Grand Prix™


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Jerez in October 1997 was the one and only time two or more drivers have set identical qualifying times in F1. In Jerez three drivers (Villeneuve, Schumacher & Frentzen) completed the same feat Russell and Verstappen managed on Saturday at the Canadian Grand Prix, both clocked 1 minute and 12 seconds to share the front row. Mercedes new front wing seems to work well as Russell’s pole position ended Verstappen’s and Leclerc’s streak of 15 straight poles.

A weekend for the unknown weather conditions, Perez followed up his contract extension with another exit in Q1. To put this into perspective, Sargeant has been out qualified by teammate Albon in all 30 races they have competed against each other, yet Sargeant has outqualified Perez only 6 times during his time in F1 with the 6th being in Montreal. Meanwhile, Ferrari managed to put the wrong and used tyres on both cars to confirm their Q2 exit and then retire both cars after 55 laps the following day. When it rains it pours for Ferrari…. (Who also didn’t enjoy the wet conditions in Canada). Monaco must feel like a life time ago for LeClerc.

Rain was forecasted all weekend and the three practice sessions finished with a Mercedes powered car topping the time sheets. The one and only other time this happened previously was the 2015 Russian GP. Fast forward to the important race session and the Mercedes engines battled for 6 of the top 7 spots, just not for the race win…. Although, Norris on another day could have won the race, when an ill timed safety car cost him his 5 second lead having to do extra laps on his intermediates. Still a successful race for McLaren who haven’t scored a point in the last 10 years at the Canadian GP.

Max is back to winning ways and has now won 50 of his last 75 starts after securing victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and securing a hat trick of wins in Montreal, albeit without the quickest car this weekend…. Either way, normal service resumed in F1 as both Max and Red Bull (with one driver finishing) extended their lead at the top of both the drivers and constructors championships. In doing so, Max becomes the 3rd driver in F1 history to win 60 races with the same constructor.

Montreal provided the second-closest top five in qualifying history with 0.178 seconds separating the top 5. With a special mention to Danny Ric who followed up Jacques Villeneuve’s slightly blunt comments with a well timed 5th in Qualifying and a solid drive for 8th for his best finish this season.

A race that featured four changes to the lead, two drivers feeling a race win slipped through their hands in the most competitive race of the season after the tightest qualifying for years. It was far from the foregone conclusion of Grand Prix we have seen over recent times. The only downside is the 2 week wait till the Spanish GP.

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