Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Verstappen wins thrilling, rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix from Norris and Russell

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen prevailed through challenging mixed conditions to win the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The race started in the wet and gradually dried out of the course of the race, with Verstappen leading away from a late Safety Car restart to win.

George Russell secured Mercedes’ first podium finish of the season in third, but is under investigation for a collision with Oscar Piastri.

Before the race had started, the expected rain had arrived and left the track wet for the start of the grand prix. The majority of the field opted for intermediate tyres to start the race, with the two Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg choosing full wets.

Pole winner George Russell led the early laps until Lando Norris passed him on lap 21. However, the Safety Car was deployed for a crash for Logan Sargeant, and poor timing for McLaren meant Norris had to wait an extra lap than his rivals to pit for a fresh set of intermediates. When he did, he rejoined in third, with Verstappen leading Russell and Norris.

Verstappen and Russell pitted together for dry tyres, but Norris remained out for a handful of extra laps before pitting for slick tyres. He emerged side-by-side at the pit exit with Verstappen, but the Red Bull driver took the lead out of turn two. Russell was soon able to take the McLaren for second place with his warmer tyres, but an error at turn nine allowed Norris to retake the place.

A second Safety Car was deployed for a two-car incident involving Carlos Sainz Jnr and Alexander Albon. Both Mercedes of Russell and Lewis Hamilton pitted for new tyres while the three leaders of Verstappen, Norris and Oscar Piastri stayed out.

Verstappen held onto the lead at the restart and grew his advantage over Norris behind, taking the chequered flag for his sixth victory of the season. Norris finished just under four seconds behind in second.

Russell passed team mate Hamilton late to finish third, but will be investigated after the race for a collision with Piastri at the chicane in the later laps. Hamilton took fourth ahead of Piastri, with the two Aston Martins, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll in sixth and seventh. Daniel Ricciardo scored points in eighth with a double points finish for Alpine with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon completing the top ten.

Sergio Perez was one of several retirements from the race after spinning out, with Charles Leclerc called in to retire after a gamble on slick tyres on a wet track failed to pay off, dropping him a lap down on the rest of the field. With Sainz also retiring, it was a point-less day for Ferrari.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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35 comments on “Verstappen wins thrilling, rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix from Norris and Russell”

  1. Normal service resumed once again, but what a race by Sargeant, Perez, & the Ferraris.
    Rookie errors by the former two & Sainz, for which Albon unfortunately was an innocent victim, & consequently lost a points finish.
    I’m surprised how slow Zhou was in the race, eventually ending up getting lapped by all other remaining drivers & even twice by the leader briefly.
    Tsunoda also made a rookie error which cost Visa RB a higher points haul & oppositely benefitted Alpine.

    1. Zhou has been horrible all season

  2. First race with four manufacturers represented on the podium….
    Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes… and Ferrari providing the champagne that they were never gonna drink tonight!

    1. Also, today was the first time that Russell and Norris have shared a podium since Silverstone 2018 sprint race, back in Formula 2!

    2. Afraid the Ferrari Prosecco in unrelated to the Scuderia

      Reply moderated
    3. You know that the name “Ferrari” means “Smith” in italien and is probably as common…

      1. Yhank you never knew this that Ferrari was so common .. as name.

  3. Perez = Mazepin. I am not taking that back. This was the most pathetic, lousy, atrocious, abysmal, retire worthing, brainless performance I have ever seen in the last 3 races. For crying out loud, your teammate has just won the race and you ended up putting your car in the dumpster. Just retire from the sport. Unbelievable. Who are the heads at Red Bull deciding to approve these performances?

    Reply moderated
  4. Incredible performance by Max once again, who won the race in what was clearly 3rd best car, both in quali and race pace.

    Reply moderated
  5. At some point, it was Norris race to lose, and he lost it staying one extra lap out.

    Russell never had a real shot, he was playing the defensive game for most of the race and still has the team to thank for the podium fitting hard tyres on Hamilton for those final laps. Given how he wasn’t faster than Norris after he cleared Russel and Piastri, what did they expect him to do fitting those tyres?

    Things are really fishy at that team at the moment.

    1. Commentators were clear that Hamilton had no mediums left, and the softs weren’t an option.

      He’d also pitted earlier than ther others when the rain stopped, so his 13-lap-old mediums had taken several punishing laps of semi-wet running. Given he had a free pit stop, new hards were the best option.

      1. On broadcasting here it was said he still had medium tyres. well, that changes things then.

        1. Ah – I was watching Sky. Dunno what others said.

          It makes sense, though. After the rain, Hamilton got mediums (which most teams thought was the better option) and Russell got hards (I guess as a backup).

          It stands to reason that Hamilton had 1 fewer set of mediums after that.

    2. David (@davidjwest)
      9th June 2024, 21:16

      Apparantly he was past the pit entry when the SC was called.

      Just really bad luck, or really good luck depending on who you support.

      1. I got footage here, he was a bit before pit entry, but the call would have to be very quick and they failed at that.

        A shame for them. I don’t think Max was fast enough to pass him today.

    3. Disagree, the timing if the Sergeant safety car is extremely suspicious for me – called when Max was coming out of the hairpin and Lando has an 11s lead, which would place him around pit-in. It took the TV around 10 seconds after the safety car to show the track map, when Lando was at the start/finish line. For a safety car that was obviously required at least 30 seconds before it was declared. Arguably he could have stopped anyway but that’s a tough call with the way the weather was playing out, vs the certainty of a cheap stop after the safety car had been called for, making it easy for P2 down to stop for fresh inters.

      Not saying Lando would have won but he should have been P1 after those first stops had the safety car been called as early as it should have been. TV unhelpfully (or conveniently) never showed where Lando was on track when it was called but he was either very close to or past pit-in.

      1. From crash Logan to SC being called was 50 seconds.

        20 seconds before SC was called Logan switch off the engine and climbed out. That gave McLaren enough time to discuss with Lando what to do with SC and/or VSC.

        Given the location of the car and that Logan was getting out McLaren knew it would be 100% VSC or SC. So why didn’t they discuss and make a plan for when SC is called.

        Lando had 3 seconds from being advised of SC to go straight and pit – F1 drivers need 0.25 seconds to react to new info.

      2. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
        10th June 2024, 0:20

        It is all about data. Normally computers are calculating strategy every second of the race hundreds of time by received data. However the precise timing when to call a safety car or virtual SC is a human decision. For Norris an McLaren it was unfortunate.

    4. Russell made multiple errors. He really should have finished at least second considering his tire advantage.

    5. Norris/Mclaren were notified of while still on the back straight – they started the discussion to pit but Lando didn’t pit – if they had more time they still wouldn’t pit because the initial discussion result was not to pit.

      Also McLaren knew about the accident – so why not immediately discuss, if SC comes do we pit or not. If they had done that – Norris could have pitted as he had 3 seconds to react to sign showing SC. F1 drivers react within 0.25 seconds to any new information.

    6. it was Norris race to lose

      That turn of phrase is meant to be used when it’s really easy to win and you have to really make a big mistake to lose. I see it a lot lately when it’s just not applicable. At no point was this “Norris’ race”

      1. Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

        1. And unlike yours, his opinion is correct.

          1. Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  6. Can Perez just retire? This was Mazepin level of performance. Unbelievable.

    1. Likewise, a Mazepin level performance by Sargeant & Zhou.

      1. These two are genuinely as bad as Mazepin was this season

    2. Max won’t hear of it.

    3. We all know Perez is rather clueless in the rain… changing conditions is almost always a crash for him … :(

  7. Quite a few drivers and teams were literally and figuratively in deep water here in Canada; Pérez, Sainz, Zhou and Ferrari on the whole. Yikes! On the plus side, double-points for Alpine is a good result for them!

    The highlights make it hard to get a complete understanding of who was how fast, but it looked like both Norris and Russell failed to connect all the dots and came up short. Still solid results for both, however.

    All in all this looked like a race that would have been fun to watch live, but without that element it looked pretty straight forward. Aside, that is, from it now being the second time this year alone that the SC misses the leader of the race. Big fail by race control!

    1. It didnt miss the leader. Norris was the leader and it collected him. Then slowed him down. Had he pitted right away at the SC call, he would have remained first.

  8. I didn’t realise McLaren are sponsored by McDonald’s, but Ronald was clearly doing their strategy this race. Utter clown show from them. It was their race and they threw it in the bin. TWICE!

  9. An Sionnach
    10th June 2024, 2:01

    The safety car giveth, and the safety car taketh away.

  10. Btw, i really enjoyed the Haas action during those first 8 laps. Great to see and a failure in the pitsstop undid all the good work kevin did.
    What a shame.

    1. I thought it was an interesting test of the various theories about why the teams are reluctant to use the full wet tyres.

      The idea that the wets are no quicker than the inters, regardless of the conditions, was thoroughly debunked by the Haas pair. However it was clear that the wet/inter crossover occurred quite quickly once it stopped raining.

      The problem seems to be that race control are reluctant to allow racing at all in conditions where full wets would be superior over the longer term, that is a wet track with steady rainfall to prevent the water from being dissipated. So teams know that they are better struggling along on inters, because if it gets too wet for them, very often the race will be stopped.

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