Race Report: Verstappen wins soggy Canadian GP

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates with his trophy on the podium after the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 09, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202406091005 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen takes the win ahead of Lando Norris and George Russell at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. In yet another exciting Canadian GP with rain, sun, rain and changing conditions, Max took his Red Bull to victory chased the entire way by a brace of McLarens and a resurgent Mercedes.

The Canadian GP is a terrific event on a very fun track and this year was no different. The wet track at the start was a challenge and when it dried out, the game was on…until more rain came. The final third of the race was on a drying track and added a lot of strategy and drama.

Despite struggling all weekend long, Max drove around his issues to bring it home on top and McLaren were very competitive finishing just 3s behind Max with George another second adrift of Lando.

Win

A win for Red Bull who struggled this weekend with suspension issues yet again. It’s an interesting dilemma and one that seems to have cropped up as I don’t recall this being the main talking point prior to Monaco. Still, Max drove around his issues and took advantage of the safety car to bring it home for the win

A win for McLaren running at the front with Lando Norris finishing in P2. For a time, it looked as if they may finish P2 and P3 but Mercedes picked off Oscar Piastri for 3rd and 4th. Still, Lando drove a terrific race and got caught out by the Safety car that assisted in losing the lead. A good points haul against Ferrari who had a dual DNF.

A win for Mercedes who made the most of their new front wing with great results. The team instantly looked more competitive in Canada with George Russell taking pole and finishing in P3. George had an error that cost him places but remedied that with fresh tires to pass Piastri and teammate Lewis Hamilton.

A win for Aston Martin who had Fernando Alonso and local boy Lance Stroll in P6 and P7 respectively. Aston has been struggling of late so the turnaround in fortune was certainly welcome. There was attrition with several cars out but it was a much-needed points haul.

A win for Daniel Ricciardo, who got slated in the press by Jacques Villeneuve, for a P8 finish while his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, spun off late in the race. Dan needed a good result and perhaps JV’s comments fired him up a bit.

A win for Alpine who took advantage of the attrition to bring both cars home in the points.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari who were struggling all weekend long. An engine issue for Charles Leclerc took a gambling pit stop for a hard reset of the system to remedy itself but by that time he was at the back and they eventually parked up for a DNF. Carlos spun late in the race ending his race and that of Alex Albon. A dual DNF was a miserable weekend for Ferrari.

A fail for Sergio Perez who just signed a new contract extension with Red Bulla nd repaid that confidence with a poor qualifying and a crash during the race for a DNF.

A fail for Logan Sergeant for crashing out of the race and it could begin to suggest that maybe seeing the balance of the year out might be something under consideration.

WTH

I love that Haas gambled for Wets at the start and that worked a treat but I am curious if they shouldn’t have boxed early for dry weather tires early on and roll the dice again.

Good call for Sauber to start from pit lane in order to change their car for wet weather setup. Unfortunately that didn’t seem to help them.

As of the time of writing this, I haven’t seen what Daniel Ricciardo did at the start. I assume him moved forward bit or was misaligned in the box.

Pirelli Report:

The race got underway on a wet track. 18 drivers opted to start on Intermediates, while the Haas pair went with extreme wets. Indeed, Magnussen and Hulkenberg provided the show in the early stages of the race, as the blue banded Pirelli Cinturato Full Wet offered excellent grip in these conditions, so that both drivers were able to charge up the order, with the Dane even making it as high as fourth place by lap 3, having started 14th.  However, the track was drying out rather quickly and so the American team’s two drivers were the first obliged to pit for Intermediates, as their lap times had slowed considerably.

Then, in the second part of the race, the green-banded Pirelli Cinturato Intermediate was the tyre to have, as conditions alternated between rain and sunshine with the track drying, especially on the racing line, before getting wet again following another shower. The majority of drivers made the most of the first Safety Car period, forty minutes into the race, to switch to a second set of Intermediates, while a trio made up of Ocon, Tsunoda and Bottas, gambled on their tyres lasting long enough to extend the stint until the track was fit for slicks. Sauber’s Finn went to lap 42, while Alpine’s Frenchman and Racing Bulls’ Japanese driver waited a further two laps. These three were the only drivers to complete the seventy lap race with only the one pit stop.

When slicks were viable, the majority (14) of drivers chose the Medium, thus looking for a better warm-up phase, while five went with the Hard, thinking more about wear, armed with the knowledge that in free practice, the Medium had suffered with graining.

Given the weather over the weekend at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit, it’s no surprise that all tyres, the P Zero White hard, Yellow medium and Red soft, as well as the Cinturato Green Intermediate and the Cinturato Blue full wet, were put to good use. But they were not the only tyres in action, as the Ferrari Challenge P Zero and Ferrari Challenge were used by the cars in the Prancing Horse’s eponymous one-make series, of which Pirelli has been the sole supplier, ever since it was established in 1993.

 

Canadian GP Results:

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT701:45:47.92725
24Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES70+3.879s18
363George RussellMERCEDES70+4.317s15
444Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES70+4.915s13
581Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES70+10.199s10
614Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES70+17.510s8
718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES70+23.625s6
83Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT70+28.672s4
910Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT70+30.021s2
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT70+30.313s1
1127Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI70+30.824s0
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI70+31.253s0
1377Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI70+40.487s0
1422Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT70+52.694s0
1524Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI69+1 lap0
NC55Carlos SainzFERRARI52DNF0
NC23Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES52DNF0
NC11Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT51DNF0
NC16Charles LeclercFERRARI40DNF0
NC2Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES23DNF0
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Xean Drury

Having the Canadian GP after Monaco has year over year just shone a spotlight on how un-exciting Monaco has become. What an amazing race! Give us more laps please!
Move of the race: Haas starting on Wets
Donkey of the race: MAG 8+ second pitstop. What the heck!? Why are we STILL seeing this. Shades of Red Bull Monaco Ricciardo?