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Canadian Grand Prix 2023

Winners and Losers from the 2023 F1 Canadian Grand Prix

It was an historic day in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix as Red Bull, Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey all hit landmark milestones.

Canada start
To news overview © XPBimages

If Max Verstappen never existed, the Canadian Grand Prix would have been a fantastic strategic Formula 1 battle.

The charging Lewis Hamilton might have had a chance to finally claim win number 104, but instead it is Verstappen who notched his 41st victory to match the tally of Ayrton Senna.

For a driver who it seems only arrived in Grand Prix racing yesterday, he now sits equal fifth on the all-time win list, with only Hamilton (103), Michael Schumacher (91), Sebastian Vettel (53) and Alain Prost (51) ahead.

At the rate he is going, with 14 races left this season, you wouldn't put it past Verstappen to even go past Vettel's tally this year. That's how dominant he is as he took Red Bull's 100th win and Adrian Newey's 200th.

Behind the celebrations, there was also a job well done by Ferrari and a fully deserved penalty for Lando Norris.

But our Winners and Losers round-up begins with Verstappen.

Winner - Max Verstappen

The line of succession becomes ever clearer.

Fangio - Moss - Clark - Stewart - Lauda - Prost - Senna - Schumacher - Hamilton -Verstappen.

Each of the legends above have taken the mantle of 'man to beat' from their predecessor, and have an era that has come to define them.

This is Max Verstappen's era.

Since the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he's won 32 of 53 races, finished second 11 times, and taken 22 pole positions.

You might not like the dominance, but ask yourself this: what did you make of the Schumacher or Hamilton eras? Did you complain about the dominance and "boring" nature of F1 then?

It is just how F1 is. 2021 was a freak season which led to perhaps some unrealistic expectations about what Grand Prix racing actually is.

Teams and drivers dominate, and when they do, it is usually crushing. It's not Red Bull's or Verstappen's fault. The rest must simply do a better job.

What did Verstappen say?

"It was not a straightforward race because the tyres were not getting into the window. It was very cold compared to Friday and we were sliding around quite a bit. But we made it work and to win again, win the 100th grand prix for the team, that is incredible."

Loser - Sergio Perez

Speaking of which, that brings us to Sergio Perez.

A third straight race not making it into Q3 and then off the podium while Verstappen goes for a simple afternoon drive is just not good enough.

With what is one of the best cars in F1 history, Perez's P2 in the Drivers' is at risk from both Fernando Alonso and Hamilton, just nine and 24 points behind respectively.

Like Rubens Barrichello and Valtteri Bottas before him, Perez harboured hopes of challenging the freak of nature in the other car, but is slowly getting a painful lesson.

He is in a rut of bad form, and things won't get easier as the next race is at the Red Bull Ring - a circuit Verstappen has won at four times.

He needs the summer break to come - and come quickly.

What did Perez say?

"The Safety Car basically took all the opportunity away, you know, because we were looking good, we raced on that Hard tyres and unfortunately didn't pay it off. I'm very, very concerned about [not catching the Ferraris]. We just didn't have the pace."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - Alex Albon

In this piece after the Australian Grand Prix, a deserved kicking was given to Alexander Albon for crashing out of sixth place on a golden opportunity to a decent points haul for a Williams team simply in "survival mode."

But using the hefty new upgrades in Montreal, Albon qualified inside the top 10 and then took seventh place, fair and square.

Taking away the podium from the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix non-race, it was the best result for a Williams since Felipe Massa at Brazil in 2017.

Nicholas Latifi equalled that with seventh in Hungary 2021, but half the field had been skittled at Turn 1 on the opening lap.

This is a huge step for the team - and Albon's driving to fend off the much faster Esteban Ocon for about half the race was his best drive in F1.

Good guys do get their rewards in the end.

What did Albon say?

"The work that has gone on at the factory to get this upgrade ready has been monumental and everyone has been working so hard. We also fitted a new PU, so we threw everything at this weekend."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - Lando Norris

The camera never lies.

Norris claimed that he had only been told to pit under the Safety Car at the last moment and be that as it may, a driver with 90 Grand Prix starts should try to be a bit more crafty when trying a fast one.

He dropped back to avoid double-stacking behind Oscar Piastri - evidenced by the delta on his dashboard growing to more than three seconds while Piastri was getting a move on behind the Safety Car.

Norris protested his innocence post-race, claiming that everyone should have received a penalty for the last three years for doing what he had done, but it was cut and dry in the end and points were needlessly thrown away.

File this one under: lesson learnt.

What did Norris say?

"It doesn't make any sense to me, there's plenty of times when you go slow under the Safety Car, so if I got a penalty today, I should have got a penalty for the last three years as well."

Winner - Ferrari

The conventional wisdom in F1 is that when the Safety Car is deployed early in the race, you pit, especially if you are not on Hard tyres.

So when Ferrari elected to stay out with both cars on Mediums, no doubt the naysayers were getting ready to hand the Scuderia another bashing.

But this was a masterstroke of understanding the race.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had been tucked up in the DRS train, with pace to burn, if only they could get into free air.

Team orders in preventing Sainz from attacking Leclerc were also correctly applied so they wouldn't beat themselves.

And it worked a treat as fourth and fifth was rescued from 10th and 11th on the grid. A job firmly well done - but Ferrari need to get on and close up on Mercedes and Aston Martin who are just starting to stretch away

What did Leclerc say?

"Considering where we were starting from, I think is the best we could have done. Where I'm most happy is that the good feeling that I had on Friday during the race simulations was confirmed."

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Loser - George Russell

By law of averages, it was time for George Russell to hit something in Formula 1, which is something all drivers do eventually at one point or another.

And on Lap 12, his number came up.

A clumsy tank-slapper at Turns 8 and 9 ended with the right-hand side smashing into the concrete for a hefty whack on both front and rear.

He did a mighty job to get it back to the pits after losing his fourth place, but when he couldn't overtake Albon late on, the game was up as the car was retired for brake problems.

He had a chance of another podium as well as Mercedes could have played strategy games with Alonso if he was still tucked up behind Hamilton.

A missed opportunity and a slightly dented W14, as he was doing well to hold onto Alonso and Hamilton, and made a smart move on the squabbling Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen to gain two places at once, but he ended his own race.

What did Russell say?

"I was going to hit the kerb but I wasn't expecting the sausage kerb to have such a violent response and the next thing, I am in the air and lost the rear when I landed, then I was in the wall. It all happened really quite suddenly."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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