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F1 Canadian Grand Prix: Podiums & Heartbreak

Play-by-play F1 Recap of last weekend’s race in Montreal

J.J. Gavillet
June 24 2022
(The Globe and Mail)

During last weekend’s F1 race in Montreal, the top two teams leading the Contructors Championship faced the duality of challenge and reward split between their drivers, with Red Bull and Ferrari finding themselves with setbacks before Sunday’s race began. 

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Following the engine failure that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc faced in Baku, costing him a tragic loss in a race that was set up for him to take victory on, team Ferrari was forced to replace the power unit component in the car, resulting in a 10-place grid penalty from the FIA. Before the race even began, the driver who recently broke the record for longest consecutive poles found himself not just unable to achieve one, but set back to a place too challenging to even compete for podium placement. 

While the points leader for team Ferrari was set back, it was an opportunity for teammate Carlos Sainz to step in – and step in he did. Sainz was a fierce competitor the entirety of the race, starting from the grid at P3 to make his way behind the race leader Max Verstappen in a battle that gave the Red Bull driver quite a challenge: “Carlos was charging and pushing, charging and pushing. Luckily, we were really quick on the straights. Overall, they were very strong in the race…it all worked out,” Verstappen noted following the race. 

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Verstappen maintained composure amongst the heat from Ferrari, holding his ground and maintaining his P1 grid placement from qualifying. The track did favor the Red Bull car, known for its performance on the straights and the track, which maximized the opportunity. One can’t help but wonder with Max getting back on top with the failure on the former points leader from Ferrari Leclerc, if he’s starting to breathe a little easier – especially considering the heartbreak his teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez experienced in the race.

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The Red Bull cars have resulted in DNFs for both drivers thus far this season – a record that unfortunately grew during Sunday’s race. Perez, who’s had a season to remember so far after (his now) 11-year career on the F1 grid has started to become a competitor not just at the top – but against his own teammate. Something that even Verstappen’s father, Jos Verstappen, a former F1 driver himself, has acknowledged and challenged following Perez’ historic win in Monaco in which team Red Bull gave the space for Perez to be at the top of the podium.

“Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front…Max was not helped by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo's favor. That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader," the senior Verstappen said. 

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Checo’s podium resulted in an overall win for team Red Bull a strong strategy move that was right for the race – Jos wasn’t thinking about the team so much as he was his son, and this is an ongoing trend as Perez continues to be at Verstappen’s heals in points – up until this Canadian Grand Prix. Perez experienced an engine failure that resulted in a loss of points for the driver, dropping him further behind his teammate at no fault of his own. Despite this, Perez still finds himself in #2 for the driver’s championship – a place still giving him room to challenge even his own teammate.



While other leading teams faced drama of their own, there was a big win this past weekend for previous season main competitor Mercedes. 7-time World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton found himself back on the podium we used to see him so frequently on following a challenging start to the season. 

“It’s quite overwhelming to get this third place, it’s been such a battle this year with the car and as a team, but we continue to stay vigilant and focused and never giving up and that’s something I’m so proud of and inspired by my crew…so thank you everyone who’s here and back at the factory,” said the racer.  

Hamilton’s struggle at the start of the season has been hard to see not just for Mercedes fans, but overall fans of the sport and admirers of the iconic driver across all interests. Seeing him struggle at the back of the pack due to car issues at no fault of his own was frustrating – something he handled with grace and positivity in the process.  

After a race filled with disappointment, failure, and even a harsh rainfall during qualifying, this was a win all of us can take home.  

Related: Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Baku Predictably Unpredictable



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