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Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari's engine update was key to Canada victory

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Checkered flag waves early for Vettel's Canadian GP win (1:44)

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's victory at the Canadian Grand Prix was prematurely hailed two laps early by the checkered flag. (1:44)

MONTREAL, Canada -- Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari's engine upgrade was key to the Italian team returning to the top of the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel scored his first victory since April's Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, retaking the lead of the championship as his main rival Lewis Hamilton struggled home to fifth. Ferrari brought an engine upgrade to this weekend's grand prix while Mercedes postponed its planned update by one race due to reliability concerns.

After taking pole position by less than a tenth of the second from Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, Vettel believes the boost in engine performance was crucial for Sunday's result.

"The car's been beautiful today," he said. "At the end I was just praying the car stays fine, nothing would break, but it's been a really good weekend.

"Yesterday was perfect, Friday was difficult, but we bounced back. With the improvements we made for this weekend, mostly on the power unit, introducing a new engine helped us around this track probably a bit more than other tracks, but it was a team effort. It goes hand in hand.

"We had new oil, new fuel -- our partnership with Shell is important. Getting everything together is the key. I'm just happy. It was a great grand prix to win."

But Vettel revealed it wasn't all plain sailing as he had to manage an issue with his car midway through the race.

"I think after the stop, we had a sequence of... I don't know, I had to change a lot of things on the steering wheel. At some point I was saying 'OK when am I allowed to drive again?' I was looking down, changing something, then looking back. Obviously we were managing some things in the background."