mercedes formula one car ahead of a red bull one


Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

“Well done mate… I’m not sure if you can hear us, we can’t hear you, but that was amazing” (Max Verstappen)

Despite losing radio contact with Red Bull and running on older tyres, Max Verstappen held off a late challenge from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr – to take his 5th win from the last 6 races.

f1 cars racing in canada

It was Red Bull’s 6th consecutive race win in a season that is rapidly looking like theirs – they currently lead the Constructors’ Championship with 304 points. Ferrari are 2nd with 228 points.

However, it was a difficult weekend for Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez - who crashed into a wall during qualifying, started in 13th and was then forced to retire with a mechanical failure.

Verstappen is now 49 points ahead of early rival Charles Leclerc and 46 points ahead of second place Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship.

Today Sainz Jr had a 6-lap tyre advantage and was within a second of the World Champion for the final 15 laps. But the Spaniard couldn’t get close enough to make the final move and had to make do with 2nd place.

The battle between the two provided the Montreal crowd with some real entertainment, after a 3-year break – particularly during the last few laps.

“It was really exciting at the end – I was giving it everything that I had and, of course, Carlos was doing the same.” (Max Verstappen)

red bull f1 car in the pits

Lewis Hamilton happily took his second podium of the season to finish 3rd,

“It’s quite overwhelming to get this third place – it’s been such a battle this year with this car.”

Teammate George Russell was behind him in 4th.

Fernando Alonso started the race in 2nd – his first front row grid place in 10 years. This strong position had left him hoping to pose a real challenge to Verstappen, but the Dutchman made such a strong start that he was unable to pass him off the line.

Technical issues and a questionable Alpine strategy followed. Alonso didn’t stop under either of the virtual safety cars – but Hamilton and Russell did for Mercedes – and this put them ahead.

Alpine teammate Ocon pitted under the 2nd safety car, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for Alonso - as when the car emerged, he had just passed the pits at the end of Lap 19 and it ended before he reached the pits on the next lap. As he stayed out his tyres began to wear, until he was forced to pit under normal conditions.

This pit and an engine problem on the straights had cost him time. Alonso was ‘stuck’ behind his teammate, despite having a stronger pace and he asked Alpine if – as the faster driver - they could swap positions. This wasn’t authorised and he finished behind Ocon in 7th.

To add insult to injury, 5-second penalty for ‘weaving on the straight’ demoted Alonso to 9th. This promoted Valtteri Bottas from 8th to 7th and Zhou Guanyu from 9th to 8th.

After the safety car, Leclerc had managed to pass both Alonso and Ocon to finish 5th. A vast improvement on his retirement last weekend in Azerbaijan, but far from where he had hoped to be at this stage of the season.

Next up, Silverstone in 2 weeks’ time. From experience, the track should suit Mercedes better – but can they improve on today? Can Ferrari sort out their reliability issues? And can anyone stop Verstappen?

distance view of mechanics working on cars in the pits