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Max's Montreal Reward

Highlights

  • Daniel passes Räikkönen at start.
  • Daniel passes Hamilton with superb overcut.
  • Max takes 13th career podium finish with P3.
  • Team now has 134 points in Constructors’ Championship

Max claimed the 13th podium finish of his career with third place at the Canadian Grand Prix, with Daniel fourth as the Bulls claimed 27-points in Montreal.

At the start, Max got away well from third on the grid as the lights went out and attacked front row starter Valtteri Bottas as polesitter Sebastian Vettel held his advantage at the heads of the field. Max pulled alongside Bottas in Turn 1 but the Mercedes man held firm as they swept through the following corners, managing to fend off Max’s attack.

Behind them Daniel had better luck at the start, managing to get past Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen on the run to Turn 1 to take P5.

As the field powered towards the end of the first sector, Lance Stroll suffered momentary understeer in Turn 5. The back end of his Williams snapped out and he slid left, colliding with Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso.

The New Zealander was pitched into the wall and bounced back on top of the nose of Stroll’s car as they slid towards the run-off area at Turn 6, scattering debris across the track. The Safety Car was immediately deployed.

When action resumed at the end of lap four the order at the front stayed the same and the race began to settle somewhat.

Vettel put in a series of fastest laps as he set about building a gap to Bottas, with Max a little further back. By the start of lap 16, though, Daniel was catching Hamilton and the gap between the two had fallen to 0.7s. With Hamilton apparently struggling with cooling issues, Mercedes took the option to pit the Briton at the end of lap 16, with Max also heading to the pit lane. Both drivers took on supersofts tyres.

Daniel stayed out, however, with the team attempting to use the Australian’s pace to overcut the world champion. A massively quick in-lap bought Daniel time and a flawless stop for supersoft tyres allowed Daniel to rejoin ahead of Hamilton.

The race then settled again until Räikkönen, then third, made his pit stop, emerging in P6 behind Hamilton. Bottas pitted soon after, slotting into P2 ahead of Max with Daniel now fourth ahead of Hamilton. Ferrari covered the Mercedes stop and Vettel then rejoined some 8s clear of the Finn.

The gaps now began to spread and on lap 50 Vettel had 6.0s in hand over Bottas, while the Mercedes man was 5.9s ahead of Max. Ricciardo was fourth with just over a second in hand over Hamilton.

Hamilton then tried to attack Daniel as he threaded his way through traffic in the closing stage, but the Aussie was always in control and once he had cleared the last of the backmarkers hampering his progress he quickly stretched his legs to widen the gap to 1.5s. Hamilton closed again on the final lap but the Red Bull driver eventually crossed the line in P4 with 0.6s in hand.

At the front, Vettel was cruising and even the small upset of the chequered flag being brought out early couldn’t faze what had been a straightforward 50th win for the German.

Max, though, was pressuring Bottas. The Mercedes driver, struggling with low fuel levels, was having to nurse his car to the flag and Max tried to seize the opportunity. He pushed right to the end but crossed the line just one tenth of a second behind the Finn.

Behind Daniel, Hamilton finished fifth, with Räikkönen sixth ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Esteban Ocon. The final point went to Sauber’s Charles Leclerc. 

OUR RACE IN NUMBERS:

13 Career podium finishes for Max.

27 Points for the team from Montreal a return only bettered by Ferrari.

152 Podium finishes for the team. 


Canadian Grand Prix - Top 10:

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Valtteri Bottas
3. MAX VERSTAPPEN
4. DANIEL RICCIARDO
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Kimi Raikkonen
7. Nico Hulkenberg
8. Carlos Sainz
9. Esteban Ocon
10. Charles Leclerc