Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen secured Red Bull Racing’s 100th Formula One win as he comfortably won the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix. The Dutchman’s win in Canada is also his 41st career victory, which ties him with Ayrton Senna in the all-time victories list.
Behind Verstappen, it was Fernando Alonso (P2) from Lewis Hamilton (P3), while Ferrari secured a strong fourth- and fifth-place finishes after starting outside the top ten.
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez finished P6 in what was an uneventful race for him, while Alex Albon (P7), Esteban Ocon (P8), Lance Stroll (P9) and Valtteri Bottas (P10) rounded out the top ten places.
Championship leader Max Verstappen led things off the line, and it was once again Fernando Alonso beside him, just like it was 12 months ago in Canada. Alonso was passed by Lewis Hamilton heading into Turn 1, as the Brit got a superior launch off the line.
Further down the grid, it was Carlos Sainz and Sergio Pérez exchanging spots, but it was Sainz who managed to keep the Mexican behind after falling behind the Pérez initially.
Up ahead, while Hamilton was trying to keep up with Verstappen, the Dutchman maintained a healthy 1.6-second lead to him as the crossed the fifth lap, with Hamilton having to hold off the charging Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.
Behind Alonso, it was the other Mercedes of George Russell, who was struggling to keep up with the Spaniard, while Esteban Ocon, Oscar Piastri, Nico Hülkenberg, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc were further behind in a DRS train.
The Virtual Safety Car came out on Lap 8 as the Williams of Logan Sargeant stopped on track at Turn 6, becoming the first retiree of the race. Once the VSC came in on the same lap, it was Verstappen who put his foot down and extended his lead up to 3.3 seconds by Lap 10.
Pierre Gasly came in for his pit stop on Lap 11, switching from the softs to the hard compounds, becoming the second driver to pit after Yuki Tsunoda’s stop on Lap 1. George Russell hit the wall on Lap 12 and brought out the Safety Car, with Verstappen immediately coming in for the stop. Hamilton and Alonso also pitted, but the Mercedes driver having an unsafe release in the pit meant that Alonso had to take evasive action in the pit lane to avoid damage.
The Safety Car came in on Lap 16 as racing resumed. The top three remained in the same order, while Leclerc, Sainz and Pérez behind them made up the places to get into the top six after having not made their pit stops during the Safety Car incident.
Lando Norris moved up to P9 on Lap 21 as he overtook Kevin Magnussen. Up front, Alonso re-took his second place as he got past Hamilton on Lap 23 heading into the final chicane. Magnussen eventually dropped out of the points places as Oscar Piastri got past him on the main straight on Lap 25. The Dane lost another place four laps later as Alex Albon behind him also got past him.
By Lap 35, Verstappen had a gap of over five seconds to Alonso, who was over three seconds clear from Hamilton in P3.
Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen came together on Lap 36, as the latter was a bit too aggressive while trying to get past the AlphaTauri driver heading into Turn 1, with both locking up and heading into the run off area.
Pérez came in for his first stop on Lap 38 and re-joined in P7. Sainz came in for his stop the following lap, which left his teammate Leclerc as the only one who hadn’t yet pit. Sainz re-joined in P5 and made sure Pérez couldn’t undercut him. Leclerc eventually came in for his stop on Lap 40 and held on to his fourth place, with Sainz and Pérez just behind him.
Hamilton came in for his second stop the following lap, switching to the medium compounds. Alonso also came in for his second stop the next lap as he managed to hold on to his second spot. Verstappen came in for his second stop on Lap 42 and re-joined in first place, though his lead to Alonso was cut down to four seconds.
Verstappen’s lead was over five seconds by Lap 50, with Alonso and Hamilton battling it out behind him for the second spot. Russell became the second retiree of the race on Lap 55 as car damage from his early accident forced him to retire.
Verstappen eventually cruised to yet another win, finishing over nine seconds from Alonso in second place, who held off a charging Hamilton, with the two former McLaren teammates securing the podium places. Ferrari finished a strong fourth and fifth, after having started outside the points, with Pérez finishing sixth ahead of Albon, Ocon, Norris, Stroll and Bottas. However, as he received a five-second penalty, Norris dropped to P13.
Verstappen’s win now puts him on 195 points in the Drivers’ Standings, a good 69 points clear of Sergio Pérez in P2, while Alonso’s second place now has him only nine points behind the Mexican in third place.
Red Bull now have a 154-point lead over Mercedes in the Constructors’ Standings, while Alonso’s P2 finish now sees them close the gap to Mercedes to 13 points.