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  • Writer's pictureBen Waterworth

Canadian Grand Prix talking points: More history for Red Bull as Stroll gets six-year revenge

Well, once again we come out of a grand prix talking about a Red Bull and Max Verstappen victory. But as always, there’s still plenty of other interesting things to talk about, and that’s what we’re here to do after the Canadian Grand Prix. Let’s do it.

Red Bull’s historic weekend

Another race, another Red Bull win. And another weekend with more history.

The team secured their 100th victory in the sport, joining Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams as the only team in the history of the sport to do so.

The win was also the 200th for their Chief Technology Officer and iconic aerodynamicist Adrian Newey, who has won races with Red Bull, Williams and McLaren in his incredible career.

The other milestone of note was the 41st victory for Verstappen, who equals the legendary Ayrton Senna in total amount of wins, and moves to equal fifth on the overall win list.

Red Bull also equalled their longest streak of consecutive wins with nine, previously set in both 2013 and 2021, and also moved a step closer to the record for most consecutive wins from the start of the season, currently held by McLaren, who won the opening 11 races of the 1988 season.

The scary fact with the nine consecutive race win streak by the team is that their effort last year of nine consecutive wins was only broken by George Russell’s victory in Brazil, before their new streak started, meaning the team has now won 18 of the last 19 races.

The perfect season is still on.

(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Stroll vs Bottas and sweet, sweet revenge for the Canadian

Back in 2017 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a young Canadian by the name of Lance Stroll scored his first-ever podium and sent raptures down the Williams pit as it was celebrated in one of the best races of the 2010s.

What is often forgotten is that Stroll should’ve been second, but was pipped on the line by Valtteri Bottas, then driving for Mercedes.

Fast forward six years and Stroll got sweet sweet revenge at his home race on Bottas, as he went from 10th to ninth on the line against Bottas and his Alfa Romeo.

While it wasn’t for a podium, it was still an epic result for the Canadian who drove an incredible race that once again was completely shunned by fans and media alike.

Starting 16th on the grid, Stroll moved up the field slowly before he was one of the biggest losers of the safety car period given he pitted a lap before it was called out.

From there, though, he worked his way through the field and got himself up to fight for points, being the biggest gainer in the race in terms of overall positions.

A great race for Stroll with a great sense of revenge for 2017.

Ferrari vs strategy and sweet, sweet revenge for the strategy team

A race where Ferrari got strategy right?! Maybe there is such thing as a miracle!

The Scuderia looked likely to be in for another bad afternoon, with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz having a poor qualifying and then not moving their way through the field as expected.

However a strategy call that went against the norm came, and once again most of us rolled our eyes thinking here we go again…

But the call to keep both Leclerc and Sainz out longer than their rivals proved to be the right decision, with both drivers maintaining a solid pace and being able to leapfrog the majority of the drivers in the points to finish the race in fourth and fifth.

Given their recent form, it is a result they will gladly take. Here’s hoping that the strategy team can keep up some solid results like this moving forward.

(Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Perez vs form and the big, big problem

It was only a few rounds ago that I said Sergio Perez could win the Championship. How quickly times change.

Pole position in Miami seemed to put him in the box seat to take another win and really stamp his authority on a Championship charge. However that race didn’t go to plan, he finished second and since then he hasn’t featured on the podium once.

More worrying for Perez is his qualifying form, and the fact that his usual skilled charge through the field hasn’t materialised when he has had a bad qualifying.

He now sits nearly three wins behind teammate Verstappen in the Championship and only 9 points ahead of Fernando Alonso. Yes, we aren’t even halfway through the season yet so there is plenty of time for him to catch Verstappen. But given the form Verstappen is in, it is highly unlikely this will change without some luck going the way of the Mexican.

The one man who can beat the Red Bull streak

It’s an obvious one to close this out on, but Fernando Alonso is the only one who at this stage can beat the streak of Red Bull and mainly Verstappen.

Alonso was under 10 seconds behind Verstappen at the end, which is a huge gap in F1 circles but in 2023 is quite close.

Sure, he won’t beat Verstappen on pace alone, but we’re due for a race with some bad luck for Verstappen or a technical issue or something.

Who will be there to pounce on that? A certain Spaniard, for sure.

Could it be the most popular win the sport has ever seen? Maybe. But watch out, because if one person is there to break this Red Bull stranglehold, it’s Alonso.

This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here


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