"Fortunately we had radio, fortunately I had the lap count in the vehicle and the pitboard was accurate - but if you lose radio and maybe the pitboard is not there, then you back off", said Vettel after notching his 50th career win.
After falling behind Ricciardo during those stops, Hamilton was then vulnerable to Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari also getting ahead of him when the Finn stopped much later in the race, but he hung on to fifth place as Raikkonen emerged from the pits just behind him at Turn 2.
Behind the leading cars, Renault took a one-two finish in the "Class B" race, with Nico Hulkenberg leading home Sainz to claim seventh and eighth for the team.
"Like every Grand Prix, there's no one person to dedicate it to", said Vettel.More news: Democratic congressman to Trudeau: Stop 'feuding' with Trump over trade
Before the race, 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve drove the No. 12 Ferrari his late father Gilles used to win the 1978 Canadian GP in the parade lap.
"I'm just so happy because all of a sudden at the start I was down on power". It means a lot.
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. It's Vettel's fourth pole on the Ile Notre-Dame, and his first since 2013.
It was a short day for the lone Canadian on the track as Lance Stroll's Williams punctured a tire only a quarter of the way through the first lap into the race, causing the Montreal driver to slide across the crack and ram New Zealander Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso into a wall.
Both men were unhurt.More news: Nadal - The King of Clay- Wins 11th French Open Title
"I think when we look back on this weekend we will accept the fact that, yeah, in hindsight, it would have been nice if we had more time to prepare on the hyper-soft, but it wasn't the case", he told reporters.
"I even watched on TV and it said 'final lap.' I asked and they said 'keep pushing.' I was a bit confused".
The same issue occurred at the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix and Whiting believes it is due to a misinterpretation of the lap countdown on F1's world feed. "No power, no gears", said the Spaniard. "Sorry mate, gutted", said his McLaren engineer. This is what some circuits will do, they'll say "leader's on his third last lap, second last lap, this is the last lap", then they'll give the guy waving the flag points at where the leader is.More news: United States of America has recalled two diplomats from Cuba because of the "mysterious injuries"
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