Max Verstappen
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And the winner is: Max Verstappen. © Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/AP/dpa

Max Verstappen dominates the entire Formula 1 weekend in Canada. The lead in the classification is growing. Lewis Hamilton experiences a podium comeback, Mick Schumacher the next setback.

Montréal – Max Verstappen clenched both fists on his Red Bull and jumped overjoyed into the arms of his crew after the Montréal Formula 1 thriller.

Thanks to a nerve-racking performance in his 150th Grand Prix, the Dutchman celebrated another important victory on the long road to defending his title. “It was really exciting at the end, I gave everything,” said Verstappen, wiping the sweat from his face.

The 24-year-old won the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday, just ahead of Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari, who had put a lot of pressure on Verstappen on the final laps after a safety car phase. “We were very close to victory,” said the Spanish Ferrari driver.

Hamilton’s podium comeback

Third was Lewis Hamilton. After third place in Bahrain, the record world champion made it back onto the podium in a Mercedes for the first time. “It’s overwhelming. I’m really excited, I didn’t expect that,” said the 37-year-old Brit, who has won seven times in Canada.

On the other hand, World Cup runner-up Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull retired early with a defect. Charles Leclerc, third in the World Championship, still made it to fifth place with his Ferrari from the last row after a grid penalty, but also lost further points.

He also benefited from the early exit of Mick Schumacher, who has to wait for his first World Cup points even after the best qualification of his career due to a defect in the Haas. Sebastian Vettel was twelfth in the Aston Martin. Verstappen now leads the rankings with 175 points in front of Perez (129) and Leclerc (126).

Not good conditions for Schumacher

Sun at the start of practice, rain in qualifying, blue skies for the race: that wasn’t ideal for Mick Schumacher, whose Haas works best on a wet track, like sixth in qualifying. “Of course it will be very difficult,” he predicted shortly before the start of the race. He was aiming for ninth or tenth place. Nothing came of it either, and after two serious accidents and a lot of criticism, it was not his fault.

Mike Schumacher
Mick Schumacher retired from the Canadian Grand Prix. © Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/AP/dpa

On lap 20 he coasted down with his broken car. “It’s obviously an uncomfortable feeling,” he said. “It’s very annoying.” They would have had the speed for fifth place. “I think today would have been the day,” he said about the long-awaited finish in the points.

Verstappen in front of full ranks

When the red lights went out in front of full ranks on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after two years of the Corona compulsory break, Verstappen defended his second pole position of the year quite easily. Fernando Alonso didn’t attack in the Alpine. A podium is not realistic, he emphasized in advance. Until then, the 40-year-old Spaniard had been on the front row for the last time ten years ago. In 2012 he took pole position at the Hockenheimring and then won the race.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton returns to the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix. © Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press/AP/dpa

Verstappen in the lead, followed by Alonso and Sainz. Schumacher immediately lost a rank. A second followed already in the hairpin bend, when the later fourth George Russell passed in the Mercedes. Leclerc tried to work his way forward. However, that proved to be difficult for the Monegasque, who had to start from the last row from 19th place due to various new engine parts.

Perez also struggles with defects

Perez also had to catch up, who had put the car in the barriers after a driving error and only finished 13th in the knockout phase. But the overtaking tour of the Mexican Monaco winner was quickly over. “We think it was a problem with the gearbox,” said team manager Christian Horner. “It hurts extremely,” Perez said.

As a result, the potential helper for Verstappen, who quickly used the virtual safety car phase to change tires, was also absent. Back on track, he quickly grabbed Alonso. At the top, however, was Sainz, who, like Leclerc, had been stopped by an engine defect in Baku a week ago. And Hamilton also held up splendidly, like Verstappen, had the tires changed.

It all seemed decided until Japanese Alpha Tauri pilot Yuki Tsunoda took off. The safety car had to come out, Sainz came straight in. With fresher tires, the Spaniard put a lot of pressure on Verstappen on the final laps. However, the Dutchman made no mistakes and clinched his sixth win of the season.

Vettel has to go to race commissioners

Sebastian Vettel will not be penalized for violating the safety car at the Canadian Grand Prix. That was decided by the Formula 1 race commissioners after a hearing in Montréal. After his twelfth place, the 34-year-old had to go to the race stewards. They accused him of not having kept the prescribed ten lengths to the vehicle in front in his Aston Martin when the field drove behind the safety car after an accident involving Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda. That was the case for a while. But because Vettel closed the gap again and others didn’t stick to it either, there were no sanctions. dpa

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