Winners & losers of the Formula 1 race in Canada

Formula 1 needed this race! The Canadian GP really had everything: changeable weather, strategy poker, safety cars and a battle for victory with five cars at times. While the premier class itself emerged as the clear winner from this spectacle, some of the participants made a real fool of themselves. looks at the winners and losers of a memorable Grand Prix.

Loser: Ferrari

“Everything went wrong from the start. I hope we’ve unloaded all the crap of the season on one weekend.” It’s hard to sum up the Scuderia’s weekend better than Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur. We’ll list it all again anyway: double exit in Q2, engine problem for Leclerc, failed slick poker for Leclerc, Leclerc’s retirement, Carlos Sainz’s spin and ultimately the Spaniard’s retirement. And we haven’t even mentioned that the pace in the race wasn’t good either. No points for the first time since Baku 2022: The Monaco triumph turned into a Montreal disaster.

Winner: Max Verstappen

That Max Verstappen winning is nothing new. But the fact that he has to fight hard for his victories has certainly been the case for a few races. And the world champion impressively demonstrated in Montreal why he has held this title for three years. The Red Bull was much better than in Monaco, but not better than the McLaren or the Mercedes. An almost flawless performance and a bit of safety car luck brought 25 points and, thanks to Ferrari’s failure, a comfortable cushion in the drivers’ championship. With such close gaps, the driver makes the difference. Red Bull’s trump card is no longer the RB20, but Verstappen.

Loser: Sergio Perez

And Red Bull’s problem child is Sergio Perez. Before the race, the Mexican’s contract was extended by two years. After the race, Christian Horner and the team had to listen to a lot of critical questions about it, and rightly so. What ‘Checo’ delivered was nothing short of unacceptable. In our driver rankings, he just missed the negative record. Out in Q1, no progress in the race, then the car was thrown away and he also received a grid penalty because he drove back to the pits in an unsafe vehicle. And all of this in the car that won the race.

Winner: Mercedes as a team

This progress is real, 100 percent! We heard that from the Mercedes camp. Whether that will still be the case on a classic race track like Barcelona and in higher temperatures is another matter. But the fact is: Mercedes hasn’t been this good for ages. They achieved pole position on their own and in the race their pace was absolutely on par with Red Bull and McLaren. That would have been impossible a few races ago. The former world champions have definitely improved their W15. How much will become clear in the next races.

Losers: The Mercedes drivers

Pole position and strong race pace: As good as the car was this weekend, the drivers were just as annoyed with their own performance. Lewis Hamilton messed up in qualifying, starting in 7th place. In the race, he was stuck behind Fernando Alonso for a long time and only got another chance of a podium finish thanks to the second safety car. However, this was secured by team-mate George Russell, making it Mercedes’ first this year. And yet it felt like there was more in it. The Briton himself knew that he had messed up his chances of going for the big coup with a few mistakes and impetuous maneuvers. If Mercedes can produce results like that, then the drivers must be there. But in Canada, they weren’t good enough for that.

Winner: Daniel Ricciardo

Teammate Before the race, Yuki Tsunoda received a contract extension for his outstanding performances to date. Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, received a scolding from former world champion Jacques Villeneuve. The Australian responded sharply to this shortly after he had put his Racing Bull in an excellent fifth place on the grid. Aside from a small starting error and a five-second penalty, Ricciardo also delivered in the race. He scored his first points in the Grand Prix by finishing eighth, while Tsunoda lost them with a ride. The ‘Honeybadger’ needed such a performance. Now the task is to show it more often and thus secure his place in Formula 1.

Loser: Guanyu Zhou

A Formula 1 stay of Guanyu Zhou, on the other hand, is becoming more and more unlikely with every race. After this performance in Montreal, the question of the Chinese driver’s suitability for Formula 1 must be asked. He threw the car away twice in training and caused a red flag. In qualifying he was clearly last. In the race he stayed in this position and was far behind. Yes, the Sauber is a bad car and yes, there was another incredibly long pit stop to complain about. But none of that changes the fact that his teammate Valtteri Bottas did not embarrass himself as much.

Winner: Alpine

Alpine simply cannot do without internal team drama. Esteban Ocon was once again angry because he had to let Pierre Gasly pass by team order and then could not get his ninth place back after Gasly’s planned attack on Daniel Ricciardo failed. But never mind: the mere fact that this discussion was about ninth place makes Alpine the winner. The Frenchmen take three points from Canada and move up to eighth place in the team standings. Haas in seventh place is only two points away. So perhaps the Renault factory team can at least manage to limit the damage somewhat in the 2024 season, which has started so terribly.

Loser: Williams

Finally, let us come to the team that was displaced by Alpine in the rankings. We can expect a split weekend for Williams, unfortunately with the same outcome. Logan Sargeant showed once again why the team is so concerned about Carlos Sainz. The American threw his car away, causing the first safety car of the race. Things were very different for team leader Alex Albon. The Thai was fighting for the points when Sainz spun away in front of him, sealing his elimination as there was no room to avoid him. One time incompetence, the other bad luck: In the end, Williams won no points, but once again a repair bill.

Now it’s your turn: Who were your winners and losers of the weekend? Tell us in the comments!

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