F1 - Verstappen makes the right calls to win rain-affected Canadian GP ahead of Norris and Russell


Max Verstappen navigated rain showers and Safety cars, and made the right call on a move to slick tyres to take his third straight Canadian Grand Prix win at the end of an enthralling race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Second place went to McLaren’s Lando Norris, while George Russell took Mercedes’ first podium of the year with third. 

“It was a pretty crazy race. A lot of things were happening, and we really had to be on top of our calls,” said Verstappen afterwards. “As a team, we just did really well today. We remained calm. I think we pitted at the right time. Of course, the Safety Car worked out nicely for us, but even after that, I think we were managing the gaps quite well. I love it. That was a lot of fun. Those kind of races, you need them once in a while.”

When the lights went out at the star, pole sitter Russell got away poorly on the wet track and for a moment it looked like Verstappen might steal the lead on the run to Turn 1. However the Mercedes driver recovered and he held the lead through the following corners ahead Verstappen, Norris and the second McLaren of Piastri. 

Rain then began to fall and while bulk of the field tiptoed around on Inters, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg, who had gambled on full wets, began to charge through the order. 

By lap six Magnussen had climbed from 14th on the grid to fifth place and was putting pressure on Piastri. Hülkenberg, meanwhile, was in P8 after starting from 17th  and he was all over the back of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. 

However, after seven laps the shower halted. The Intermediate runners began to find more pace and the Haas drivers’ brief cameo came to a swift end as Magnussen pitted and Hülkenberg’s march slowed. 

At the front, after 10 laps, Russell held a 1.2s advantage over Verstappen who had pulled out a nine-second gap to Norris. Verstappen then began to reel in Russell and the tussle allowed Norris to narrow the gap. And when Max went wide at Turn 1 at the start of lap 18, it suddenly became a three-way fight. 

At the end of lap 20 the Dutch driver was ambushed by Norris who powered past under DRS on the run to the final chicane. The McLaren driver then passed Russell at the same place. The Mercedes driver tried to fend off the attack but as Norris took the lead Russell was forced to cut the chicane and as he rejoined, Verstappen swept past to take second place. 

On lap 25, Williams’ Logan Sargeant spun into the barriers in Turn 4 and the Safety Car was deployed. Norris was immediately picked up by the SC and stayed out on track. However, Verstappen, Russell and Piastri pitted, with all three fitting new Intermediates. McLaren brought Norris in at the end of the following lap, but the delay behind the SC cost the Briton dearly and as he exited the pit lane Max powered past to take the lead ahead of Russell, with Norris slotting into third. 

When the Safety Car left the track Verstappen held his held butat the end of lap 41, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly sparked a move to slick tyres. Hamilton was the first of the leaders to switch, and at the end of lap 45  Verstappen pitted, fitting Mediums. Norris, however, stayed on track to try the overcut and at the end of lap 47 the Briton made his move. 

Norris’ stop was solid but he rejoined just as Verstappen was entering Turn 2 and the Duxcthman was able to power into the lead. Then, as Norris struggled to get temperature into his tyres, Russell also closed in and when Norris went marginally wide at the hairpin on lap 49, the Mercedes driver passed the McLaren on the way to the final chicane. On lap 51 though, Russell ran wide and jumped the kerb and Norris was able to slide past to take P2 again. 

Soon after, Carlos Sainz made a mistake in Turn 6 and as he spun he hit the Williams of Alex Albon. Both were forced out of the race and with Albon’s car stuck by the barrier the SC was deployed again. 

Verstappen again controlled the restart well and with the lead secured he quickly dropped the McLarens. 

Thereafter, it was comfortbale for the championship leader and with Norris locked in second and with Russell, Piastri and Hamilton squabbling over third, the champion took the flag for his sixth win of the season. 

Behind the top two the battle was more fierce. Russell and Piastri clashed, resulting in the Mercedes driver dropping behind team-mate Hamilton. 

Hamilton got past the struggling Piastri and in the final stage Russell passed both to claim a hard-won podium finish. Hamilton was left with fourth place ahead of the second McLaren, while Fernando Alonso claimed sixth place ahead of Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll. Daniel Ricciardo took a solid eighth place for RB ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and the final point went to the Frenchman’s team-mate Esteban Ocon. 

2024 FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Race 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 70 1:45'47.927 
2 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 70 1:45'51.806 3.879
3 George Russell Mercedes 70 1:45'52.244 4.317
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1:45'52.842 4.915
5 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 70 1:45'58.126 10.199
6 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 70 1:46'05.437 17.510
7 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 70 1:46'11.552 23.625
8 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 70 1:46'16.599 28.672
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 70 1:46'17.948 30.021
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 70 1:46'18.240 30.313
11 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 70 1:46'18.751 30.824
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 70 1:46'19.180 31.253
13 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 70 1:46'28.414 40.487
14 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 70 1:46'40.621 52.694
15 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 69 1:46'41.455 1 lap /53.528
     Carlos Sainz Ferrari 52 1:19'48.472 Accident damage
     Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 52 1:19'49.040 Accident
     Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 51 1:18'30.768 Accident damage
     Charles Leclerc Ferrari 40 1:04'03.308 Retirement
     Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 23 36'04.519 Accident