Max Verstappen has won the Canadian Grand Prix after leading the race again from the start to the finish. Fernando Alonso got the upper hand in the fight for second place as Lewis Hamilton was pleased to see his car's consistency result in third place today.
Following tricky practices and qualifying, especially in term of weather conditions, the race started under clear and sunny skies with no rain expected over the course of the race. Rain over the past few days however did make for a quite green track that was likely to improve and get faster as the race went on.
When the starting lights went out, Verstappen easily maintained his pole advantage and took the lead. Alonso on the other side of the track had a troubled getaway and saw Hamilton immediately take second place. George Russell had a peek around the outside of Turn 2 but the Spaniard Aston Martin driver held on to third place. Alonso would have a bit of work to fend off Russell in the first few laps before getting up to speed and put the pressure on Hamilton ahead.
Ocon moved up into 5th as Hulkenberg lost a position to the Alpine driver. Piastri jumped his team mate at the start to go 7th while Leclerc also gained a position, passing Albon at the start.
Just outside the points scoring positions Sainz kept 11th. He initially lost a position to Perez but on the back straight got it back after a lap long fight.
Lap 8 saw the first retirement already with Sargeant ordered to park his Williams at Turn 6. His stoppage triggered a brief virtual safety car period.
Gasly was then the first to pit on lap 11 after he was the only one to start on soft tyres but many stops would soon follow when Russell made an unnecessary mistake in Turn 8 and violently slammed the rear right tyre into the wall on the exit of the chicane. Russell still made it back to the pits and got going again despite a tyre torn to pieces and half a front wing missing.
The safety car was brought out in the meantime so most drivers dove into the pits to change to hard tyres. Perez, Magnussen and Bottas didn't as they were already on hard tyres and so they moved up into 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. Ferrari also left their cars out, leaving them as the only cars on medium tyres at the restart. During the pitstops there was also a "noted" unsafe release from Hamilton as he came out of his slot just ahead of Alonso, the latter enjoying a much faster pitstop earlier in the pitlane.
The restart on lap 17 didn't provide any immediate overtakes. Leclerc's engineer had justified Ferari's decision by expecting difficult warmup on the hard tyres but Alonso soon started to pull away from Leclerc and put the pressure on Hamilton once again. The Spaniard ended up passing Hamilton for second place on lap 22 after a very late jump out of the slipstream onto the final chicane.
On lap 30 Stroll interestingly pitted for a new set of hard tyres after having only completed 16 laps on his previous set of hard tyres. The home "hero" was lapping in position 16 before his stop and soon returned to that spot after stops from Hulkenberg, Gasly and Zhou as well.
De Vries then thought, time for me to get some spotlight, so he tried to overtake Magnussen at Turn 1. Magnussen held on in Turn 2 but then De Vries got ahead again towards Turn 3, only to lock his front tyre under braking and forcing the pair to go straight on to the escape road. When they both eventually returned to the track they were 18th and 19th.
On lap 39 Sainz pitted after an impressive stint of 38 laps on medium tyres. Leclerc did exactly the same one lap later, resulting in both not even losing a position in their stops after many frowned upon Ferrari's decision not to pit in the safety car period on lap 9.
Hamilton pitted one lap later, onto medium with Aston Martin reacting by pitting Alonso the next lap. The Spaniard's stop saw him get fresh hard Pirelli tyres. Red Bull then reacted on their behalf another lap later and switched to medium, as Hamilton did. When he returned out on track, Alonso trailed him at 4.6 seconds with Hamilton another 5.4s behind. Leclerc followed Hamilton at 2.5s with Sainz closely behind his teammate.
13 laps from the end, Russell is the first to retire due to high brake wear, a notorious problem at this circuit.
Meanwhile in front, Hamilton kept on closing in on Alonso up to the point where the gap was 1.5 seconds on lap 61/70. Perez meanwhile was unable to hold on to the Ferraris and ended up in no-mans-land between Sainz and more than 20 seconds ahead of Albon. The latter drove a notorious race with an incredibly long stint on the hard Pirelli tyres.
As Hamilton pushed hard he went through a bit of gravel in lap 62 to bring the gap back up to 2.2 seconds. Alonso replied with a personal best, moments after his engineer informed him of the danger from behind, saying "copy, leave it to me". At the finish it emerged that Alonso was managing an issue at this stage.
This allowed Verstappen an easy win once again while Perez pitted late to be able to take the fastest lap on fresh soft tyres.
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||70||1:33:58.348||25|
|2||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||70||+9.570s||18|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||70||+51.028s||9|
|7||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||70||+60.813s||6|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||70||+61.692s||4|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||70||+64.402s||2|
|10||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||70||+64.432s||1|
|11||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||70||+65.101s||0|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||70||+65.249s||0|
|13||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||70||+68.363s||0|
|14||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||70||+73.423s||0|
|15||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|16||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|17||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|18||21||Nyck De Vries||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||69||+1 lap||0|
|NC||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||6||DNF||0|
Norris received a five-second time penalty for unsportsmanlike behaviour (holding up drivers behind as the team were double-stacking Piastri and himself in the pits).