formula one

Canadian GP: Flawless Vettel claims 50th career win to sneak ahead of Hamilton in championship

The four-time champion drove his Ferrari with aplomb from pole to finish ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel claimed the 50th win of his career and reclaimed the lead of this year’s world championship on Sunday when he ended Lewis Hamilton’s run of supremacy at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The four-time champion German drove his Ferrari with near flawless aplomb to convert his 54th pole position into a triumphant afternoon ahead of Finn Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and determined Dutchman Max Verstappen, who was third for Red Bull.

Vettel’s third victory this season lifted him to 121 points ahead of Hamilton on 120 after seven races, ending the defending four-time champion’s hopes of a record-equalling seventh win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where he won from pole for the last three years.

It was Ferrari’s first win in Canada since 2004 and came from their first pole there in 17 years. It was also Vettel’s second win in Canada where he won in 2013 for Red Bull.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who clocked the fastest lap at the end, managed to resist a late charge from Hamilton in the closing laps and retain fourth place ahead of the Englishman who extended his record points-scoring run to 32 races.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth in the second Ferrari.

German Nico Hulkenberg came home seventh ahead of his Renault team-mate Spaniard Carlos Sainz, Frenchman Esteban Ocon of Force India and Monegasque Charles Leclerc of Sauber.

“Perfect is a good way to describe this,” said a delighted Vettel.

“I said [on Saturday] that this place means a lot to Ferrari and to have a race like this is unbelievable.

“After a long stretch here without a Ferrari win, I looked around and the people are so very happy. It means a lot. There’s a long way to go in the season so I am not bothered about the title now, but it’s a good side affect for me.”

He said the win was special because it came 40 years after Canadian Gilles Villeneuve had won his first race for Ferrari.

Hartley run off the road

The race began in near-perfect conditions with an air temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and the track at 45 as the lights went out.

Vettel, from his fourth Canadian pole, made a clean start while behind him Bottas had to scrap to resist a robust attack from Verstappen.

Hamilton stayed fourth ahead of Ricciardo who made quick work of passing Raikkonen before, after only half a lap, a heavy collision between Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso and local hero Lance Stroll’s Williams.

The New Zealander appeared to be squeezed into the barriers as Stroll, with a puncture, moved sideways ahead of him at Turn Five and the Toro Rosso was lifted off the ground before both flew off the track.

Both men were unhurt. “He just ran me out of road,” said the luckless Hartley.

Hamilton’s early pit-stop on an enforced two-stop strategy, due to an engine heating problem, had done him no favours, but when Raikkonen pitted after 33 laps the Englishman was able to hang on and regain fifth as the Ferrari rejoined.

This left Vettel and Bottas out in front, 24 seconds ahead of Verstappen, but still running on their original ultra-softs. Bottas was first to blink on lap 37, Vettel following one lap later, both going to super-softs.

All this left Vettel in command after 40 laps, 5.7 seconds clear of Bottas with Verstappen third ahead of Ricciardo, Hamilton and Raikkonen.

After 42 laps, sadly, Fernando Alonso’s 300th Grand Prix weekend came to an end when, chasing 10th, he was called in to pit and retire. “No power, no gears,” said the Spaniard. “Sorry mate, gutted,” said his McLaren engineer.

With 20 laps remaining, Hamilton began to find a rhythm to move within a second of Ricciardo while Bottas, at the front, trimmed Vettel’s lead to 3.8 seconds.

A grandstand finish looked possible until Bottas ran off at Turn One and took to the grass before recovering. He had lost two seconds and Vettel, turning the screw, responded with a fastest lap before cruising to a crushing victory.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.