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F1 – Verstappen wins in Canada ahead of Alonso and Hamilton as Red Bull take 100th victory


Max Verstappen scored a lights-to-flag win at the Canadian Grand Prix to seal Red Bull Racing’s 100thvictory in Formula 1, as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso shrugged off late-race brake issues to take P2 and restrict Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to the final step of the podium

“The 100th Grand Prix win for the team, that's incredible,” said Verstappen afterwards. “I never expected to be on these kind of numbers myself as well, you know, so, yeah, we keep enjoying, we keep working hard. But today has been a great day again.”

When the lights went out at the start, championship leader Verstappen got away well from pole position to take the lead ahead of front-row starter Alonso. The Spanish driver, whose getaway was not the best, was passed into Turn 1 by Hamilton, with the second Mercedes of George Russell in fourth place.

Verstappen soon began to edge away from Hamilton and at the start of lap eight he was 2.4 seconds ahead of the Mercedes. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Logan Sargeant parked his Williams at the side of the track, but when the American’s car was removed and the caution ended Verstappen’s progress away from the pack continued and by lap 10 he was almost 3.5s ahead of Hamilton, with Alonso a second off the Mercedes in third place. Russell held fourth ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri sixth ahead of the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg. 

On lap 12 the Safety Car was released when Russell overcooked his entry into Turn 9 and hit the wall. He limped back to the pits and the SC period prompted Verstappen to pit and switch his starting medium tyres for a set of hard compound Pirellis. Hamilton and Alonso also changed tyres during the SC phase, leaving Verstappen to emerge from his stop in the lead. 

Behind the top three, both Ferrari drivers opted to stay out on starting medium tyres and they rose to P4 and P5 with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz. Behind them, Sergio Pérez in the second Red Bull also stayed out, on hard tyres, and he climbed to sixth place. The Safety Car left the track at the end of lap 16. Max held his lead ahead of Hamilton and Alonso, and the twin Ferraris kept Checo at bay as the race went green again. 

At the front, Verstappen again began to draw away and by lap 20 he was again almost three seconds clear of Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was coming under increasing pressure from Alonso, however, and at the end of lap 22 the Spaniard pounced, using DRS to slip down the inside of the Briton’s car as they approached the final chicane to take P2.

The order at the front settled as the leaders worked their way through the stint on hard tyres, with Verstappen widening the gap to Alonso to 5.2 seconds by lap 33.

Further back, lead Ferrari driver Leclerc was now three seconds behind third-placed Hamilton. Sainz was two seconds off his team-mate and Checo held sixth, five seconds behind Sainz and seven clear of Ocon. 

Pérez made his sole stop of the race on lap 38, moving to medium tyres and emerging in P7 behind Albon. Ferrari reacted by pitting Sainz on the following lap and after a 2.8 switch to hard tyres he rejoined ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon who was targeting a one-stop race. Leclerc then pitted from P4 on lap 40 and after taking on hard tyres he rejoined ahead of Sainz. Checo was on the hunt, though, and as Leclerc emerged from the pit lane, the Mexican passed Albon to take P6 just 4.5 seconds behind Sainz and on quicker tyres. 

Hamilton also stopped on lap 40, heading back to medium compound Pirellis, while Alonso stopped on the next lap, fitting another set of hard tyres. 

Verstappen made is final stop on lap 42, moving to medium tyres and once again he took the lead for his final stint. 

Behind the top six, Albon was doing a superb job of keeping Russell at bay. The Mercedes driver had recovered from his early crash and was attempting to wrestle seventh place from his fellow Briton. That battle ended on lap 54, however, when the damage Russell had shipped early on finally took its full toll and he was forced to retire. That left the way open for Ocon to reel in Albon and with 10 laps left the Alpine driver was just 0.4s off the Williams but could finds no way past. 

The battle between Alonso and Hamilton was also hotting up and with the Spaniard nursing a rear brake problem, the Briton closed in and 10 laps from the flag the gap between P2 and P3 was down to 1.8s. Despite his mechanical woes, Alonso managed to find enough pace to rebuild the gap and he was soon more than two seconds ahead of the Mercedes. 

At the front, Verstappen was in total control after 70 laps, he took his sixth win of the season ahead of Alonso and Hamilton. With two laps left, and with a significant gap behind him, sixth-placed Pérez pitted for a set of soft tyres and an attempt at the fastest lap. The Mexican delivered a 1:14.481 to add a point to the eight he scored for sixth place behind the two Ferraris. 

Seventh place in the race went to Albon with the Briton defending well in the closing stages to keep Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in eighth. Ninth place went to Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin and the final point went to 10th-placed Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas. 

2023 FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Race 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 70 1:33'58.348 
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 70 1:34'07.918 9.570
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1:34'12.516 14.168
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 70 1:34'16.996 18.648
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 70 1:34'19.888 21.540
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 70 1:34'49.376 51.028
7 Alexander Albon Williams 70 1:34'59.161 1'00.813
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine 70 1:35'00.040 1'01.692
9 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 70 1:35'02.750 1'04.402
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 70 1:35'02.780 1'04.432
11 Oscar Piastri McLaren 70 1:35'03.449 1'05.101
12 Pierre Gasly Alpine 70 1:35'03.597 1'05.249
13 Lando Norris McLaren 70 1:35'06.711 1'08.363
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 70 1:35'11.771 1'13.423
15 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 69 1:34'15.291 1 lap /16.943
16 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 69 1:34'15.725 1 lap /17.377
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 69 1:35'08.607 1 lap /1'10.259
18 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 69 1:35'13.315 1 lap /1'14.967
     George Russell Mercedes 53 1:13'07.798 Retirement
     Logan Sargeant Williams 6 8'10.072 Retirement