For a moment, perhaps Lewis Hamilton felt the joy of driving again; The feeling that can overtake you when you pass the fastest. Who knows, maybe at that moment, the pain that Hamilton caused in his boundary-jumping car in Baku, when he was pulled out of the cockpit after the race and had to be propped up for the first few metres, was already forgotten. like an old man
And now, a week later in Montreal: 44 laps were completed as the seven-times world champion raced in a row at full speed, his helmet head caught in the wind. His old rival, world champion Max Verstappen, who was clearly hoping for a quicker pit stop, had already made his way out of the pit lane on the track. In fact, Hamilton is faster than him.
But the magical moment only lasted a few seconds, it was as real as a mirage. Hamilton, for his part, had to dig in and needed new tires. Not content with overtaking Hamilton, Verstappen did not allow anyone else to stop him when there was a restart behind the safety car with 17 laps to go, which Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda fired as he chased his Alpha Torey into the depths of the gang. . Carlos Sainz at Ferrari is still stubbornly hanging on to Verstappen for a few laps. But in the end, Verstappen was chasing his sixth win in the ninth race against Sainz at Ferrari and Hamilton in a controlled fashion.
The starting grid reads like a trip back in time
Oh yeah, Charles Leclerc, Verstappen’s World Cup rival? He finished fifth after a gritty race that had to start from the back. With Ferrari’s poor leadership already requiring far more attention from the mechanics this season than the regulations would allow, Monaco were penalized and placed 19th on the grid, now 49 points behind Verstappen.
Montreal’s official parking bay arrangement reads in parts not like a start grid, but like a journey through time – back ten years in time. Fernando Alonso in second place? And Schumacher in sixth place? In fact, it had to rain a lot in qualifying to wash the two-time world champion from Spain and Mick Schumacher, son of record world champion Michael, so far on the field.
On the other hand, it didn’t detract from the performance of Alonso, who circled Gilles Villeneuve 1.6secs faster than teammate Esteban Ocon and now started from the front row for the first time since the 2012 German Grand Prix. And not Schumacher, who only made his way to Q3 for the time. second in his career. Schumacher saw the starting place as evidence of a talent that has recently been called into question by more and more observers given the lack of World Championship points yet and two massive collisions. “It shows I’m here for a good reason,” he said defiantly. Meaning: Formula 1.
The first session was already very unsatisfactory for Mick Schumacher
The lights went out on Ile Notre Dame. Alonso did not keep his word. He didn’t attack the 16-year-old Verstappen, whom he had called the day before, at which point Alonso declared: “I’ll pass him tomorrow. Let’s see who looks old then!” What to say four corners were driven and Alonso, who rolled lazily, was still the old man, the young Verstappen.
The first lap was not particularly satisfactory for Schumacher: immediately after the start he was overtaken by Esteban Ocon in the Alps. Then he was not careful in bending the hairpin, as George Russell secretly thrust his silver arrow past the inside. One lap was cut and Schumacher was only eight, his teammate Kevin Magnussen, who has cheated him several times this season: in fifth.
Alonso, of course, not only an old man, but a perpetual fox, tried to spread out in front of oncoming traffic like a semi-trailer. After all, he had waited ten years for this start from the top. But after only three laps, Sainz used the superior power of his Ferrari and finished second without resistance. Now it was up to the Spaniard to leave the group around Lewis Hamilton at least behind, his old favorite opponent since they were together at McLaren, who had already felt “inspired” after qualifying for fourth, his best result of the season. Since Magnussen damaged his front wing in a duel with Hamilton, he had to make an exchange. Then he returned to the end of the field.
I made eight laps when Sergio Perez reported his problems to Red Bull. He called out on the radio, “I’m stuck in gear.” Then rolled. The weekend was not for the Mexican and second in the world championship standings, who only moved up to 13th on the grid. The safety car was activated and up front Verstappen and Hamilton took the opportunity to change tires very early. So Sainz and Alonso temporarily took the lead.
And Schumacher now also knows what it means to not be denied World Cup points because of a steering error – but because of reliability issues with Haas. Suddenly smoke came out from behind, one of the two power recovery units was faulty, Schumacher was fired, and the virtual safety car was activated for the second time. Schumacher later complained to Sky: “It’s an unpleasant feeling.” “We had the pace for fifth place.” And in connection with the fact that after a year and a half in Formula 1 he is still waiting for the first point in the championship, he promised: “Another day.” another day.
While those drivers who didn’t stop at the first opportunity are now heading to their pot lanes, Alonso caused some mystery: He kept driving. Only after Hamilton overtook him did he also head to the supply lane and hand him new tyres. In the end, so upset, he was only seventh – still behind teammate Ocon.
Halfway through the race, Verstappen was leading the race ahead of Sainz and Silver Arrows for Hamilton and Russell. Meanwhile, Leclerc had a 13-place finish and was already sixth. However, he was surrounded by a wall behind Ocon – and as one of only three drivers he had yet to ride.
The crash of Tsunoda and the safety car caused some tension for a while. Alonso lost his position to Ocon, and when he wanted to overtake his teammate, he radioed his team: Hold your position! Sainz in particular benefited because he was able to stop and save time. In the end, though, Verstappen repeatedly eluded him at the top.
And Lewis Hamilton? As a teenager, he jumped out of his Mercedes at the end of a sick day at work. There are no signs of back pain. He smiled and said, “We’re getting closer and closer! I almost feel young again.”
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