Verstappen beats Norris at thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

By Sports Desk June 09, 2024

Max Verstappen beat Lando Norris to win a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, the lead changing hands on several occasions in wet conditions in Montreal.

Starting second on the grid behind George Russell, Verstappen was passed by Norris in the early stages but managed an expert restart after a safety-car period with 11 laps to go.

Norris took the lead on two separate occasions but was unable to hit back when Verstappen pulled two seconds clear late on, having to settle for his third second-place finish of the season.

An error-strewn performance saw Russell give up the lead and slip into a battle for third with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri.  

Contact between Russell and Piastri allowed Hamilton to surge into third place with five laps remaining, but Russell overtook his team-mate with a neat move at the final chicane on lap 68.

With Hamilton finishing fourth, both Mercedes drivers recorded their best finishes of the season thus far.

The Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso was sixth, while neither Ferrari managed to finish, Charles Leclerc retiring just past the halfway stage and Carlos Sainz following suit as he collided with Alex Albon's Williams.

Data Debrief: Sixty up for Verstappen

Verstappen's previous two victories in Montreal had come from pole position, but he had to fight his way past Russell and later Norris to make it three straight wins in Canada.

The victory was his 60th in Formula One overall, from 194 races. Among drivers who have achieved at least 25 wins, only Jim Clark (25 – 34.7 per cent) has a higher win ratio than the Dutchman's 30.9 per cent.

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  • Hamilton labels Verstappen collision as a "racing incident" as pair avoid punishment Hamilton labels Verstappen collision as a "racing incident" as pair avoid punishment

    Lewis Hamilton labelled his clash with Max Verstappen at the Hungarian Grand Prix as a "racing incident" after finishing third on Sunday. 

    Hamilton and Verstappen made contact coming into turn one at the Hungaroring with seven laps of the race remaining. 

    The Dutchman attempted to go on the inside of his former rival to secure the final podium place, but in doing so locked up his front tyres. 

    Verstappen and Hamilton made contact, with the three-time world champion briefly sent into the air and off the track as he was overtaken by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. 

    The stewards swiftly placed the incident under investigation and conducted their analysis of it after the race, with the pair both escaping punishment for the collision. 

    "For me it was a racing incident," Hamilton told Sky Sports. 

    "Ultimately he was much quicker and he sent it. I moved a little to defend, but I left enough space on the inside and he locked up and obviously then couldn't turn.

    "He came at a different trajectory and clipped my wheels. If he was under control he would have gone by."

    “It’s nerve-wracking when you see the pace at which they close the gap on corners," Hamilton added of Red Bull's pace.

    "You just laugh to yourself because it’s not something I can do, particularly on the last sector they were very very strong, same as the McLarens.

    “I saw him coming from a long way back and he was able to brake a lot later than me, but he sent it up the inside, I stayed still and he clipped the wheel and went over, so I think it was a racing incident."

    Hamilton's third-place finish saw him claim a 200th podium, the first driver in the history of the competition to reach that milestone. 

    The seven-time world champion, who claimed 49 of those podium finishes with McLaren, was pleased to see his former team produce their first one-two since the Italian Grand Prix in 2021. 

    “Big thanks to this amazing crowd and a huge congratulations to the McLarens with the one-two, that’s my old original family so it’s great to see," Hamilton said. 

    “For us, the team have done a great job at pushing this car ultimately, we didn’t have the pace of the McLarens or of the Red Bulls but we were just able to hold on at the beginning of the race, it was very tough to hold on and make those tyres last."

  • Verstappen fumes at 's***' Red Bull strategy after finishing fifth at Hungarian Grand Prix Verstappen fumes at 's***' Red Bull strategy after finishing fifth at Hungarian Grand Prix

    Max Verstappen raged at Red Bull's strategy after finishing fifth at the Hungarian Grand Prix, declaring the team are no longer able to rely on a pace advantage.

    Verstappen recorded his joint second-worst finish of the year at the Hungaroring as Oscar Piastri led Lando Norris in a McLaren one-two.

    The three-time world champion's race was defined by a collision with old rival Lewis Hamilton, coming into contact with the Mercedes on lap 63 when he overshot a corner on an attempted overtake.

    Verstappen vented his frustrations over team radio, telling race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase: "You gave me this s*** strategy. I'm trying to rescue what's left."

    Speaking to Sky Sports after the race, the Dutchman refused to apologise for those comments as he said: "I don't think we need to apologise. 

    "I just think we need to do a better job. I don't know why people think you cannot be vocal on a radio. This is a sport. If some people don't like that, then stay home."

    Verstappen, who also dropped below Charles Leclerc late on, continued: "I'm not happy.

    "On a day when we're lacking pace compared to McLaren, you hope we do the right things with strategy, which was not the case.

    "You can't rely on a little pace advantage. Maybe last year when the car was quite a lot faster than everyone else, but in the position we are in now, we can't do that.

    "Naturally that frustrates me because I want things to be done better. I'm realistic.

    "Today we couldn't have beaten the McLarens, but a P3 was on the cards if we were on it a bit more."

  • Norris puts team first as McLaren secure Hungarian Grand Prix one-two Norris puts team first as McLaren secure Hungarian Grand Prix one-two

    Lando Norris said he will always put the team first after handing fellow McLaren driver Oscar Piastri his maiden Formula One victory at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Norris started on pole at the Hungaroring but dropped two places at the first corner as team-mate Piastri and world champion Max Verstappen surpassed him.

    Verstappen later fell away and ultimately finished fifth, while Norris inched ahead of Piastri after making an earlier pitstop.

    Norris – who claimed his first win at the Miami Grand Prix in May – was repeatedly asked to hand the lead back to Piastri but refused to do so until two laps before the finish.

    It looked like Norris might refuse the order as engineer Will Joseph told him he would need Piastri's support to push for the world championship, but he told reporters after the race he would always prioritise the team. 

    "It's tough. It would be tough for anyone when you're leading the race to give it up," Norris told Sky Sports. "I was obviously put in the position. 

    "They made me box first and gave me the chance to lead the race and pull away quite comfortably and to do what I was doing.

    "I think it was fair to give the position back. I don't want to come across as the guy who is not fair. Oscar has done a lot for me in the past and helped me in many races.

    "He drove a better race than I did. He got a good start, a better start and mine sucked. He deserved it and it was the right thing to do."

    McLaren team principal Andrea Stella, meanwhile, was proud of the drivers' efforts, telling Sky Sports: "We are on this trajectory together. 

    "None of us – the team, Lando or Oscar – can go alone. That's the message that we discussed on Sunday morning.

    "With racing drivers you need to refresh this message. That's why we have this meeting every Sunday.

    "We are extremely pleased by how our drivers are supporting the trajectory of McLaren which is incredible. For me, that's the news today."

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