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Another Sunday, another dominant win for Max Verstappen. The reigning champion led every single lap to take first place in the Canadian Grand Prix, which also marked Red Bull’s 100th Grand Prix victory.
F1 Canadian Grand Prix Result: Who Won the Race?
Max Verstappen won the 2023 F1 Canadian Grand Prix. The Dutchman led every single lap from pole for the third race in a row, leading home Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton by over nine seconds. Perez scored the fastest lap, denying Verstappen a second consecutive Grand Slam. Verstappen leads the standings by 71 points from his teammate.
Hamilton Jumps Alonso, Russell Brings Out Early Safety Car
Verstappen got a rocket start off the line, and was all by himself into turn 1. Alonso, on the other hand, did not enjoy a very good launch, and lost out on second place to Hamilton. The Spaniard successfully defended from Russell and was able to remain in third. Down the order, Kevin Magnussen had a moment into the final chicane, and nearly crashed into the back of Sergio Perez.
On lap 7, the Virtual Safety Car was briefly called into action after Logan Sargeant’s car broke down heading into turn 7. Fortunately, the American found a gap in the wall on the escape road and had his car quickly removed. Racing resumed almost immediately, with no time for a pit stop.
Five laps later, the wall on the exit of turn 4 claimed George Russell as its victim. The Mercedes driver was caught out by a tank-slapper and smashed the right side of his car. Despite picking up some damage, the Brit was able to continue. The track, however, was littered with debris, which led to a SC intervention.
Naturally, most of the field took the chance to go for a stop, with Ferrari opting to stay out on used mediums. The gamble paid off, and both cars got inside the top 5. Hamilton and Alonso had a near miss as the Mercedes driver was released from his box, but race control chose to not take any further action.
Alonso Passes Hamilton for Second
Verstappen nailed the restart and was quick to get out of DRS range. Alonso, on the other hand, kept the pressure up on Hamilton. And on lap 22, the two-time champion used the overtaking aid to get by his former teammate heading into the final chicane.
In a relatively quiet second half of the race, Magnussen and de Vries had the only noteworthy incident. The pair came together into turn 1, as the Haas driver attempted a move down the inside, but had the door closed on him by the AlphaTauri man. Russell took advantage of the clash and overtook both cars in one move.
Then, a corner later, de Vries attempted an optimistic dive down the inside and took both cars to the escape road. Both drivers had to reverse back on the track, losing a lap in the process.
On lap 37, Perez kicked open the second pit window for the leading cars. In a sequence, Sainz, Leclerc, Hamilton, Alonso and finally Verstappen made their respective trips to pit road between laps 38 and 42. While Alonso switched to hards, Verstappen and Hamilton opted for mediums instead.
On lap 55, Russell was forced to retire with overheating brakes, most likely a legacy of his early brush with the wall.
The race continued without further incidents. Alexander Albon held off a five-car train to finish an impressive seventh for Williams. Lando Norris attempted a late dive for eighth place on Esteban Ocon, but was denied into the chicane. However, the Brit had already picked up a five-second penalty for unportsmanlike driving, and dropped out of the points as a result.
Verstappen led Alonso home by 9.57s. Hamilton, Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Albon, Ocon, Stroll and Bottas completed the points-paying positions.
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