Montreal Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen, driver for the Red Bull team, on June 18, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec. DAN MULLAN / AFP
The reigning double world champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) easily won the Canadian Grand Prix, eighth round of the Formula 1 season, on Sunday June 18, on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit in Montreal.
The Dutchman, who beat Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), took his sixth victory in eight races this year and the fourth in a row.
With 41 victories to his name, the native of Hasselt (Belgium) equals a Formula 1 legend, the Brazilian Ayrton Senna, who died in 1994 during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
In the provisional classification of the championship, he escapes a little more and now has a 69 length lead over his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez, who took sixth place in Quebec after starting only in twelfth position.
Max Verstappen, who had won his fifth pole position of the season on Saturday, made a successful start and was not worried by Fernando Alonso, who was even overtaken by Lewis Hamilton in the first corner.
He quickly escaped, even though he announced on his radio that he had “hit a bird”. But the intervention of the safety car after George Russell (Mercedes) hit the back of his car in a wall, on the 13th lap, temporarily reshuffled the cards.
Almost all the cars took the opportunity to pit and change tyres, except for five of them, including the Ferraris of Monegasque Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz and the Red Bull of Mexican Sergio Pérez.
Four laps later, when the safety car withdrew, Mr. Verstappen resumed his forward march and quickly went it alone, inexorably widening the gap on his pursuers.
Fierce fight between F. Alonso and L. Hamilton
Fernando Alonso managed to pass Lewis Hamilton on lap 23 and the two drivers then fought a fierce battle for second place. It was ultimately the Spaniard who came out on top and took his sixth podium in eight races this season.
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The performance of Lewis Hamilton, however, confirmed that the Mercedes had improved significantly for a few weeks, even if George Russell, who had left after his accident, was forced to retire about fifteen laps from the end of the race.
Ferrari can also have a smile. After failed qualifications, MM. Leclerc and Sainz had started in tenth and eleventh positions but thanks to a successful strategy, once is not custom, they clinched fourth and fifth places after resisting Sergio Pérez well.
Thailand’s Alex Albon took a fine seventh place at the wheel of his Williams, just ahead of Esteban Ocon (Alpine). The Frenchman almost lost his rear wing at the end of the race but he resisted heroically against Briton Lando Norris (McLaren), who tried everything in the last meters but finally demoted to twelfth place after missing the last corner and received a penalty.
The Top 10 is completed by the local of the stage, the Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), who stole ninth place from the Finn Valtteri Bottas on the finish line.
The other Frenchman, Pierre Gasly (Alpine), hampered in qualifying on Saturday and relegated to fifteenth place on the grid, took twelfth place less than a second from the points zone.
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