Last year, Verstappen had 32 points more than Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton at the same time of the season, and after just two races he was eight points behind the Briton. “There is still a long way to go. The progress is very big, but that can change very quickly,” the world champion said after his first victory in Montreal, lowering his expectation of defending the title.
But he is on the right track. After two retirements in the first three races of the season, the 24-year-old hasn’t been on top of the podium in his last six third-place races in Monte Carlo. However, this is not a guarantee to go it alone. The world championship leader confirmed that they were not the fastest on Sunday. “It didn’t always look good. But we still won, and that’s also an advantage.”
This quality was mainly due to Verstappen himself. In the final stages of the race, he had Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the rearview mirror for periods of less than a second. Despite the faster car and a DRS pass, the Spaniard was simply unable to overtake Verstappen, who celebrated his sixth win in his ninth race of the season.
Ferrari promises to attack
Charles Leclerc, who started the race from the last row of the grid, still finished fifth in Ferrari’s second after catching up. It remains to be seen if the Scuderia can increase the pressure on Red Bull for the next few races. The Italians have the fastest car in the field, the only drawback is reliability.
There are always problems with the drive. The low point was the double failure in Baku a week ago. In Canada, both drivers got a new engine. “We now have new engines for the next races and we have four races before the summer break in which we can attack,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said.
Sigh in Mercedes
While Ferrari continues its dream of winning its first world title since 2007, Mercedes previously canceled the current season. Silver stocks managed to look forward to a sense of accomplishment in Canada after so long. Lewis Hamilton was third, ahead of his teammate George Russell. The seven-time world champion, who is already behind Verstappen by nearly 100 points, was delighted with the win. “We’re getting close,” Hamilton said. The joy of his team leader was more restrained. “We have to be happy. That’s good,” Toto Wolff said.
The teams have just under two weeks left until the next Grand Prix on July 3 at Silverstone. It will be the first of seven European races until mid-September. Before the one-month summer break in August, world championship points will also be contested at Spielberg (July 10), Le Castelli (July 24) and Budapest (July 31).
Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal
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