Lewis Hamilton dedicates Canadian Grand Prix win to Muhammad Ali
British driver stings Nico Rosberg and cuts German's lead to nine points following victory in Montreal
Lewis Hamilton is now just nine points behind F1 championship leader Nico Rosberg after victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, which he dedicated to Muhammad Ali.
The two Mercedes drivers touched wheels for the second time in three races as they battled for position on the first lap but were able to continue - unlike in Barcelona, where both cars were taken out.
It was Rosberg who paid the price as he was forced off the track and lost several places, while his British rival was able to give chase to Sebastian Vettel, who had made a brilliant start to take the lead.
In the end, Hamilton's Mercedes triumphed thanks to a better pit-stop strategy, while there was more pain for Rosberg, who spun on the penultimate lap.
Hamilton "went to Monaco a driver who could not buy a break and leaves Montreal nine points behind Nico Rosberg," says Kevin Eason in The Times. "Surely it will not be long before Hamilton is back at the head of the queue."
After his victory, Hamilton quoted Ali over the radio, telling his technical crew: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". He also attempted an Ali shuffle on his way to the podium, although it drew a mixed response from fans.
"Ali was someone who inspired me so much. I'd love to be able to dedicate this to him and his family," said the driver.
Dedicating the win to Ali was appropriate, says Daniel Johnson of the Daily Telegraph: "Ever the pugilist in wheel-to-wheel combat, he certainly stung Rosberg here with an aggressive move.
"In truth this race never quite lived up the billing, yet it was a significant one for Hamilton. He has taken 34 points out of Rosberg's championship lead in two races. Even more embarrassingly, the German finished more than a minute down on the victor here."