Canadian GP 2023

JUNE 18, 2023

Race Notes - Verstappen takes fourth win in-a-row

Max Verstappen, Canadian GP 2023
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen won flag-to-flag at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in his Red Bull-Honda. Fernando Alonso took second place in his Aston Martin-Mercedes, 9.570 seconds behind. Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes GP was third, 14.168 seconds behind the winner.

The win is Verstappen’s fourth in a row, and his 41st career win, tying Ayrton Senna. The win is Red Bull Racing’s 100th Formula One victory, completing 224 consecutive laps in the led.

Charles Leclerc (18.648s) in the Ferrari was fourth, his team mate Carlos Sainz (21.540s) was fifth, Sergio Perez (51.028s) in the second Red Bull was sixth, Alex Albon (1m00.813s) in the Williams-Mercedes was seventh, Esteban Ocon (1m01.692s) in the Alpine-Renault was eighth, Lance Stroll (1m04.402s) in the second Aston Martin was ninth, and Valtteri Bottas (1m04.432s) in the Alfa Romeo who was piped at the line at the chequered flag to end up in tenth place.

Before the start Verstappen sits on pole with Alonso alongside on the front row, Hamilton and Russell share row 2, Hulkenberg with a 3 place grid penalty and Ocon are on row 3, the McLaren’s of Norris and Piastri on row 4, and Albon and Leclerc rounding out the top ten. Sainz with his penalty is in 11th, Perez in 12th.

With a dry track, it is expected most strategies will use Medium and Hard tyres with two stops.

The top eleven starting on Medium tyres, Perez starting on Hard tyres,

At the appointed time the cars took to the formation lap, lined up off the grid and the lights went out and the race began with Verstappen with a good start, Hamilton passes Alonso for second. Perez passes Sainz for 11th. Magnussen missed his brake point into the chicane and drops to 15th. Ocon passes Hulkenberg for fifth.

After 2 laps Verstappen leads Hamilton by 1.1 seconds. Sainz repasses Perez for 11th.

On lap 4 Alonso brushes the wall with his right rear tyre at turn 4 but continues.

On lap 5 Alonso is closing on Hamilton in second.

On lap 8 Logan Sargeant pulls to the side of the track and the Virtual Safety Car is out.

The car is clears and the race resumes half a lap latter.

At lap 10 Verstappen leads Hamilton, followed by Alonso, Russell, Ocon, Piastri, Hulkenberg.

On lap 11 Verstappen reports that he hit a bird. Hulkenberg pits.

Russell hits the wall at turn 9 and limps back to the pits with damage.

The Safety car is out Verstappen, Hamilton. Alonso, Ocon, Piastri, Norris, and Albon all pit for Hard tyres, as well as most of the others pit. Russell rejoins 19th.

Verstappen leads Hamilton, Alonso, Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Magnussen, Bottas, Ocon and Piastri in tenth.

At the start of lap 17 the race resumes, Verstappen gaining 1.2 second lead and sets fast lap at 1m17.145s.

Norris passes Piastri at the hairpin for tenth place.

On lap 18 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m16.692s.

Alonso goes quicker with a 1m16,575s.

Piastri runs wide at the final chicane and Albon passes him for 11th place.

Magnussen lets Ocon back though for an infringement, then Bottas and Norris pass him.

On lap 22 Alonso passes Hamilton into the final chicane for second place.

On lap 25 Piastri passes Magnussen for tenth.

At lap 25 Verstappen leads Alonso by 3.3 seconds, followed by Hamilton (4.9s), Leclerc (7.1s), Sainz (8.9s), Perez (12.3s), Ocon (17.9s), Bottas (19.8s), Norris (20.4s) and Piastri (24.4s) in tenth place.

On lap 28 Stroll for a second time for hard tyres and rejoins 19th place.

Albon passes Magnussen for 11th.

Verstappen tells the team that he is losing grip with the current tyre.

On lap 32 Hulkenberg pits for a second time.

Gasly pits from 16th and rejoins in 18th.

Magnussen and Devries battle side by side, Russell passes both, the two continue to battle and both go off the run off at turn 3 and the yellow flag is out.

Norris and Bottas pit.

On lap 38 Perez and Piastri pit.

Norris is given a 5-second penalty.

Sainz pits from fifth for hard tyres and rejoins still in fifth.

On lap 39 Leclerc pits for Hard tyres and rejoins fourth,

At lap 40 Verstappen leads Alonso by 4.9 seconds, followed by Hamilton (9.2s), Leclerc (32.7s), Sainz (33.8s), Perez (38.2s), Albon (40.7s), Russell (43.2s), Ocon (48.2s) and Bottas (49.4s) in tenth place.

Hamilton pits for Medium tyres and rejoins still third.

The next lap Alonso pits from second for Hard tyres and rejoins second.

The following lap Verstappen pits from the lead for Medium tyres as well and rejoins in the lead.

On lap 42 Perez sets fast lap at 1m16.149s.

Gasly passes Hulkenberg for 14th.

On lap 44 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m16.003s.

On lap 46 Hamilton set fast lap at 1m15.879s, and again the next lap at 1m15.396s.

Alonso’s radio message appears that he is trying to save fuel.

Tsunoda passes Hulkenberg for 15th.

At lap 50 Verstappen leads Alonso by 5.9 seconds, followed by Hamilton (9.4s), Leclerc (12.9s), Sainz (15.9s), Perez (20.2s), Albon (36.0s), Russell (37.0s), Ocon (38.2s) and Bottas (39.5s) in tenth place.

Mercedes calls Russell and reports that the brake wear is too high, and that he needs to retire from the race.

At lap 60 Verstappen leads Alonso by 8.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (9.7s), Leclerc (15.2s), Sainz (18.4s), Perez (27.9s), Albon (50.3s), Ocon (50.8s), Bottas (51.6s) and Norris (52.3s) in tenth place.

Mercedes reports to Hamilton that they believe that Alonso is nursing the car with rear brake issues, Hamilton chases Alonso bt 2.1 seconds.

A train of cars continues to follow Albon in seventh place.

Norria forces a pass on Bottas at the hairpin and takes ninth place, buts still will take a 5-second penalty at the end of the race.

Verstappen has a moment but continues to lead bt 7.6 seconds.

Stoll locks up in the hairpin but continues chasing Bottas in tenth.

Norris complains to the team that Ocon’s rear wing is very loose.

On lap 69 Perez pits for soft tyres and a try to take fast lap away from Hamilton.

At the flag Verstappen wins with Alonso and Hamilton following.

On the last lap Perez takes the fastest lap at 1m14.481s.

Across the line Stroll passes Bottas to take ninth place.