Max Verstappen Wins A Thriller In Montreal

F1 Grand Prix Of Canada
F1 Grand Prix Of Canada

Max Verstappen has won the Canadian Grand Prix and it was one of the Red Bull driver’s best victories ever, coming at the end of a race that had three different leaders – George Russell, Lando Norris and Max of course – from three different teams, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull. At some point in the race, Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) were also in the hunt, not just for a podium finish, but for the win itself, although they went on to finish fifth and fourth respectively.

This was Max’s 60th Formula 1 win, his third in a row in Montreal and the sixth of the season. It is Red Bull’s 119th win, the fifth at this Grand Prix.

“It was a really rewarding victory today, these kind of races are a lot of fun as you don’t know what is going to be thrown at you and I enjoyed racing today. With the weather so bad it was so easy to make a mistake; we had to be really focused as one tiny move off the racing line could result in us going off the track into the wall. The Team made all the right calls at the right time and remained really calm. If you look at the last few weekends that we have had in these conditions, we have typically always done well, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into today. We also got quite lucky with the safety car, sometimes it can work for you and sometimes against you but that is racing! Once we were on the slick tyres at the end, the car had pretty decent pace and we managed to keep it going until the end. It was a tough weekend but I am really proud to bring home my 60th win,” said Verstappen.

However, it was a somewhat bitter-sweet weekend for Red Bull, as Sergio Perez spun and hit the wall.

“In a race like today with those variable conditions, so many things can go wrong but we made the right calls at the right times. McLaren were fast on the inters at the beginning of the race, but getting the crossover onto the slick tyre was really crucial, and once we gave away track position, we had some heat in the tyres and could really push. Max was incredible today. In those conditions you’re driving with your senses, but everything must work in unison and the Team lifted itself to the adverse conditions and delivered in every area. There are so many things you can get wrong on a day like today, but happily we got them right. It was however a horrible weekend for Checo, but thankfully Ferrari didn’t score with either of their cars and we were able to mitigate the damage. We’ll assess the car once we get back to Europe and Checo will put this weekend behind him. We know that he’s incredibly resilient and will dust himself off and come back fighting in Barcelona,” added team boss Christian Horner.

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.

F1 Grand Prix Of Canada

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.

Mario Isola – Pirelli Director of Motorsport

“What a race! After the Monaco Grand Prix came in for criticism that, objectively, it was not exactly thrilling, Formula 1 answered its critics with an amazing show from the first to the last lap, with three drivers taking turns to lead and a further two also in with a chance of winning. Congratulations to Max for a great win, and also to all the other protagonists of this Canadian Grand Prix, because I reckon that everyone who loves this sport really enjoyed themselves.

“On the tyre front, we were able to see four of the five available types in action. Even the extreme wet, which usually is not used much, proved to be competitive on a low energy track with a lot of surface water. The Intermediate was also able to do very long stints, confirming its suitability for both very wet and almost dry conditions. As for the Hard and Medium, it’s hard to say which worked best as the second Safety Car deprived us of being able to evaluate what might have been the price to pay in terms of degradation for those who had chosen the Medium to ensure more grip in the opening laps when the track was still damp.”

2024 Canadian Grand Prix – Race Tyre Analysis

09 Ca24 Race4 En
09 Ca24 Pitstop En

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 arrives on the grid prior to 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 // SI202406091146 // Usage for editorial use only //

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