In an anomalous track such as Montreal, a semi-street circuit characterized by long straights and major braking, we saw an intense grand prix with fourteen drivers at full throttle and only four who paid a gap of a lap. The positions from seventh to tenth place were decided in a sprint.

For the first time in the season the first five drivers were enclosed within little more than 21”. Sergio Perez could have been there too, but he decided to make a pit stop to take out the fastest lap (and the point).

If first place was certainly not a surprise, with Max Verstappen equalling Ayrton Senna on the number of wins (scoring his 41st win and “giving” the team its 100th victory), the positive note of the ninth round of the World Championship was the reawakening of Ferrari which put up its best race with Leclerc and Sainz in 4th and 5th place respectively.

Beyond the final positions, they were protagonists of an important stint, especially with the “mediums”, then passing onto the hard, completing the seventy laps with only one stop. Making them smile were also the excellent times recorded (the first five practically lapped almost identically), as was the 18” gap paid by Charles compared to Verstappen. Too bad for the mistakes in qualifying that forced the two drivers to start from the middle of the grid. Recovering in these conditions of high competitiveness is not easy.

It was a very nice tussle between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso who were separated by a handful of seconds for all the grand prix. Nando’s overtaking the English driver was nice. A Mercedes that, since Monte Carlo, continues to improve and grow.

Montreal was not the best race on the part of Red Bull but, despite this, they won. This says a lot about the quality of the Dutchman who has decidedly has an edge over Perez. Without Verstappen they probably would not have won the last 3-4 races. He is certainly making the difference and he creates an unbeatable combination with the team.

It will be interesting verifying the competitiveness and compactness of the performances seen today in Montreal at the permanent circuits such as Red Bull Ring, Silverstone, Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps which will close the first part of the season.

Gian Carlo Minardi