Max Verstappen tied the late Ayrton Senna for career victories and Red Bull won its 100th Formula One race as the Dutchman extended his season-long dominance on Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen won for the sixth time this season — the fourth in a row — and Red Bull remained a perfect 8 for 8 on the year. The victory for the two-time reigning world champion was the 41st of his career, which ties the 25-year-old with Senna for fifth overall.
“I hate to compare different generations,” Verstappen said, deflecting. “From my side, the only thing I can say is when I was a little kid driving and karting, I was dreaming about being a Formula One driver. I never imagined to win 41.
Red Bull principal Christian Horner radioed his gratitude when Verstappen crossed the finish line.
“A century for the team,” Horner told Verstappen. “Fantastic. And thank you for producing that race victory.”
Hamilton and the rest of the field had hoped to give Verstappen a challenge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where rain throughout the weekend scrambled the competition and created optimism that Red Bull legitimately would be challenged.
Winner Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, is sprayed with champagne by third place finisher Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of the United Kingdom, during victory ceremonies following the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race, Sunday, July 18, 2023, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Yes. It was the closest race of the season because Verstappen has been so dominant that he typically wins by 20-plus seconds a race. In fact, Alonso himself noted following Saturday qualifying that the only way to even pressure Verstappen was to be “two seconds behind them. Not 20 seconds behind them.”
Hamilton finished third for his second consecutive podium and was followed by Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Alex Albon of Williams was seventh and followed by Esteban Ocon of Alpine.
Lando Norris of McLaren, who earlier in the race received a five-second penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior, waged a frantic last-lap battle that thrilled the fans who had sat through an otherwise predictable Verstappen parade. Norris complained on his radio that the rear wing on the Alpine was flapping and a danger to him as the trailing car.