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Max Verstappen

Verstappen almost killed another creature during Canadian GP win

First, it was a bird last year. This time, so close to a groundhog.

Verstappen Russell Canada
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has revealed he came close to killing a groundhog in completing a hat-trick of Canadian Grand Prix wins - a year after destroying a bird in last season's race.

Groundhogs have become a common sight over race weekends at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with Red Bull's three-time F1 champion almost coming into contact with one of the animals on lap 32.

Asked for his recollection of the incident, and the challenges the critters bring when racing at the Montreal track, Verstappen said: "He was almost dead!

"I started to get to the last chicane, and I thought it was debris initially. So I started to close in and then I'm like, 'Oh my God, it's an animal'. So I swerved right at the last moment.

"I don't know what happened after." Turning to McLaren's Lando Norris and Mercedes' George Russell, who finished second and third, he asked: "Did any of you touch him or he ran off?'

Russell replied: "I saw it." Verstappen again asked whether the groundhog ran off, to which Russell said: "He ran off, yeah."

To Verstappen's relief, he said: "Ah, good. I was quite happy because if that hits your car..."

Russell then interjected: "I was quite happy because I caught you", with Verstappen then stating: "I really had to slow down for it because I was bit off the dry line."

Referencing last year's incident when he hit a bird that lodged in a brake duct, Verstappen added: "Last year, of course, a bird flew into my car, so I didn't want to have a groundhog stuck in my car as well.

"I call it a beaver, but it's a groundhog."

Russell then joked: "If you'd hit a beaver you would have had a problem!"

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