Formula 1: Verstappen Wins Gripping Race In Canada


Max Verstappen won a chaotic and gripping Canadian Grand Prix with Lando Norris and George Russell left to reflect on what might have been after a race of high drama amid on-off rain in Montreal. In an unpredictable 70-lap race that featured four changes of lead and two Safety Car periods triggered by crashes, Verstappen impressively returned to winning ways a fortnight after Red Bull’s miserable Monaco for his sixth win of the season to re-establish a more comfortable world-championship lead, of 56 points.

“It was a pretty crazy race, a lot of things were happening. We had to be on top of our calls,” Verstappen said. “As a team, we did well today. We remained calm, pitted at the right time. The Safety Car worked out nicely for us but even after that, we were managing the gaps quite well.”

McLaren’s Norris twice led the race – the first time after overtaking both Verstappen and Russell – but had to settle for second after the cards did not fall in his favour, particularly under the first Safety Car. Polesitter Russell ended up third for Mercedes and looked particularly crestfallen after a topsy-turvy race in which he made several mistakes and collided with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Dropping to fourth after that latter incident following the race’s second Safety Car period, Russell was then overtaken by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who went on to overtake Piastri cleanly soon afterwards and move into the final podium place with five laps to go. But Russell rallied and, after getting by Piastri at the second attempt, repassed Hamilton on the penultimate lap to ensure he was still the driver to seal Mercedes’ first Grand Prix podium of 2024 in the season’s ninth round. Fourth still represented Hamilton’s best result on a Sunday so far this year, although the seven-time Montreal victor, who qualified six places behind Russell in seventh, still described it as “one of the worst races that I’ve driven”.

Overtaken by both the Mercedes’, which had been the only leading cars to pit for a second set of dry tyres, Piastri ended up fifth in the second McLaren. Aston Martin took sixth and seventh with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, Canada’s home driver, respectively. In a competitive race-long fight for the final points positions, Daniel Ricciardo fought back from a five-second time penalty for a jump start to cap the best weekend of his disappointing season so far with eighth. Alpine also scored crucial points with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ninth and 10th. Ocon, however, was angered by the team’s instruction to let Gasly pass him in the closing laps in the hope of catching Ricciardo.

Ferrari remain Red Bull’s nearest challengers in the Constructors’ Championship but their Montreal weekend – which many pundits had installed them as favourites for after winning in Monaco – turned into the stuff of nightmares. Having already slumped to a double Q2 exit in qualifying to leave them starting outside of the top 10, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggled in the race and both eventually retired to bring up the Scuderia’s first point-less race since Australia 2023.

Canadian GP result: Top 10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull

Lando Norris, McLaren

George Russell, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Oscar Piastri, McLaren

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Daniel Ricciardo, RB

Pierre Gasly, Alpine

Esteban Ocon, Alpine

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