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Sebastian Vettel no longer felt like 'a passenger' in his Ferrari

Canadian Grand Prix - Strategy guide

Vettel says starting on the purple-wall tyres was a straightforward decision to make and hope it'll work out in his favour to win around Canada for the first time since 2013.

"I don't think the Hypersoft is a good race tyre", the four-time world champion stated to Autosport.

Vettel also took the lead in drivers standings by a single point over Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton, who struggled early with engine overheating problems but rallied to finish fifth. The Scuderia are the most successful team at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with 11 wins but they had not had a victory here since Schumacher won in 2004.

The third and only other retirement was a gutted Ferdinand Alonso when the McLaren driver had to take his vehicle back to the box in his 300th grand prix race after racing so very well.

The title race remains finely balanced but Ferrari will take great encouragement from victory at a circuit where Mercedes have been dominant, with Hamilton taking pole and winning for the last three years in Montreal.

The German was mighty in qualifying on Saturday and didn't put a foot wrong come race day, crossing the line 5.7 seconds clear of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen completing the podium, followed home by team mate Daniel Ricciardo and the second Mercedes of Hamilton.

"I was quite happy with my first run in Q3 but I knew there was something more in the vehicle for the first part of the lap", Vettel continued.

Stroll, 19, was in is second Canadian GP. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes vehicle with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes.

Vettel ended Q1 on top ahead of the Finn with Hamilton third, but it was tense for McLaren as twice former champion Fernando Alonso squeezed into Q2 at the end in 14th place ahead of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

"We extracted the best we could out of qualifying", Verstappen said. We knew in Q3 it would be a bit harder for us but to be still so close was good. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have dominated the field this season.

"Pole position is always important", said Vettel.

Ricciardo starts on the third row with the second Ferrari driven by Kimi Raikkonen. It would be much more of a problem if I would be really slow, because that is a critical problem.' When pushed further to explain why he had crashed so much this year, Verstappen replied: 'Like I said I get a bit exhausted of all the questions. I think we need a little bit of time to understand the full picture but as I said I'm not yet happy with the vehicle.