Max Verstappen claims wet and wild Canadian Grand Prix as Aussie duo finish inside the points

Staff WritersReuters
VideoFans are scratching their heads after the Australian F1 driver appeared awfully unlucky.

Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen has completed a Canadian Grand Prix hat-trick of victories on a wet, wild and tricky afternoon at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Verstappen, who started on the front row on Sunday alongside Mercedes pole sitter George Russell, stayed clear of trouble on a day of changing conditions, snatching the lead from McLaren’s Lando Norris on the final pit stops.

The Dutchman then grimly hung on to claim his sixth victory from nine races this season and the 60th of his Formula One career.

“Not easy but we did it,” said Verstappen over the team radio.

“We had to be on top of our calls and I think, as a team, it went really well today.

“I think we pitted at the right time and 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.”

Daniel Ricciardo poses with fans after the race,
Camera IconDaniel Ricciardo poses with fans after the race, Credit: Getty images

It was another brilliant drive from the 26-year-old who dealt with constantly changing weather, pit stop battles and challenges from McLaren and Mercedes while wrestling with his Red Bull’s suspension.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who came under attack from former champion Jacques Villeneuve in Montreal over a lack of good results, answered his critics by scoring points for RB with eighth place after qualifying fifth.

But it wasn’t without controversy with the Australian given a five-second time penalty for a false start though not everyone agreed he actually did.

“Did he?” Martin Brundle said on Sky Sports as he watched the replay.

“I have to say the lights looked like they went out and then he went moving,” Ted Kravitz added.

Still, his eighth place is his best Grand Prix result of the season and will allay some of the pressure that has been building during the first half of the season.

“It was a good weekend from the start, considering all conditions, and with a crazy race like that, I’m happy to finish it with some points in the bag,” he said post-race.

“I got a penalty for a jump start, but I was a bit confused because I knew that I didn’t jump the lights but then I remembered that during the start I felt that maybe the car was moving.

“When we pitted for the Inters, we lost a few positions to the cars that stayed out and the race was kind of getting away from us, but as the track dried towards the end and we were on mediums, I was able to pick my way through a few cars back into the top 10 which was a little bit of a relief.

Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes leads Fernando Alonso of Spain.
Camera IconOscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes leads Fernando Alonso of Spain. Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images

“I’m happy it was a fairly smooth weekend for us, and obviously for increasing the gap to the midfield behind us.”

Norris’s Australian teammate Oscar Piastri had a collision with Russell in the later stages as he went on to finish fifth.

After Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Williams’s Alex Albon had come together, bringing out the safety car for a second time, Verstappen pulled away on the restart and finished 3.879 seconds ahead of Norris.

Russell briefly dropped back behind teammate Hamilton, but the younger Mercedes driver roared back to win a nail-biting last-laps duel and complete the podium in third place.

“Few mistakes at key moments which cost us fighting with these two (Verstappen and Norris) at the end of the race,” Russell said.

“Those last three laps I was so focused to get back on the podium because I felt like I let the team down a bit, losing sight of Max.”

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