11 championships, 1 podium.
Equalling Ayrton Senna’s record of 41 race victories, Max Verstappen led every lap of the Canadian Grand Prix to claim a monumental 100 wins for Red Bull. It was also a milestone for Red Bull Racing’s Technical Director Adrian Newey, being the 200th career win for cars he has designed at Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.
This was also Red Bull’s 18th win of the last 19 races, a streak which began in July 2022 and was only briefly broken by George Russell’s win at the 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix.
Verstappen claimed his near-flawless sixth victory of the season with ease. A knock with the kerb during the race’s closing stages provided a hint of what could happen in the unlikely event of a mistake. However, it wasn’t enough to faze Verstappen as he laughed about it over the radio with an earned confidence given that this marks his 27th consecutive race finish.
Now, the question is how long his record can continue, and who might be there to pick up a win in the rare event of a DNF. Had Verstappen crashed, the charge towards first place would’ve been between Alonso and Hamilton, both of whom have been advancing on second place in the Drivers’ championship. Only 9 points separate Alonso and the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez, with the Mexican driver failing to make Q3 in half of this season’s qualifying sessions and struggling to capitalise in the races despite having the fastest car on the grid.
Back-to-back podiums for Lewis Hamilton is a positive sign of progress for Mercedes considering the team didn’t expect their car to suit Montreal’s circuit. Another team making steps in the right direction is Williams who were the fifth constructor across the line. Delivering a defensive masterclass on 58-lap-old tyres, Alex Albon placed seventh in his best finish for Williams so far.
Despite a poor qualifying from Ferrari and a penalty for Carlos Sainz, a strong race strategy allowed Leclerc and Sainz to climb from 10th and 11th to fourth and fifth respectively. Even so, now 45 points away from second in the Constructors’, it may be too little too late.
One year on from Leclerc’s last win at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull will no doubt continue their domination at the first of their home races, unless a mistake from Verstappen allows Alonso or Hamilton to squash their century celebration.