Marshal's death clouds Vettel's win

Sebastian Vettel celebrated his victory overshadowed by the death of a marshal after the race.

Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel from Germany. Picture: AFP

MONTREAL - Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday but his victory was overshadowed by the death of a marshal, the first fatality in Formula One in over a decade.

The worker was killed after being run over by a mobile crane that was removing the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez from the side of the track after he crashed in the closing stages.

Vettel, oblivious to the unfolding tragedy, captured his first Formula One victory on North American soil and extended his overall lead in the championship to 36 points over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished second.

Lewis Hamilton, who had won in Montreal three times before, was passed by Alonso seven laps from the end but made it a podium of champions by finishing third for Mercedes.

Vettel, cruising to his 29th career win with little resistance, took the chequered flag 14.4 seconds clear of Spaniard Alonso.

"It was a great race and I had a great start, which was important," Vettel said. "Finally we got our first win, it's off the list now and it was great to win."

Vettel's Australian team mate, Mark Webber, came fourth, and set the fastest lap, after his front wing was damaged when he collided with Dutch rookie Giedo van der Garde's Caterham.

Germany's Nico Rosberg, winner of the previous race in Monaco for Mercedes, crossed the line fifth.


"The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up," said the FIA statement.

"As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle."

The FIA said the worker was transferred by helicopter to the Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal for treatment but his injuries were too severe and he died.

He was the first marshal to die at a race since the 2001 Australian Grand Prix when Graham Beveridge was struck by a tyre that flew through a gap in safety fencing after Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher collided.

Despite his domination of the sport in recent years, Vettel had never won in either Canada or the United States before breaking his drought in emphatic fashion on Sunday - even if he skimmed the wall at one point and overran a turn when comfortably ahead.

It was the third win from seven races for the 25-year-old German, while Alonso roared from sixth to second to leapfrog Kimi Raikkonen into second place in the championship.

Vettel made a clean getaway from pole position and led for almost the entire 70 laps.

The German driver lapped half the field, including Raikkonen, before reaching the halfway point of the race and only five cars finished on the lead lap at a Montreal street circuit bathed in sunshine after two days of rain.

McLaren failed to score at a track where they have won four times in the last five years for the first time in 65 races.

Vettel now has 132 points, ahead of Alonso (96), Raikkonen (88), Hamilton (77) and Webber (69).