Canadian GP: Verstappen wins, Ferrari comeback after qualifying

Jaden Diaz

Max Verstappen took victory without issue in Canada: the Dutchman secured a fourth consecutive victory for Red Bull at a circuit that – on paper – does not play to the RB19’s strengths, still several tenths faster than his rivals.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton completed the Canadian GP podium ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in Maranello’s most positive race of the season

Once again, Sergio Perez struggled after the disappointments in Monaco and in Spain. Alexander Albon leads the updated Williams into the points, followed by Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll.

Canadian GP: Aston, Mercedes and Ferrari are equal in Montréal, but Ferrari pays for yesterday’s Qualifying

There were no big surprises at the start: Lewis Hamilton overtook Fernando Alonso before turn 1, putting himself in front of the Spaniard who, however, from the first laps, showed a pace similar to, and often superior to, his historic English rival.

The first to retire from the race was Logan Sargeant due to an engine problem with his FW45. An error by George Russell at turn eight on lap 12 forced the marshals to call the Safety Car into question: everyone stopped with the exception of the Ferraris, Perez (starting on hard), Magnussen and Bottas. 

The race was held over two stops for most of the drivers, while those who didn’t stop at the first Safety Car opted for a more aggressive one-stop strategy which paid off. Verstappen controlled the pace and was always in control of the race, while there were several battles on track for tenth position. 

Lando Norris finished ninth on track, but a penalty for driving too slow under SC conditions dropped him out of the points after a good weekend for the British talent.

Aston Martin and Mercedes, as well as Ferrari, showed a very similar race pace albeit with differences depending on the situations in the race: with the same compound, the AMR23 proved to be superior to the W14,

However, the Brackley team strategists chose to mount medium tires rather than the hard ones chosen by Aston Martin. Lewis Hamilton got very close to Alonso with ten laps to go, but the seven-times world champion’s tires didn’t hold up until the end. 

After an initial stint in the traffic of slower cars, Ferrari showed a good pace on the mediums in clean air, to then (surprisingly) confirm the good performance also on the harder compound, this weekend, the C3.

The Canadian circuit is one of the best for the Ferrari SF23, and it will be important to confirm this speed on different circuits that are tougher on the tyres, but the Canadian GP can be defined as the first positive race of 2023.

Alpine confirms its fifth strength, but in Canada, more was expected from the A523, which got stuck in the traffic of Alexander Albon in the second half of the race. 

The ‘midfield’ was once again quite compact, with Alfa Romeo and McLaren once again quicker than the latest stables.

The Woking team ends the weekend without points but having managed Saturday’s Qualifying very well and demonstrating good speed in Sunday’s race: further updates are now awaited.

The disappointments of the weekend are Alpha Tauri and Haas. In particular, the American team had positively surprised with a second position on the track in yesterday’s Qualifying but once again confirms the difficulties of the VF23 in the race

AlphaTauri finished in fourteenth and eighteenth position in the Canadian GP, ​​a track not friendly to the AT04.

Author: Andrea Vergani

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang