Canadian GP 2023
JUNE 19, 2023
Race Report - Max Verstappen dominates for Red Bull's 100th win
By Peter Habicht
Max Verstappen led the Canadian Grand Prix from pole to finish to take Red Bull's 100th Formula 1 victory comfortably ahead of Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in dry but cool conditions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
An excellent start from Hamilton saw him lead the Spaniard for 22 laps until DRS allowed for a pass but both were still well behind Verstappen. All three were running alternate hard tire strategies following a safety car brought out on lap 12 by Hamilton's teammate, George Russell, after he hit the wall after an uncharacteristic error saw the brake too late for a chicane.
Fourth place finisher Charles Leclerc fought his way from 11th, and was followed by Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz in fifth as the team put together a coordinated pursuit and maximum points for Ferrari. A late battle behind the Scuderia for sixth between Sergio Perez and McLaren's Lando Norris saw the Briton nearly overtake the Red Bull in the closing laps, but a five second penalty for 'unsportsmanlike behavior' was assessed when Norris was accused of holding up the field in order to optimize for a double stacked pitstop while under the safety car brought out earlier for Russell's crash.
This promoted Williams' Alex Albon to seventh, the team's best finish since 2021. Albon got the most out of the car in mixed qualifying yesterday and went on to be voted 'Driver of the Day' following a one stop strategy that had him looking after a single set of hard compound tires for the final 58 laps of the race. Albon's teammate, Logan Sargeant, would retire under a virtual safety car after only two laps with a 'critical issue' on the car.
Esteban Ocon was next to finish in eighth place for Alpine, and ran as high as fifth while holding off Haas' Kevin Magnussen and later Norris in the race as the Frenchman's car appeared to be suffering from a rear wing failure. Hometown favorite Lance Stroll was next for Aston in ninth, moving up from 13th on the grid, and Valtteri Bottas finished tenth for Alfa Romeo, up from 15th on the grid.
McLaren's Oscar Piastri took 11th for McLaren, followed by Alpine's Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda and Haas Nico Hulkenberg. The German driver qualified in fifth and had been running in the points when he pitted on lap 11, just ahead of the safety car which was deployed the next lap. Several drivers pitted and made up time which ultimately helped to send Hulkenberg to 15th as a result.
Alfa's Guanyu Zhou, Kevin Magnussen and McLaren's Nyck de Vries were the remaining finishers across the line, as George Russell was called into the pits to retire by the team in the closing laps with a front brake wear issue.
After today's results, Red Bull racing leads the Constructors' Championship with 321 points, followed by Mercedes with 167 points and Aston Marin with 154 points.
The Austrian Grand Prix is up next on July 2nd.