Max fifth in Canadian Grand Prix won by Hamilton: 'P5 was the best we could get'

Published on 09 June 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen ended after a faultless race the Canadian Grand Prix in fifth position. For the Dutchman, starting from ninth position, there was no more to be had. Lewis Hamilton won the race, even though Sebastian Vettel came over the finish line first. The German received a time penalty of five seconds for the way he re-joined the track after going off. Charles Leclerc, who drove an inconspicuous race, completed the podium.

“You see that McLaren has a good top speed, because they drive with less wing”, says Max about his fight with Lando Norris in the first couple of laps. “That is why he could overtake me again. I did not want to take any risk, so stayed behind him. When his tyres started to trouble him, I was able to overtake him.” Subsequently Max was behind Valtteri Bottas, who finished fourth in the end. “He was also stuck behind Hulkenberg”, explains Max. “It is so hard to overtake here. It is hard to follow. I tried to preserve my tyres and when the competition in front of me had to pit, I was able to drive my own rhythm. But that was not very quick in comparison to the top.”

There was no more to be had, confirms Max. “After my pitstop I was able to overtake both Renauls relatively easy and then drove the car home. My brakes became too hot, so I had to lift before the turns but that kept my brakes okay. Unfortunately, P5 was the best we could get this weekend.”

The race started under a clear blue sky, with a temperature of 28 degrees and a track temperature of 51 degrees. Max chose to start the race on the hard compound and on lights off the Dutchman gets past Lando Norris. De McLaren is on the softer tyres, from which he benefits by overtaking Max again. So after the first lap Max stays in P9.

We also see Valtteri Bottas lose a place to Nico Hulkenberg. Alexander Albon gets into a sandwich and loses his front wing, from which a piece ends in the halo of Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman is able to remove it from his Haas. Vettel stays at the end of the first lap in the lead, followed by Hamilton and Leclerc.

In the seventh lap Max overtakes the McLaren of Norris and is in eight position. Then the drivers who were on the soft compound start to pit. Because of that Pierre Galsy and Daniel Ricciardo fall back. Norris retires with a broken rear suspension causing a small fire.

Verstappen closes in on Bottas and fights for P5 and is within DRS distance. However it is difficult to overtake the Finn in the Mercedese and eventually a real attempt does not happen. After the stop of Hulkenberg Max moves into P5.

In lap 27 the leader of the race Vettel comes in and changes to the hard compound. Two laps later Hamilton follows his example and another two laps later Bottas does the same. Because of that Max is then fourth. When Leclerc also slops, in lap 33, Max is temporarily in P3. But not for long, because Ferrari is quick on the new rubber and overtakes the Red Bull Racing race car quickly.

Bottas finds himself in a firm fight with Ricciardo for fifth position. Even though the Mercedes is clearly faster, it takes until lap 39 before the Finn is able to overtake the Renault.

In lap 48 Ferrari has a big scare when Vettel makes an excursion over the grass and re-joins the track right in front of Hamilton. The Brit has no way to go and has to break hard to prevent a collision. Vettel keeps the lead, but the stewards give him a time penalty of five seconds because of the dangerous move.

Meanwhile Max makes his only pitstop and changes to the medium compound, and continues the race in seventh position. He has both Renault drivers in front of him, but not for long. In the 51st lap the Red Bull Racing driver overtakes Hulkenberg and a lap later he passes the Australian Ricciardo. With that Max is in fifth position, fifteen seconds behind Bottas.

With only three laps to go Bottas changes to the soft tyres, to try and set the fastest lap and takes the associated point from Leclerc. With a 1:13.078, Bottas is a lot faster. Vettel comes over the finish line first, but Hamilton wins with 3.7 seconds, because of the 5 second time penalty for Vettel. Leclerc finishes third and Bottas fourth. Verstappen drives a faultless race but has to settle for P5.

Results Grand Prix Canada:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes701:29:07.08425
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari70+3.658s18
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari70+4.696s15
4Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes70+51.043s13
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda70+57.655s10
6Daniel RicciardoRICRenault69+1 lap8
7Nico HulkenbergHULRenault69+1 lap6
8Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda69+1 lap4
9Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes69+1 lap2
10Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda69+1 lap1
11Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault69+1 lap0
12Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes69+1 lap0
13Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari69+1 lap0
14Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari69+1 lap0
15Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari69+1 lap0
16George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes68+2 laps0
17Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari68+2 laps0
18Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes67+3 laps0
0Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda59DNF0
0Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault8DNF0