- Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix despite holding off late pressure, and It was his sixth victory of the season
- Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes overcame adversity to finish third, while his teammate George Russell finished fourth
- Verstappen is currently the best Formula One driver, and the RedBull driver tops the driver’s standing table with 155 points
Lewis Hamilton climbed out of his physio’s chair to finish third in the Canadian Grand Prix, providing some respite in his tumultuous season.
Yes, Hamilton trailed winner Max Verstappen, who held off late pressure to claim his sixth victory of the season, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Hamilton received enormous cheers on a solar day, and the 37-year-old Briton appeared revived on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve stage, where he won his first 103 races in 2007.
His wide grin was reminiscent of Saturday when finishing fourth in qualifying was lauded as if he had climbed Everest. That sums up Mercedes’ troubles this year.
Since the new regulations went into effect at the beginning of the year, their porpoising car has bounced and dawdled. Let us not forget that Hamilton could barely get out of his machine in Baku just a week before.
Even if there was a possibility of am-dram in his agony essay, this reawakening was far beyond expectations.
He left Azerbaijan unsure whether his ageing spine could handle 70 laps around Montreal’s road surface.
But he slept well in Baku, awoke on Monday, and decided not to let negative thoughts tamper with his preparedness for the test on Sunday.
But don’t get too carried away. Besides a late safety car, maybe Verstappen would have been out of sight. Leclerc starting from the back after the engine change also impressed Hamilton and Mercedes.
Hamilton performed admirably throughout the uneventful race. On newer tyres, he made one decent early pass on Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, whose obstruction was supine. On lap 24, he quickly dispatched Fernando Alonso to the other Alpine.
The Spaniard badly wanted to fight for the lead at the first corner, but Verstappen was ahead cleanly, and it was now a matter of not slipping back the other way for Alonso. He came in seventh place.
One amusing (potentially dangerous) moment occurred when Verstappen emerged from his second pit stop directly into Hamilton’s path. The Briton held his own and maintained his lead.
Verstappen, however, quickly zoomed past his old rival, demonstrating the crucial disparity in their relative speeds. You can see me now and then.
Verstappen’s 26th victory in 150 races gives the defending champion a 46-point lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez heading into Silverstone a week on Sunday.
Max is currently the world’s best driver right now.
George Russell, driving the second Mercedes, qualified eighth on soft tires on a drying track and finished fourth. He never appeared to be a threat to Hamilton. You get the impression that this was how the team always wanted it.
When Perez and Haas’ Mick Schumacher’s engine failed, there were two virtual safety cars and one actual safety car when Yuki Tsunoda crashed his AlphaTauri into the roadblocks.
Because of the delay, Verstappen could get away cleanly when the action resumed. Sainz, on the other hand, was relentlessly following him.
It was the best pitch the racing had ever seen, with Verstappen defenceless to the slightest slip in front of a crowd relieved to see him back after a three-year Covid-inspired long break. He didn’t make it, finishing a mere second ahead.