What the teams said – Race day in Canada
Verstappen led off the line, and from there was untroubled in recording his sixth win of the season and fourth in a row. Even a Safety Car didn’t disrupt his rhythm, the Dutchman so comfortable he could joke with his race engineer. Perez had a harder time of it starting on the slower hard compound. He had to fight with Sainz off the line for position, but running long helped him and he managed a one-stop strategy superbly to climb up to sixth. He did pit a second time late on, to pick up the fastest lap bonus point.
Max Verstappen, 1st
“I’m of course very happy to win here in Canada. It wasn’t an easy or straightforward race though, it was quite difficult to switch on the tyres and get them to the right temperature. This is our 100th win and it’s an incredible moment for the Team, the hard work doesn’t stop here though, the new target is 200 now! Right from when I was a young kid karting, I was always dreaming about being a Formula One driver and I would have never imagined to actually win so many races, so to tie with Ayrton Senna is incredible and I feel really proud of that. Hopefully we will have plenty more wins in the future, I don’t want to stop now.”
Sergio Perez, 6th
"Today was a bit of a surprise, we just didn’t have the pace. It was looking good on the hard tyre initially but once the safety car came in I couldn’t recover the grip on that tyre and we didn’t have the pace on the medium. It is important we take time to understand the weekend because this race, in particular, has been poor in pace and we need to get on top of it. I have the confidence in myself and know what I can do but today we were not good. Right now, I am more concerned about my drop in performance than my place in the Championship because the pace is just not there. You never have no pressure on you, it has been a difficult period but I am here to perform and I need to do that in the next few races. On a positive note, we achieved 100 wins today and it is really great for the Team, I am very happy for everyone, Max has done a tremendous job, not just today but throughout the whole season."
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“It’s a landmark day today and one for our history books, 100 victories for the team, 200 for Adrian and Max’s 41st putting him up there with Senna. An amazing result for the whole team, not just the people here, but everyone back at the factory who works so hard, ensuring we continue to perform at such a high level. I remember our first victory in China in 2009 and being happy that we’d won just one race, and here we are with 99 more. To get a century of victories is an incredible achievement, competing in 100 races is a feat in itself, but winning 27% of all races we have entered is something truly to be proud of. It’s been an amazing journey in a relatively short space of time and it’s down to our incredible people, our spirit and our culture. Max has obviously been a big part of the journey with 41 of those wins, he’s driving so incredibly well and it’s a privilege to witness the level that he’s delivering at. It was a tricky race for him because the tyre temperatures were not in a happy window but he made the most of it and secured the win. Checo equally had a fairly tough race. I know he is hungry for more and will already be looking at ways to improve on his performance. Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate as a team back in the factory, but of course we’re still in the middle of a championship and have a lot of races to go, so after tomorrow the attention is on our home race in Austria in two weeks’ time. For now, though we can reflect on a job well down here in Canada and celebrate our 100 wins. Great work Team!”
A sluggish start cost Alonso a place, but he soon rectified that on track with the help of DRS. From there he did everything he could to chase down Verstappen, but having to manage a brake issue cost him some time and instead, he did well to keep a charging Hamilton behind. As for Stroll, he lost out in the first round of pit stops after stopping before the Safety Car came out. But a second early stop to get into some clean air helped him, and he climbed into the points to match his best result on home soil.
Fernando Alonso, 2nd
“It was a great result for Aston Martin today and another podium for the team. I think it was our most competitive race yet and the upgrades on the car are working well. I lost the position to Lewis [Hamilton] at the start, but we had some good pace and after a close battle we retook second. It was then like a qualifying session as Lewis was pushing at the end and we had to keep him there and not make any mistakes. We hope to put more pressure on Max [Verstappen] in Austria.”
Lance Stroll, 9th
“It was a good recovery drive to score a couple of points this afternoon. We got unlucky with the Safety Car; pitting a lap before it was deployed meant we missed out on a cheaper stop while the cars around us were able to take that opportunity. At that point our focus had to shift to damage limitation and trying to pick up a couple of points for the team. There are still positives to take from the race; the AMR23 felt strong and was performing well. I had a fun final lap too, overtaking Valtteri [Bottas] just before the finish line. To hear the cheers from the grandstands when I took the position was great, and I want to say thank you to all the fans who have shown their support this weekend.”
Mike Krack, Team Principal
“Congratulations to Fernando, Lance and the entire team on another great result. It was a very well-executed race with strong pace, clean pitstops, and important overtakes. There was not a moment to relax as Fernando stayed close to Max and kept a gap to Lewis to finish second. We also had to play it safe with some lift and coast to manage a fuel system issue. It was good to see Lance make a great comeback and score valuable points too. He was heavily disadvantaged by the Safety Car. It came out a lap after his first pitstop, which cost him several positions and undid much of his hard work in the opening laps. He kept his head down and recovered well to take ninth place on the final lap. We leave Montréal, our second home race, with 20 important points for the Constructors’ Championship.”
Hamilton got a better start than Alonso, and was second in the early stages. He lost out to the Aston Martin on track, but in the final stint was closing in fast on the mediums as Alonso tried to nurse some hard compound tyres home. It was not to be, Hamilton unable to close in enough to try a move. As for Russell, he was running fourth when he took too much kerb into Turn 9, losing the rear enough to clatter into the wall. He limped back to the pits with a puncture, managed to come back out in last and did a decent job to climb back to the points. But he had damaged the brake ducts and was forced to retire with overheating.
Lewis Hamilton, 3rd
“It’s been a great weekend. To have this consistency and to be up on the podium once again here is fantastic. It’s quite an honour to be up on the podium with two other world champions. We didn’t quite have the pace today to challenge for more. We knew this wouldn’t be our strongest circuit though as we struggle in the low-speed corners in particular. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to add more performance and efficiency. We are slowly chipping away at those ahead though. I do believe we will get there at some stage and we are going in the right direction.”
George Russell, DNF
“Apologies to the team. We’ve put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences. I was doing everything I could to put Fernando [Alonso] under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today. We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the team can see the data and could see that we couldn’t continue. I’m disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren’t expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us. The team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let’s see what the upcoming races bring.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“Today’s race was an encouraging one for the team. We knew that Canada was going to be one of the more difficult circuits for us, so to come away with a podium is a solid result. We were also not too far away from Max [Verstappen], much closer than we would have expected at the beginning of the season. The margin is still large, so we have lots more work to do. We are on a positive trajectory though and the update package clearly works well. George was unlucky today. He hit a large kerb and tried to keep it cornering and ended up in the wall. He was pushing hard, and this car is still a little bit difficult at times. He ultimately retired with brake wear issues.”
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
“We knew this track would be more difficult for us than Barcelona, so it’s encouraging to see that we were very close on pace to Aston Martin and Ferrari. Lewis did a great job to get on the podium today. We didn’t quite have the pace we needed to get second but when we look at the tracks that lie ahead of us, we should have a car that can regularly fight for the top-three. We’ve clearly got a bit of pace to find before we’ll be worrying Max, but the team is working well to bring performance and very motivated to close that gap. George meanwhile is clearly disappointed with his mistake but we’re second in the championship because both drivers have delivered so consistently over the season. His race ended due to a front brake wear issue; that was not as a direct result of the incident but because of the traffic he faced as he battled back through the field. We know he will come back strongly in Austria, as the team continues to push forward.”
Starting down the order, Ferrari made the brave call not to pit either driver under the Safety Car unlike their rivals. They were the only medium-shod runners not to do so, and looked certain to plunge down the order when they pitted. But they were kind to the tyres, which hasn’t always been the case this season, and managed to execute a one-stop strategy while the rest had to mostly two-stop. That meant they held onto their positions, with the team opting not to let the duo fight and instead asking them to bring the cars home.
Charles Leclerc, 4th
"It was a solid race that confirmed the good feeling I had in the car on Friday. We stayed out during the Safety Car phase to be able to run in free air, because we knew that it would be key for us and our strategy proved to be the right one. We couldn’t have done better than P4 today considering where we started. We must not forget that this is quite an unusual track, so we will keep pushing to reconfirm these positive steps in Austria."
Carlos Sainz, 5th
"Today was a positive race. We were able to push continuously and recover after a challenging qualifying. We made the right strategy calls and we had a strong pace, especially with the Medium tyre. The car felt good and we could push a bit more, also extending the first stint quite a lot, so I’m happy with that. We’re making progress in the right direction and we need to keep up the good work."
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal
"It was a good race for us, confirming that we are working in the right direction. After a poor qualifying yesterday, we rediscovered the race pace we had seen on Friday, helped in this by a good strategy that took us out of traffic, so that Charles and Carlos had the confidence to push throughout the race. It was notable that in the second half our drivers were matching the lap times of the top three. We are progressing race by race. We will continue to focus on working solidly on the course we have set ourselves, while going into every small detail to ensure we can have a perfect weekend from Friday through to Sunday."
Sargeant was told to stop the car early on and he managed to pull well off the track so only a VSC was needed to recover his car. Albon then carried the torch for the team superbly. He dropped out of the top 10 off the line, but managed to one-stop his way to the flag which catapulted him back up the order. Despite aging hard tyres, he defended superbly and didn’t put a foot wrong despite huge pressure from the cars behind to pick up his best result of the season so far.
Logan Sargeant, DNF
"We had a really good start to the race with a car we could fight with. I had the AlphaTauri ahead under quite a bit of pressure and I felt quick. Unfortunately, I got the message to stop the car as soon as possible due to an issue which ended my race. I’ve learned a lot this weekend from using the full wet tyres, driving in the wet, and driving on the inters on a drying track. Honestly in the dry, I feel like we’ve been pretty quick. It didn’t work out today, but we can be positive going to Austria."
Alex Albon, 7th
"It’s been a very strong weekend and I have to thank the team first and foremost because we had the upgrade on the car, and I think it shows that we made a good step and the circuit suited us. The work that has gone on at the factory to get this upgrade ready has been monumental and everyone has been working so hard. We also fitted a new PU, so we threw everything at this weekend. We had a great qualifying yesterday and now the race today was great. To get these points on the board and move up to ninth in the Championship is a nice place to be and it’s great to be able to say thank you to the team and have this reward for everything that everyone has done."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"There were mixed fortunes for the two sides of our garage today. We were forced to retire Logan’s car after we spotted an oil leak, which was starting to affect his power unit. We need to inspect the car tonight and find out exactly where the leak is coming from. It was a shame for Logan as he had a good opportunity for some close racing and a good result.
"With Alex, we benefited from a well-timed safety car but were also able to put together a very strong 1-stop race. We have seen in the past that Alex is exceptionally good at managing a race and defending against a group of cars. Today, he was able to overtake on track and then couple all of his past experience with the strengths of the updated FW45 to pull off a very good result. His drive was outstanding and the help he received from the team was equally impressive.
"We suspected that the circuit in Montreal would suit the car quite well and this has been enhanced by the upgrade package, which delivered well today. The whole team in Grove has worked tirelessly to deliver this upgrade and they can be suitably proud of their achievement. We still have a lot to learn about the revised FW45 and this work will continue in Austria in a couple of weeks."
Gasly started on the softs, hoping to gain places off the line. He picked up two, but soon had to pit for fresh rubber. His rivals got a free pit stop under the Safety Car which cost the Frenchman, and from there he never looked in contention for the points. Ocon was in the top 10, despite a wobbly rear wing which Norris behind called dangerous. Those two were side by side on the final lap, with Ocon holding his nerve to cross the line ahead.
Esteban Ocon, 8th
“I think we can be satisfied with finishing another race in the points but we know that perhaps we did not maximise our opportunities today in Montreal. Our car and our pace was strong but, in the end, it was not enough to pass Alex [Albon] in the Williams, who was quicker on the straights. We’ll review everything as a team as to how we can improve and also how we can better seize opportunities on Sundays. Our pace in qualifying has been good and we must continue that. I did enjoy the battles with Valtteri [Bottas] and Lando [Norris]; that was good fun! Overall, we have a lot to learn after a challenging weekend and I’m already looking forward to Austria in two weeks’ time.”
Pierre Gasly, 12th
“Unfortunately, we were unable to come away with points from today’s race. It again shows the importance of track position and I think our weekend was damaged by what happened in qualifying yesterday by exiting in Q1. We had very good pace in the car today, which we were not able to demonstrate further up the grid and in the positions that matter. We were a little unfortunate with the timing of the first Safety Car but even so, we had a decent race in terms of pace. I gave it my all at the end, overtaking was difficult, and we couldn’t quite put ourselves into the points. I’m already looking ahead to Austria where we must be on it from the start of the weekend and come away with points both in the Sprint and in the main race.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal
“It’s not been a straightforward afternoon with Esteban in the points and Pierre unfortunately missing out. I think we have many things to learn from the race as we saw both Ferraris, Sergio [Perez] and Alex [Albon] make the one-stop strategy work, whereas we planned a one-stop but converted to a two-stop on both cars, which probably was not the optimal approach given the final outcome. That’s something we’ll review to see what we can do better going forward. Esteban did a good job, especially at the start of the race where he was running as high as fourth behind the leading pack.
“It was a much more difficult afternoon for Pierre who was unfortunate with the timing of the first Safety Car as he pitted early to try and jump the traffic ahead. Again, like in Spain, it highlights the importance of qualifying and benefitting from track position. His weekend was compounded by yesterday’s impeding incident and it meant he was always going to play catch-up in the race. Looking forward, we’ve made it four consecutive races in the points and we must capitalise on our stronger race pace by converting that performance level into bigger points. Next up is the Austrian Sprint weekend where we must come away with a better outcome from both races.”
Bottas opted for the hard tyre at the start, running a long first stint. He didn’t pit under the Safety Car, and was in the top 10 for the mid part of the race. When he eventually came in, he dropped down the order but climbed back through the field with some great overtakes to pick up a point. As for Zhou, starting last was never going to be easy for the Chinese racer, and he couldn’t make much headway.
Valtteri Bottas, 10th
“I am pleased with our race today: I made up four positions during the race, and it’s always a good day when that happens, especially when you get a top ten finish, which had been our main goal all weekend long. It could have been P9, but my tyres began to wear out towards the end of the race, and Lance [Stroll] got me on the finish line. Still, I think it is safe to say we executed a solid race today, and a good strategy as well; since Monaco, we have been making decent progress, and it’s proof of all the hard work put in by the team back home in Hinwil. Even though we are bringing home only one point today, it’s a reward and a motivation boost to keep hunting for more. Now, it will be important to keep working in this direction and focus on improving our Saturday performance. There are still some steps forward to make, and I am confident we can achieve this all together.”
Zhou Guanyu, 16th
“We knew the race was always going to be difficult, considering where we were starting, but I still believed we had a chance to turn it around: unfortunately, we didn’t manage to take it. After the Safety Car went back in, I felt we could have got in the fight; we had started on the Mediums, and they were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, the race didn’t unfold in the way we needed, and after the final pit stop there wasn’t much we could do. There’s no denying we still hoped to improve our results, but this weekend just hasn’t been easy for us. It can happen, but it is important now to switch our focus on getting back to the good performances we have shown recently, to come prepared in two weeks’ time in Spielberg. We have seen before how anything can happen during a Sprint Weekend: if we play our cards well, we’ll be able to get back in the top ten.”
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative
“We must be happy with the one point we scored today with Valtteri, even though it’s always a bit bitter to lose one position [to Lance Stroll] with just metres to go. Still, one point can make a fundamental difference at the end of the season, and we have now scored in two races in a row. I want to thank all the team for their hard work towards this result, which was not a foregone conclusion after yesterday’s qualifying session. We know Saturdays are where we need to focus our attention: a better qualifying position can allow us to a fight for higher places and, ultimately, more points. In terms of race pace, our cars seem to be better, so we know the C43 as an overall package can be competitive. It was a more difficult weekend for Zhou; starting from P20, we had to try something different so we tried an alternative strategy with him to recover some ground. Nevertheless, we take this point and we get back to work to continue our streak in Spielberg in two weeks. We will race on permanent circuits until the summer break, and we are confident they can better suit our qualifying performances. We have seen, once again, how tight the battle is: one single metre could cost a position, just like one single tenth in qualifying can make the difference between Q2 and Q3: we will need to keep on working as hard as possible, both at the track and at the factory, to constantly improve.”
Not to be for McLaren, despite spending much of the day in the points. Norris had an eventful race, investigated for an unsafe release in the first pit stop periods before being handed a five-second time penalty for ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’. That was for backing up the pack to gain some time so the team could double stack their drivers in the pits. He pulled off plenty of overtakes late on to try and build a gap but to no avail – crossing the line ninth, he was demoted to P13. As for Piastri, he was also in the thick of the action but just missed out to Bottas who ran a different strategy.
Lando Norris, 13th
"An intense race. We were a little bit unlucky that I lost the position at the beginning but happy apart from that. I think the pace was OK, it was good to compete on-track for some points. A difficult race though in terms of tyre degradation and overtaking, but I think we made the most of it today, so I'm happy. Of course, unfortunate we got the penalty but we’ll review that as a team. Next up is Austria, one of my favourite tracks, so I’m looking forward to it. We'll give it our all and try to score some points."
Oscar Piastri, 11th
"P11, a shame to be one spot off the points. Very good first stint and then after that we just didn’t quite have the pace or the tyre life, but plenty to learn from the race. Big thanks to the team for getting the car ready to go again today. Bit of time to reset now before we go again in Austria."
Andrea Stella, Team Principal
“It’s a shame to leave Canada with no points at the end of a race where we were keenly competitive in the midfield. Lando crossed the line P9 but was penalised five seconds and demoted to P13, which is unfortunate. The positive that we’re taking away from Montréal is that the car had good race pace today in some parts of the race, but again we struggled, especially in the second stint, when tyres get too hot. We’re looking forward to the future now and to upgrading the MCL60, with a view to strengthening our pace and getting into the points consistently in the future.”
Tsunoda pitted at the end of the first lap for some hards, in a bid to do something different. It didn’t work out for the Japanese racer who came home out of the points. So did his team mate, although De Vries got plenty of overtaking practice in. The Dutchman pulled out a good move on Magnussen, only to out-brake himself and run off, carrying the Dane off with him. The stewards had a look at that one, but decided no action was necessary.
Nyck de Vries, 18th
“Until the fight with Kevin (Magnussen), it was a decent race. We fought each other hard but I think we both missed our braking point, and with the low grip, I locked up and went straight. Compared to previous race weekends, we weren’t quite quick and competitive enough, so we need to see why we were lacking performance to understand how to improve. Equally, it was a DRS train and wherever you were, you maintained your position. Points were going to be a challenge today, but qualifying further up the grid certainly would’ve made a better result possible."
Yuki Tsunoda, 14th
“Our aggressive strategy worked until the virtual safety car and our pace was really good. The timing didn’t work in our favour and we couldn’t gain as much as we wanted to, struggling with pace after that. Our car performance was ok, though not as good as Barcelona, which meant we weren’t able to gain as many positions as we wanted. It's not the position I wanted to finish, but I had some good overtakes, so it was good learning. Looking ahead, I need a clean race weekend with a higher qualifying position, to maximise our chances of scoring points in the future.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Yesterday's qualifying positions made today's race more difficult than it needed to be. This, combined with Yuki’s three-place penalty, forced us into trying something different and unfortunately, it didn't work out. We made a very early stop with Yuki to use the free air to recover race time. The strategy was working quite well and Yuki got back into the pack, however, losing a bit of time behind Magnussen on older tyres, the decision was made to convert to a two-stop. This cost a bit more track position than expected due to a slow stop so ultimately, we couldn’t get back to the pack led by Albon. Nyck's race was mainly in traffic and unfortunately, his first stop was made the lap before the safety car, meaning he wasn't able to take advantage of the undercut. Subsequent contact with Magnussen later in the race cost him more time, along with a raft of blue flags. We need to review Yuki's race to determine if sticking with the one-stop strategy could have potentially provided a better result. In terms of pace, had we managed to qualify further up the grid and been able to utilise a more conventional strategy, I believe we could've scored points today. Qualifying was the key aspect of the weekend, and we need to be executing better going forwards, so we're better placed to start scoring and recovering from our current situation where we are dropping points, and letting our closest competitors move away from us in the Constructors' championship.”
Hulkenberg starting losing places from the start and wound up pitting quite early. It soon became apparent that those Haas cars were not being kind to their tyres, Magnussen also needing to come in for fresh rubber. The Dane also ran off at one point as he battled with De Vries, those two having a comical game of who could reverse the fastest to try and get back to the track from one of the tighter run-off areas, but other than that, it was a bit of a race to forget for the American outfit after the highs of yesterday.
Nico Hulkenberg, 15th
“It was a one-way street in the wrong direction today. It was to some extent expected, but we obviously always hope for the best so that it’s better than what you had in the previous event. It just once again confirms that we have a lot of work to do on the long run pace and entire consistency because that’s really hurting our Sunday.”
Kevin Magnussen, 17th
“We were just lacking pace to where we want to be and we struggled with tyres again, at least more than the others, so it was a tough one. I think over one lap we have really good pace, we’ve shown that several times this season, but we need to work hard on trying to keep that strength for Sunday.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It’s pretty clear now, obviously the result is not what we should be doing and it’s very disappointing. I think we know where to look, the issue is as soon as we get into traffic and behind cars, our degradation is immense – we cannot get the tyre performance back and we just slip back. We can clearly see it, as soon as we get away from free air and start to fight, we just degrade. We know really what we need to look for, and we’ll be looking for it. We need to put our heads together and try to find a solution to this and not hide behind good qualifying results.”
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director
“It was a very interesting race, the most closely balanced so far this season, as can be seen from the results sheet, with four drivers from four different teams all finishing in the space of under 20 seconds. Yesterday’s prediction that a two-stop strategy was the best option was confirmed as the top three all went down this route, even if they each managed it in different ways. However, the one stop proved to be a valid alternative, as demonstrated by the two Ferrari drivers: Leclerc and Sainz went to over half-distance on the mediums without any significant degradation in terms of tyre performance, a sign that their car is making progress on the set-up front. Temperatures were lower today than on Friday and that contributed to reducing the risk of overheating the tyres. Another factor that played an important role in tyre management was the fact the track rubbered-in very quickly during the race, even though it was initially very dirty after it had rained for almost all of Saturday. Personally, it was an honour for me, on behalf of Pirelli, the race’s Title Sponsor, to hand over the winning constructors’ trophy to Adrian Newey, someone who has contributed so much to the history of this team and of our sport and indeed, who continues to do so, on the very day when Red Bull celebrated its 100th win.”