominance, but the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal has long been a thorn in the side of the British-run, Austrian-owned team. With its mixture of long straights interrupted by tight hairpins and big braking zones, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve hasn’t played into the hands of the Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull machines, which are typically at their best on the free-flowing circuits that characterise the majority of the rest of the calendar.
On Sunday, Sebastian Vettel ticked one of the few boxes that had remained unchecked over his three world championship seasons, starting from pole and obliterating the rest of the field to take his 29th career victory and his first in North America, one that exorcised the mental demons of losing the Montreal race in 2011 with a mistake on the final lap that handed the win to McLaren’s Jenson Button.
This was Vettel at his imperious best: qualify on pole, deliver a scorching pace over the opening laps and relentlessly crush the opposition. Such was his dominance, the German lapped every other car up to fifth place, but that wasn’t the focus of his thoughts immediately after the race. Two years ago – and making amends for an error that has played on his mind since – was foremost in his thoughts.
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