Red Bull’s Max Verstappen equaled Ayrton Senna’s career total of 41 victories with a dominant win at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman’s sixth victory in eight races this season moved him to a 69-point lead in the championship and was the 100th win for Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin has passed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes en route to winning the battle for third place.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc recovered from 11th in qualifying to finish fourth.
Verstappen’s margin of victory of 9.5 seconds was the smallest Red Bull had achieved over another team so far this season, which encouraged the chasing group.
But it was clear that the 25-year-old Verstappen didn’t need to stretch himself and he certainly could have won by a much larger margin.
His achievement in matching Senna’s career achievement at nine years younger than the legendary Brazilian when he was killed in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix has confirmed the way he and Red Bull have dominated F1 the past two seasons.
This also raises the question of where Verstappen’s career stats might end up – only Alain Prost, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Hamilton are ahead of him in wins and Prost’s mark of 51 and even Vettel’s 54 could be reached this season, depending on the level of his dominance.
Verstappen converted an impressive pole position won in the wet, 1.2 seconds clear of the field, into a lead going into the first corner and never looked back as he measured his pace in the intense battles behind him.
Fight between legends
Hamilton started third, one place behind Alonso, but the Mercedes driver passed the Aston Martin into the first corner after a blistering start.
Alonso tracked the Mercedes closely in the early part of the race, occasionally threatening down the backstretch just before the end of the race.
But Hamilton managed to hold on for second until a safety car was called on lap 12 when second Mercedes driver George Russell hit the wall at Turn Nine, leaving debris on the track.
At the start of the second half, Alonso began to challenge Mercedes closely and after a few laps of pressure he got close enough to pull the move into the final turn on lap 23.
Since then, Alonso has excelled, and although Hamilton switched to medium tires on his second pit stop while the Spaniard remained stuck on the hards they used for their second stint, the seven-time champion couldn’t do anything about his old rival.
In the closing laps, Hamilton was told that Alonso appeared to be addressing a rear brake problem. The Briton was back at his old rival, but then Alonso started to pull away again as F1’s three biggest names completed the podium.
Russell remarkably rejoined after making a pit stop after hitting the wall and ran three-quarters of a length before Mercedes told him to back out of the car.
Strong fight from Ferrari
Behind Alonso and Hamilton, Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz recovered well from a difficult qualifying session that left them tenth and eleventh on the grid.
Ferrari chose not to slip under Russell’s safety car, switching to a one-stop strategy and running an impressively long first stint on medium tires to bring Leclerc into contention for the final podium spot.
After their pit stop, Leclerc began closing in on Hamilton heading into the final 30 laps and it looked as if Ferrari might be able to clinch third place.
But Hamilton picked up the pace to prove things were under control, and although Leclerc stayed somewhat in Mercedes range, he had to be content with fourth place. Sainz followed with a home run of fifth, ahead of a second Red Bull of underwhelming Sergio Pérez in sixth.
Alex Albon capped off an impressive weekend, running fastest ever in a wet second qualifying session, to finish seventh in a heavily upgraded Williams, whose pace impressed the rival teams and suggested an improvement in form as the season drew to a close. European summer stage.
The British-born Thai driver has held up admirably in the closing laps under pressure from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
Norris passed Bottas with six laps to go for ninth on the road and threatened Ocon for eighth, even talking about a wobbly rear wing on the Alps in the vain hope that Ocon would have to pit.
But despite finishing ninth on the road, and failing to make a pass to Ocon at the final corner of the last lap, Norris dropped to 13th in the classification due to a five-time penalty for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
This was motivated by his slowing down and catching other drivers on the way to the pits under the safety car to avoid a “double stack” pit stop with teammate Oscar Piastri.