Max Verstappen wins rain thriller ahead of Norris, Ferrari experiences disaster

Max Verstappen triumphs at a turbulent Canadian Grand Prix. Lando Norris ends up in second place, having been in the lead by more than ten seconds at one point. George Russell prevails after a duel with Lewis Hamilton and takes third place ahead of his Mercedes team-mate.

Oscar Piastri is also in the fight for the podium for a long time, but has to settle for P5. The race turns into a complete disaster for Ferrari. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz do not finish the Grand Prix for different reasons. Sergio Perez crashes, and Williams also has a double retirement.

Max Verstappen celebrates thanks to Norris’ bad luck

The winner: Max Verstappen was once again not the dominant driver in Canada. But after a lucky safety car put him in the lead, he left nothing to chance and took his sixth win of the season.

The podium: Lando Norris was the unlucky one at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, having shown impressive pace in drying conditions and having the race under control. However, a safety car was called out at the worst possible moment for him, costing him the lead. George Russell secured third place after pole position and despite several driving errors. He achieved this shortly before the end after a duel with Lewis Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz crashes, Charles Leclerc with engine problem

The result: Hamilton secured P4 ahead of Piastri. Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were unable to repeat the promising rain pace from practice and played no role in the battle for the top positions, but still collected important points for Aston Martin with P6 and P7. Daniel Ricciardo ended up in P8 – partly due to a driving error by Yuki Tsunoda – Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

Haas came away empty-handed with P11 (Hülkenberg) and P12 (Magnussen), although they were in P4 and P8 at times early in the race. Carlos Sainz collided with Alex Albon after spinning and retired. The same happened to Sergio Perez and Logan Sargeant, who also crashed. Charles Leclerc gave up the race after engine problems and a failed slick poker in a hopeless position.

Chaotic start in Canada: Haas delivers rain show

Before the start: In the last hour before the race, a rain shower passed over the track. This stopped half an hour before the start of the race, but the track remained wet. After the poor qualifying, Sauber decided to change the setup and start from the pit lane. Five minutes before the start, another rain shower started. Almost all drivers started the race on intermediate tires, but the two Haas drivers opted for rain tires.

The start: Russell was able to hold on to the lead ahead of Verstappen and Norris. The first positions remained unchanged. The Haas drivers’ wet poker, however, paid off in the first few meters. Both Magnussen (started from P14) and Hülkenberg (starting position 18) gained one place after the other.

By the fourth lap, Magnussen had even worked his way up to P4, Hülkenberg to P8. But as quickly as the rain came, it stopped again in the first few laps. It took until lap 6 before the Inter tires were faster than the rain tires of the Haas drivers. Two laps later, Magnussen turned into the pits and got intermediates. Due to a long pit stop, he only returned to the track in P13.

Ferrari went under in the early stages. Neither of the two drivers was able to make up ground. Quite the opposite: Charles Leclerc suffered engine damage that cost him at least half a second per lap. But Carlos Sainz also got stuck in traffic after a bad start and fell back to P15.

After a mistake in the first few laps, Norris had to let go of the leading duo, while Verstappen put pressure on Russell. But during the first stint, the McLaren duo suddenly turned up the heat: Norris quickly closed in on the leaders, gaining almost two seconds per lap.

Lando Norris drives away from everyone and has bad luck with the safety car

A mistake by Verstappen meant that Norris was right behind him on lap 17. After the DRS was cleared – the track had dried out sufficiently in the meantime – Norris passed the Formula 1 world champion. One lap later he also caught up with Russell in the last chicane. The Mercedes driver had to go through the run-off area immediately after the maneuver and lost P2 to Verstappen when he returned to the track.

In the following laps, Norris quickly extended his lead with a time advantage of well over a second. The field seemed to be spreading out and the track was slowly drying out. However, it was during exactly that phase of the race that Logan Sargeant lost control of his Williams and hit the wall in turn 4. He had already made several trips into the run-off area earlier in the race.

A safety car was deployed and it came onto the track at the worst possible time for Lando Norris. Because at that exact moment the McLaren had passed the pit lane entrance. Almost all of the pursuers turned into the pits, while Norris had to line up behind the safety car and lost time.

Norris finally stopped one lap later and returned to the track in P3 behind Verstappen and Russell. Piastri remained behind him, but was now followed by Hamilton. The Formula 1 record champion had previously put pressure on Alonso throughout the entire stint and passed him in the pits.

Ferrari gambles with Leclerc

After the restart, the order remained unchanged. Ferrari, with the courage of a desperate driver in a hopeless situation, took a full risk with Leclerc and put the hard dry tires on before the end of the SC phase. At the same time, they were able to solve the PU problem on the Monegasque’s car by resetting the engine.

But the track was not yet ready for dry Pirellis. Leclerc had problems keeping his car on the track and fell hopelessly behind. After Ferrari ended the experiment and switched to intermediates, he was already a lap behind. On lap 43, Leclerc parked his car in a hopeless situation.

Slick pit stops: The gamble also went wrong because another short rain shower started. After it had subsided, the track dried out rapidly. During this period, Verstappen extended his lead to up to four seconds. On laps 41 and 42, Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen had their personal bests. Within a short space of time, the two drivers drove personal bests. The leaders reacted: first Hamilton on lap 43.

But the Briton took too long to get his tires up to temperature and made a few mistakes. On lap 45, Verstappen and Piastri caught up, while Norris gambled and stayed on the track. Norris squeezed everything out of his intermediate tires and drove one fastest lap after another. On lap 47, he caught up.

He was still leading when he left the pits, but Verstappen immediately passed him on warmed-up tires. Two laps later, Russell also used his warmed-up tires to overtake his compatriot. However, on lap 51, the pole-sitter made a mistake and gave P2 back to Norris.

Mercedes attack after safety car

2. Safety Car The race was turned upside down once again on lap 54. Carlos Sainz completed the Ferrari disaster with a spin in turn 6, Albon was unable to avoid him and crashed into the Spaniard. Shortly before, Perez had independently damaged his rear wing at the same spot by hitting the wall. The race was over for everyone.

The two Mercedes drivers used the safety car phase to put on a new set of tires. Russell got mediums, while Hamilton was fitted with a hard set due to the lack of yellow tires. Piastri thus took third position for the restart, but with the Mercedes duo breathing down his neck.

Last restart: The restart took place on lap 58: Verstappen was able to quickly extend his lead to two seconds. Behind him, things were getting tighter. Russell attacked Piastri several times. During his second attack, Russell had to swerve through the run-off area: Hamilton overtook his teammate.

Hamilton did better than Russell: on lap 65 he overtook Piastri and took P3. Russell also pulled off the maneuver a lap later and secured P4. During this phase of the race, Yuki Tsunoda threw his car away from P9 and was almost hit by Hülkenberg. The Japanese driver was able to finish, but fell back to P14 due to the accident. But the battle for the podium places was not over yet: on the third-to-last lap, Russell overtook Hamilton in the internal Mercedes battle and secured the last place on the podium.

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