Max third in Canadian Grand Prix: 'It was a very good race'

Published on 11 June 2018 by Raymond Snip

Max Verstappen scored his second podium of the season by finishing third in the Canadian Grand Prix. In a slightly boring race Verstappen got away well from his third starting position but failed to overtake Valtteri Bottas. In the remainder of the race, Max mostly found himself in no-man's-land, but in the final stint the Dutchman caught up to Bottas finishing third at just one second. Sebastian Vettel drove to his 50th victory in Formula 1 without being challenged. Max Verstappen scored his second podium of the season by finishing third in the Canadian Grand Prix.

"It was a good race", Max said after the race in Montreal. "You always try to make the best possible start. The start was okay. Maybe could’ve been a bit better but I did not want to squeeze Valterri off the track, so than you have to settle for third. We then had to pit early because the hypersofts were pretty much gone. If you go in so early, you have to watch out the first few laps that you do not overheat the tyres. But after everyone had made their pit stops, the pace was really good. In the last stint the balance was perfect. I was steadily closing the gap to Bottas and especially in the last laps we were very competitive. I was only one tenth behind Bottas on the line. It was a very good race, I enjoyed it."

Verstappen explains that the third place is a huge boost for the mechanics: "I went for dinner with the mechanics last night, we had a good laugh and I think it's important to always have a good relationship with your team and especially with your side of the garage, they always work hard on your car and they have already had to repair a few bits this year, so this was just a very nice weekend. "

Finally, Max is looking forward confidently to the coming race: "We have a good car, so hopefully we can do well again in the next races."

After an excellent qualifying Max starts the Canadian Grand Prix from the third posotion. Verstappen is gets away well and in the first corner immediately attacks Valtteri Bottas for P2. The move, however, does not stick, making Verstappen third. A few turns later, it goes sour for Brendon Hartley and home-race driver Lance Stroll. The Canadian pushes the New Zealander into the barrier. Hartley goes sideways along the guardrail and together they slide into the wall. Both drivers are OK, unlike their cars. The safety car enters the track so the stranded cars can be removed from the track.

In lap five the safety car goes back in. Max is able to maintain his third position. Behind him, in turn one Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez run into each other. Perez gets off the track and barely manages to keep his car under control.

In the following laps the gap to the leaders slowly increase. In lap seventeen, Max makes his first pit stop. In a flawless 2.5-second stop, Max returns on track in fifth place with a brand new set of supersofts mounted on his car. Hamilton goes in with him and follows behind the Dutchman on track. Ricciardo stops a lap later and thanks to a fast stop he passes Hamilton for P5. Verstappen moves up to P4.

In lap 34 Kimi Raikkonen comes in for his pit stop and falls back behind Hamilton. Verstappen regains P3. In lap 37, Bottas also makes his pitstop and retains his second position. Leader Vettel follows one lap later and keeps the lead when he returns on track.

In lap 42 Fernando Alonso can be added to the list of drop-outs when he has to park his McLaren in the garage with technical problems. For the Spaniard, it means a disappointing conclusion to his 300th Grand Prix weekend. In his hunt for Vettel, Bottas shoots off track briefly in lap 56, but he does not lose much time. Verstappen is running five seconds behind the Finn and eight seconds in front of teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

In the final phase of the race, Max catches up to Bottas and with a 1:13.864 he even sets the fastest lap of the race. The Dutchman finally finishes only one second behind Bottas and scores his second podium of the season. Vettel wins the race and takes over the lead in the championship from Hamilton, who finishes in fifth place behind Daniel Ricciardo. Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon and the excellent performer Charles Leclerc complete the top ten. It is striking that the finish flag is waved  a lap too early. As a result, the position in round 68 is determined as the final result.

Results Grand Prix Canada:

1Sebastian VettelVETFerrari681:28:31.37725
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes68+7.376s18
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer68+8.360s15
4Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer68+20.892s12
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes68+21.559s10
6Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari68+27.184s8
7Nico HulkenbergHULRenault67+1 lap6
8Carlos SainzSAIRenault67+1 lap4
9Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes67+1 lap2
10Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari67+1 lap1
11Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda67+1 lap0
12Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari67+1 lap0
13Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari67+1 lap0
14Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes67+1 lap0
15Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari66+2 laps0
16Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault66+2 laps0
17Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes66+2 laps0
0Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault40DNF0
0Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda0DNF0
0Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes0DNF0