Perhaps beating Max Verstappen is now the wrong goal. Perhaps the world’s (second-best) drivers’ goals will need to veer towards something more modest and more achievable in the short term.
Perhaps, just maybe, if all goes well, the car is fast and the nerves are kept, another F1 driver will find a way to lead the lap.
Even just one is a moment worth celebrating.
Verstappen also won the F1 race on Sunday, beating Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton comfortably at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It was Verstappen’s 3rd and 4th win in a row wire-to-wire, his 6th win out of 8 races this season. (He was his second in the other two.)
But perhaps more impressive is the dominance he has displayed in recent weeks. A two-time world champion and the fastest car on the grid all season, Verstappen has led every F1 lap since the end of May 7’s Miami Grand Prix, his 224th consecutive lead. ing. He is still counting them now.
This is the longest series record since Nigel Mansell led a streak of 235 laps in 1992 and is within sight of Alberto Ascari’s F1 record of 304 laps set in 1952.
Can Verstappen get there? There’s no reason to think he can’t, even for one lap, until someone gets in front of him.
Red Bull in numbers
Verstappen’s win and strong welcome from team-mate Sergio Perez, who finished sixth, made it a day to remember for Red Bull Racing. Here are some of the numbers:
Four Max Verstappen is on a winning streak this season.
6 Verstappen’s 2023th win.
8 Red Bull won eight races.
41 Verstappen tied for fifth place with Ayrton Senna in all-time wins. Still not close to Lewis Hamilton’s record (103).
100 Red Bull wins F1.
224 The streak led by Verstappen this season is the fifth longest in F1 history.
See Sunday’s race in pictures
close finish Alonso, Hamilton and the rest of the squad lost yet again – some stats might help. Verstappen’s win was just 9.57 seconds, the smallest difference in a race completed at speed all season. Perhaps Verstappen relaxed at the end. (It’s unlikely.) Maybe his rivals are feeling a good sign from the upgrades so far. (Rather likely.) But in a season in which Red Bull won every race, the narrowing margin must feel like a harbinger.
tough defense Williams’ Alex Albon finished seventh with a valiant defensive performance over 50 laps on the same set of aging tires. It was his best finish of the season.
salvage job Charles Leclerc (4th) and Carlos Sainz (5th) were miserable, marked by a grid penalty by Sainz and an insult by Leclerc who suggested the team was stumbling in the dark looking for a solution on Saturday. It was a great weekend and saved Ferrari’s day. to make up the ground.
what they say
“I am very happy now.” — Verstappenalmost every week.
“I wanted to challenge myself a bit more, but I lost my position to Lewis at the start, and after that I kept fighting for the rest of the race. Alonsoabout playing catch all day.
“It’s been a great weekend for us. We keep grinding.” Hamiltonhas liked his Mercedes upgrades this weekend and has taken two podiums in a row.
Drivers’ Championship Standings
Verstappen’s lead now stands at 69 points over Perez and 78 over Alonso. Except for Hamilton, the other drivers have led by more than 100 points over the eight races.