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Formula 1: 2024 Canadian Grand Prix Wrap Up

2024 Canadian Grand Prix License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en Author: Mark McArdle
Heavy rain caused several cars to spin out at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Staff Writer Will Black debriefs a dramatic 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

With rain in the air, a very tight finish, and back-of-the-grid cars moving up the order, what can we learn from this year’s Canadian Grand Prix?

The Rain

As is often the case, Montréal delighted us with huge amounts of rain all weekend. There were some serious slips in the free practice sessions, qualifying, and crucially, during the race:

Spinning Out

On Lap 1, Turn 1, a small knock from Sergio Perez sent Esteban Ocon into a spin. Thankfully, this didn’t completely ruin the Frenchman’s race as he was able to finish alongside his teammate Pierre Gasly in the points – the first double points finish for Alpine in 2024. This marks genuine improvement for the team after starting the season roughly 20 bhp down on their competitors, as well as being roughly 10kg heavier than the other teams.

The next spin, unsurprisingly, came from Logan Sargeant. On lap six he went off the track and gently tapped his front wing against the wall. He was able to keep the engine running only to spin out properly on Lap 25, bringing out the safety car. 

Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez was the next contender on ‘Who Wants to Retire in Montréal!’ and spun out on Lap 53, completely destroying his rear wing. He limped back to the pits to avoid a safety car for Max Verstappen’s sake, gifting him a three-place grid penalty for Spain next week. This spin was simply the pinnacle of a terrible weekend for Checo. He started the race in P16, getting knocked out of Q1 for the second race in a row.

Only a lap later Carlos Sainz spun out taking Alex Albon with him, forcing them both to retire their cars. It was disappointing to see Albon out of the race, since he had been running well and in the points. This meant a double DNF for Williams. 

The final spin of the afternoon was from RB’s Yuki Tsunoda who took himself out of the race after missing his braking zone which forced him onto the grass and then into the wall. Kevin Magnussen, however, showed excellent reaction times as he narrowly dodged the Japanese driver’s car. 

Ferrari

The Scuderia had an awful weekend in Canada. Their Saturday session ended in Q2 as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were only able to manage P11 and P12 respectively. They were also unable to make up any ground on Sunday. Sainz immediately dropped to P15 on the start, and engine issues plagued Leclerc’s afternoon from Lap 5 onward. The tale of Leclerc’s Sunday in Canada went as such:

  • Lap 5 – Engine issues found.
  • Lap 24 – Sainz overtakes Leclerc.
  • Lap 25 – Leclerc pits. He sits in the pit lane for around 20 seconds resetting the computer in his car, then puts on slick tyres: a 24 second stop.
  • Lap 30 – The engine issue is supposedly fixed.
  • Lap 35 – Leclerc comes back into the pits to put on intermediate tyres because driving in the slicks was effectively impossible. 
  • Lap 43 – Ferrari eventually give up and retire Leclerc’s car. He was well over a lap behind most of the grid by this point.

In an interview after the race, the Monegasque said he was losing over 1.2 seconds in the straights, something he described as ‘extremely annoying’. The Tifosi (Ferrari supporters) will be hoping this is a temporary setback for the team, especially considering their recent strong weekends.

The Winner

George Russell started well from pole and finished the first few laps in P1. Verstappen, starting in second, did begin to catch the British driver on Lap 11. In P3 and P4 the McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were still within contention for the win, with Norris showing the most signs of challenging Verstappen or Russell. By Lap 15 Norris was lapping the fastest on the circuit and got past Verstappen on Lap 20, beginning his hunt for Russell. He then took the lead a lap later, but stayed out when Verstappen and Russell dove into the pits behind him on Lap 26. 

This allowed Norris to make some headway but the unfortunate timing of the safety car meant that by the time he made his pitstop the lead he had gained was almost completely lost. This meant he came out of the pits behind Verstappen and Russell in P3. Much later in the race on Lap 51 Russell hit the curb wrong, allowing Norris to get past him for P2.

The next contender for a podium came with Russell’s Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton began lapping very quickly and got past Piastri quite easily. He then was able to get past Russell, putting him on a provisional podium position. But in the dying laps of the race Russell made a tremendous move past Hamilton, finalising his podium position.

Russel will be frustrated considering his pole on Saturday and how quick the car was around Montreal, but this does indicate the steps forward being made by the Mercedes. It was the first podium of the year for the Silver Arrows and they look set to fight for third in the Constructors’ Championship.

The Results

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT701:45:47.92725
24Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES70+3.879s18
363George RussellMERCEDES70+4.317s15
444Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES70+4.915s13
581Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES70+10.199s10
614Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES70+17.510s8
718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES70+23.625s6
83Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT70+28.672s4
910Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT70+30.021s2
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT70+30.313s1
1127Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI70+30.824s0
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI70+31.253s0
1377Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI70+40.487s0
1422Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT70+52.694s0
1524Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI69+1 lap0
NC55Carlos SainzFERRARI52DNF0
NC23Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES52DNF0
NC11Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT51DNF0
NC16Charles LeclercFERRARI40DNF0
NC2Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES23DNF0

Looking Ahead

Race 10: Barcelona, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, June 21-23

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