Predictable start

Immediately after qualifying, Saturday’s protagonist Fernando Alonso promised to attack Max Verstappen by the first turn. However, the reality turned out to be much more prosaic – Max won the start, rushing much better to the first turn, having already created a reserve in one and a half seconds by the activation of DRS. Alonso, however, managed to maintain his position, holding back compatriot Carlos Sainz.

In the top ten at the start, there were no special changes, except that Mick Schumacher lost a couple of positions, as expected, letting Okon and Russell go ahead.

Alonso, on the other hand, held back Sainz for a very short time – at the first opportunity to open DRS, the younger Spaniard passed the more experienced one. True, by that time Max had already left for almost three seconds.

As for the main victim of the Ferrari engine, Charles Leclerc, he managed to win back several positions at the start and reach 15th place.

Greatness Alonso!  Two-time champion is the protagonist of the F-1 rain qualification in Canada
Greatness Alonso! Two-time champion is the protagonist of the F-1 rain qualification in Canada

tactical ping pong

For another qualifying loser, Sergio Perez, it all ended very quickly – already on the ninth lap, the Mexican slowed down, complained about the engine and caused a virtual safety car to appear over the track, which Max Verstappen immediately took advantage of, going to the pit stop. They decided to do the same in Mercedes for Lewis Hamilton.

Max ended up losing only a couple of positions, letting Sainz and Alonso go ahead, but Hamilton let his partner and Esteban Okon go ahead, losing a little time for the Frenchman.

After 10 laps, like clockwork, another virtual safety car appeared over the track – this time it was called by Mick Schumacher, who faced technical problems and repeated the stop of his older Mexican colleague. This time, the remaining leaders reacted to this opportunity – Sainz, Russell and Okon, but Fernando Alonso decided not to go into the pits. True, Sainz pitted at the end of the VSC regime, losing much more time than the same Verstappen 10 laps earlier.

As a result, a very interesting situation developed on the track: Sainz quickly dealt with Alonso and regained second place, however, having parity in the number of pit stops with Verstappen, he was almost ten seconds behind him, but having ten laps of tire life in reserve .

As for Alonso, the veteran soon let Hamilton go ahead as well – the decision not to go into the pits looked, to put it mildly, a failure. Having gone to the pit stop as the last of those who started on the “medium”, Alonso returned to the track behind Leclerc, whom the pit stop was waiting for for sure ahead – the Monegasque started on the “hard” and the first segment won back positions mainly not on the track, but due to pit stops of rivals. However, at some point, Charles got stuck behind Okon, which somewhat shattered hopes even for the fifth position at the finish line, which the team was counting on, given the penalty for replacing the engine.

Stuck and suffering, Leclerc ended up driving 41 laps in the first stint, and Ferrari again had some adventures in the pit stop: there was a hitch, due to which Charles returned to the track only 12th, behind the engine created by Stroll.

Following Leclerc, the leader of the race also drove into the pits, and Verstappen switched to “hard” and returned to the track immediately behind Hamilton – on the third line. However, the Dutchman didn’t lose much time behind the arch-rival as Lewis dived into the garage lane on the next lap.

As a result, in Ferrari, in the situation with Sainz, they faced a very difficult choice – fast Verstappen was behind in eight seconds, which put the Italians in a deliberately losing situation. If Sainz drives into the pits, then, without having a fresh “medium” in stock, it is not possible to catch up with Max, and if you don’t drive in, then there is a very high probability of just giving up the victory on the track. Perhaps Sainz’s only hope was the safety car.

Ferrari lost again.  Even a ridiculous accident did not help - Max has the sixth victory of the season
Ferrari lost again. Even a ridiculous accident did not help – Max has the sixth victory of the season

Thriller not released

And, as ordered, this very safety car appeared – at the exit from the pit lane, Tsunoda absurdly crashed the car. Ferrari immediately called the Spaniard into the pits. He returned to the track behind the Dutchman, but, of course, at attacking distance at the restart. They also reacted to the safety car in Alpin, transferring both cars to the “medium”. Okon was fifth before the restart, and Alonso was sixth.

With 16 laps to go, a calm restart was announced, but Sainz still managed to maintain a less than a second lead to the opening of the DRS, which promised a fiery ending.

However, such promises are not always kept. But behind Leclerc quickly finished with two Alpins, reaching the much coveted fifth place, and set off in an unsuccessful pursuit of Russell.

As a result, the race smoothly flowed to its logical conclusion, only marking the struggle for victory, but never giving it away.

Verstappen took his 26th career win and his sixth of the season, further extending his lead over Leclerc in the championship. Sainz for the first time in a long time was able to spend a more or less clean weekend, reaching at least the podium. The top three was eventually closed by Lewis Hamilton. Russell came fourth to the finish line, and Leclerc came fifth. In addition to this five, Okon, Alonso, Bottas, Chdo and Stroll got into the points.

The race turned out to be not the most intense, but very revealing – Red Bull is getting closer and closer to the second Verstappen title in a row, and Ferrari, even if they managed to complete the minimum program, but in the fight for the title, this is certainly not very good for Leclerc helped.

Ferrari lost again.  Even a ridiculous accident did not help - Max has the sixth victory of the season
Ferrari lost again. Even a ridiculous accident did not help – Max has the sixth victory of the season


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