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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024

Max Verstappen clinches third consecutive Canadian Grand Prix victory, achieves 60th Formula 1 win

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Red Bull Star extends dominance with its sixth win in nine races this season

Max Verstappen continued his dominant form in Formula 1, securing his third straight Canadian Grand Prix victory on Sunday. This win marks his 60th career victory and sixth triumph in nine races this season. The Red Bull driver, starting from second position, navigated challenging weather conditions to clinch the win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

The race commenced on a wet track, with Verstappen positioned alongside pole-sitter George Russell. Despite the initial advantage, Russell couldn’t maintain his lead as Verstappen demonstrated superior skill and strategy. Verstappen’s ability to adapt to the fluctuating conditions—periodic rain showers interrupted by sunshine—proved crucial in his success.

Verstappen finished the 70-lap race 3.879 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. The 26-year-old Dutchman now boasts an impressive record of 50 victories in the last 75 F1 races. Reflecting on the race, Verstappen expressed his enjoyment of the dynamic conditions, saying, “It’s a lot of fun to drive these kinds of races now and then. You don’t want it all the time because that’s too stressful. But I had a lot of fun out there today.”

Norris, who initially held a 10-second lead, lost his advantage when Logan Sargeant brought out the safety car on Lap 26. “We should have won the race today and we didn’t so, frustrating,” Norris said. “We had the pace. We should have won today. It’s as simple as that.”

Mercedes drivers secured the third and fourth positions, with George Russell finishing third and seven-time Montreal winner Lewis Hamilton in fourth. McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took fifth place, followed by Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll. The Canadian crowd cheered for Stroll, the lone home driver, who expressed satisfaction with his performance, “It was a tough track with the condition, so I’m really satisfied to score points. Lots of points, the sixth and seventh positions are really good for the team.”

Verstappen’s victory increased his lead in the season standings to 56 points over second-place Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. “As a team, we made the right calls today,” Verstappen said, emphasizing the strategic decisions that contributed to his win. “It’s great to have three wins in a row here. I hope I can add more in the future.”

On Lap 46, Verstappen and Russell pitted while Norris stayed out. Verstappen regained the lead three laps later, overtaking Norris as the McLaren driver exited the pit lane. Verstappen maintained his lead for the remainder of the race.

A dramatic moment unfolded on Lap 31 when Verstappen narrowly avoided hitting a groundhog. “He was almost dead,” Verstappen remarked. “I started to get to the last chicane and I thought it was debris initially. So I started to close in and then I’m like, ‘Oh my God, that’s an animal.’ Last year, a bird flew into my car, so I didn’t want to have a groundhog stuck in my car as well.”

Verstappen joins the ranks of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher as the only drivers to achieve three consecutive wins in Montreal. This milestone solidifies his position as the third most successful driver in terms of career victories, trailing only Hamilton (103) and Schumacher (91).

Ferrari faced a challenging weekend, with Charles Leclerc retiring on Lap 43 after a gamble with his tire strategy backfired, and Carlos Sainz spinning out later in the race. “Just a very weak, disappointing weekend for the whole team,” Sainz admitted. “We never seemed to find pace.”

The event drew a substantial crowd, with 350,000 spectators attending over three days. Verstappen’s performance and the vibrant atmosphere at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve underscored the enduring appeal of Formula 1 racing in Montreal.

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