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Going into the weekend, Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton leads the 2018 Drivers' Championship with 110 points.

The timing of Vettel's win could not have been better, coming on the 40th anniversary of the late Gilles Villeneuve's victory for the Italian team in 1978 at his home Grand Prix.

It meant Hamilton lost a place to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at his stop, and the Briton had a nervy moment when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged alongside him after his much later stop.

Vettel ruled from lights-to-flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in an emphatic display as he crossed the line ahead of Valtteri Bottas with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in third.

Stroll and Hartley's coming together saw the safety auto deployed but that was the extent of the drama.

Even in a week as rich in sporting spectacle as any you will see - from Alexander Ovechkin finally winning a Stanley Cup and then celebrating with fans in a Washington fountain, to Justify winning the Triple Crown, to Rafael Nadal taking his 11th title at Roland Garros and Simona Halep winning her first - a Formula One race is a scene to match any on the planet.

"It was a good race", he enthused. "I'm happy for them".

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

"Today we switched on".

Red Bull, which starts on hyper-softs, will hope to mitigate that degradation in the opening stint, and on Friday appeared to be the only one of the top three teams capable of doing that successfully. "I quickly saw that it was going to be hard to take pole position but you always do your best and try to get the best out of the auto".

The semi-permanent track combines long straights with tight chicanes and each team sets up their auto to maximize straight line speed, although the cars also need to deliver a good ride over the relatively tall curbs.

Behind the leaders, there was chaos when Williams's Canadian Lance Stroll squeezed Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley into the wall.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg took seventh place ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon. "We didn't apply the pressure this weekend, but I'm really going to make sure I come back strong in the next race". "I think we can do a good job". He earned his first Formula One points with a ninth-place finish at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve previous year.


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