Red Bull driver Max Verstappen led the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix race from start to finish on Sunday. The Dutchman’s win at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame in Montreal was his sixth in eight races since the start of the season, and his team’s eighth.
Strong image, the podium was only composed of world champions. Indeed, the title holder for two years was followed, in order, under the checkered flag, by the Aston Martin driver, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso – twice world champion in the past – as well as by the Mercedes driver, the Briton Lewis Hamilton – already crowned seven times.
Their position at the finish was exactly the same as they had at the start of the race of just over 305 km over 70 laps. However, she hides that, unlike Max Verstappen, who was never worried, Fernando Alonso was first overtaken by Lewis Hamilton as soon as he left the starting blocks, before passing him again at the end of the first third of the race, and to see him come back dangerously on him in the last third.
“It was not our best day, in particular because of the difficulty of bringing our tires to temperature”, explained Max Verstappen about the effect of cold weather on grip on the track, but who does not didn’t prevent him from finishing the race with a comfortable cushion of 9 seconds in advance.
“We would have liked to be able to put more pressure on Red Bull, but I defended myself against Lewis and the Mercedes instead”, observed Fernando Alonso. “It was a very demanding race like 70 qualifying laps. »
Lewis Hamilton was both happy and resigned to another example of Red Bull’s overwhelming dominance this season. “It’s not even frustration anymore. It’s just how things are. There is nothing to do against their amazing performance. »
Their respective teammates were less successful. Party of the 12e place on the starting grid, the other driver of Red Bull, the Mexican Sergio Pérez, stopped his comeback at 6e rank.
The Montrealer and second Aston Martin driver, Lance Stroll, started from even further (16e), a three-place penalty for harming a competitor during qualifying. A last effort on the last lap allowed him to cross the finish line at the 9e position.
As for George Russell, he was well placed on the second starting line just next to his teammate Lewis Hamilton, but a bad contact with a low wall finally forced him to retire.
Always very popular in Montreal, the Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc (4e) and Carlos Sainz (5e), finished just off the podium.
Apart from the relatively cold weather for formula 1, the weather did not come to play spoilsport on Sunday, unlike the two previous days. Struggling with sometimes heavy rain, the teams had to adapt constantly to changing track conditions during qualifying the day before. The exercise ended with a completely atypical starting grid with drivers from eight different teams in the first ten places.
Something as unexpected as it was refreshing, the driver who is usually at the back of the grid for the Haas team, Nico Hülkenberg, had set the second fastest time in qualifying. Delighted, however, he had no illusions and only wondered how long he would manage to stand up to the faster cars behind. The race had not yet started and he had already lost three places, due to a penalty for having delayed slowing down under a red flag the day before. He will finish the race at the 15e position.
As many victories as Ayrton Senna
This new victory for Red Bull was the 100e since its debut in 1997. It was also the 41e in Max Vertappen’s career, putting the 25-year-old on a par with Brazilian sports legend Ayrton Senna. “I hate comparing the different generations to each other,” he commented at a press conference after the race. All I can say is that when I was a kid driving karting, I never would have dreamed of reaching this milestone in Formula 1. Now hopefully it doesn’t stop there. »
It shouldn’t be the case to see the dominance of Red Bull this year. Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team are thus widening the gap a little more with their rivals in a race for the championship which they have dominated so far in imperial fashion. In the drivers’ championship, the Dutchman (195 points) now has a lead of 69 points over his teammate and closest pursuer, Sergio Pérez (126), to whom Fernando Alonso has come a little closer (117). Lewis Hamilton arrives 4e (102 points), followed further by the other Mercedes driver, George Russell (65 points) and the two Ferrari drivers, Carlos Sainz (68 points) and Charles Leclerc (54 points). Lance Stroll comes further, with 37 points.
After its brief stint in Quebec, the Formula 1 circus is heading back to Europe where, in two weeks, in Austria, the ninth event of a season that should have 22 will be held.
Note that the organizers of the Grand Prix reported having welcomed 345,000 spectators during the three days of the event. This comes to break the previous record of 338,000 set last year.