During the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen won his sixth win from eight races this season, tying his total victories with the legendary Ayrton Senna and gaining Red Bull’s 100th triumph. Verstappen led Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in a fiercely close duel, maintaining Red Bull’s flawless season record.
Battle for Position: Alonso, Hamilton, and the Safety Car Incident
Alonso and Hamilton swapped positions several times during the race. Hamilton took the lead at the start but dropped behind as strategy played out, leaving Alonso as the runner-up to Verstappen. Due to an early crash that caused serious damage to his car, George Russell of Mercedes was unable to compete for a podium finish. The resultant Safety Car led teams to make a variety of strategic moves. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, among others, chose to stay out under the Safety Car, earning significant track position and finishing P4 and P5, respectively.
Red Bull’s Milestones and Astonishing Performances
Verstappen’s victory also marked Red Bull’s 100th win in Formula 1, an achievement 18 years in the making since the team’s debut. Moreover, this triumph allowed Verstappen to match the iconic Ayrton Senna’s record with 41 wins, further extending his championship lead. Despite the heavy rivalry, Verstappen maintained control. His dominance was so strong that his victory margin was the narrowest of the season, with Alonso finishing 9.5 seconds behind.
Alonso’s podium finish was notable as he had to manage a rear brake issue for most of the race’s second half. Hamilton nearly overtook him, closing within a second and a half in the last laps, but failed to secure the second spot. George Russell, who thought his collision with the barriers would kill his race, managed an outstanding recovery drive before retiring on lap 55 owing to a brake issue.
Surprising Strategy Choices and Penalties
Notably, Alex Albon secured Williams their best result since the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, finishing seventh with the heavily-upgraded FW45 and fending off Alpine’s Esteban Ocon’s challenge in the closing stages. Meanwhile, McLaren’s Lando Norris incurred penalties that affected his final standing. Norris was demoted to 13th after getting a five-second penalty for driving too slowly behind the Safety Car, allowing Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas to move up to ninth and tenth, respectively.
The Canadian Grand Prix was a remarkable display of smart movements, unexpected results, and record-breaking performances. As the season progresses, the F1 fan population is looking forward to the future races as they continue to follow the historic championship.