LEWIS HAMILTON clinched his second podium of the year, while Max Verstappen’s win in Canada gave him a whopping 46-point lead in the championship.
Hamilton finished third and had a box office spot for a thrilling finale as Verstappen fended off a late challenge from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who finished second.
The Briton, who has had a miserable season, finished ahead of his Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
An enthusiastic Hamilton said: “Honestly, to get that third place is quite overwhelming…
“It’s been such a battle this year with a car and as a team but we continue to stay alert and focused and never give up and I’m so proud of that and inspired by that.
“Red Bull and Ferrari are a bit too fast for us at the moment but we’re getting closer. We have to keep pushing and keep pushing. Eventually we’ll be in the fight.”
“I’m so happy. I did not expect that. It feels really special, especially because that’s where I got my first Grand Prix win.”
It was a smashing end to an otherwise process-packed GP – but there was a simmering argument before the competition even got a wheel turned in anger.
Just 24 hours after the lights went out, a regular comeback between the team bosses and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali ended in a slanging match.
The row revolved around the new F1 cars and their impact issue, which frustratingly continues to dominate the news agenda.
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But some believe the aerodynamic phenomenon of drivers bouncing up and down in their cockpits has been hijacked in the latest political game to rewrite the rules.
This is of course nothing new in F1.
You only have to look back at the tedious squabbling over last season’s rear wing flexing and the accusations over which team benefited from it and whether it was legal.
However, this time it seems to be different. Almost like team bosses slipping into the characters of the heavily dramatized Netflix series Drive to Survive.
After all, Saturday morning catch-up dates had never been a problem in the past, only this time – and for the first time – Netflix was allowed to attend the gathering to film it.
It all seems a bit crass to imagine, but there’s a definite sense that some are using the presence of a TV crew to sell their own narrative, to try to write their own screenplays.
Here the bouncy row comes from Red Bull, who have the fastest car and are leading both championships, calling for a foul on their rivals who are calling for changes in the name of safety.
It’s pretty hard to disagree when you see Hamilton’s head ringing around before complaining about a bad back.
However, Red Bull’s argument is simple; They have developed a better can and the others can solve their jumping by increasing the ride height of their cars, even if it slows them down.
It’s all pretty petty, but has served to fuel the rivalry that exists between the big three F1 teams – Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari – and fans will love it.
There’s no doubting the impact the Netflix show has had in North America.
This race was sold out and the scenes in downtown Montreal on Saturday were like none I had seen in the city.
Bars and restaurants were packed and there was a hilarious moment as some Ferrari owners got their cars to idle and cranked the nuts from their engines to cheers from the F1 fans, all filming on their phones.
Unnoticed by them, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton sat in the front of the car; a humble Mercedes SUV driven by his physical therapist, Angela Cullen, while Hamilton lay low in the back seat, hidden by the tinted glass.
The Brit looked relaxed as he made his way onto the grid after claiming his best qualifying spot of the season the previous day.
Hamilton started fourth and held the position at Lichtaus while Verstappen drove away from pole.
The Red Bull man looked unstoppable as he established a comfortable lead over second-placed Feranando Alonso.
The 40-year-old two-time world champion had his sights set on battling for the lead with Verstappen but his challenge was dashed when he was passed by compatriot Carlos Sainz on lap three.
Sergio Perez was the first car to retire on lap 9 when he retired in 10th place with an engine failure.
The Mexican’s retirement prompted a series of pit stops, with Verstappen coming off the lead for fresh tyres.
The Dutchman returned to the track third behind Sainz and Alonso while Hamilton also stopped for tyres.
The Mercedes man moved back up to fifth when he passed Esteban Ocon at Turn One on Lap 12.
And Hamilton made it into the top three as Alonso then made his tire stop as the top three engaged in an intriguing battle.
The pressure began to be felt as Verstappen anxiously told his team, “My tires are really starting to fall mate,” before being called out for tires at the end of lap 43.
Coming out of the pits he was behind Hamilton and berated his team on the radio: “Why didn’t you make sure I was in front of him?!”
The response was telling as he was told succinctly “didn’t have the pace”.
This meant it was the first time this season that last year’s rivals could face off.
Unfortunately, it was less than a lap before Hamilton was passed on the final straight and then decided to pit himself.
But there was another twist. Yuki Tsunoda crashed on lap 49, triggering the deployment of the safety car.
It was a grandstand finish as Verstappen led Sainz while Hamilton was third and Russell fourth.
At the restart, Verstappen kept his nerve but failed to open a gap to Sainz, who held on doggedly while Hamilton also remained in the hunt.
The Spaniard squeezed Verstappen, trying to pressure him into making a mistake in a gripping end to the Grands Prix.
However, Verstappen held on to his fifth win in the last six races to open a commanding lead in the championship.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5595822/canadian-grand-prix-report-max-verstappen-lewis-hamilton/ Max Verstappen wins thrilling Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz while Lewis Hamilton is third after an impressive drive