Red Bull Wins 6th in a Row!

Red Bull Wins 6th in a Row

Red Bull is off to an astonishing start to the season. They have won the last six races in a row, and seven of the first nine races of the year. They only thing that has held them back is mechanical issues with either Max Verstappen’s car or Sergio Perez’s car. Unfortunately, after crashing out in qualification, Sergio Perez’s race day was scuttled when his engine shut down at the beginning of lap nine. Despite losing Perez, Verstappen went on to win the Canadian Grand Prix for Red Bull, extending their lead in both the drivers and constructor’s Championship.

This was a particularly tough weekend for the teams to plan for. The drivers had to qualify in the wet. They did not have a full picture how their tires might react to the track. They only used wet and inter weather tires for qualification. Qualifying in the wet led to a rather unusual top ten grid consisting of Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, Mick Schumacher, Esteban Ocon, George Russell, Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu. Eight of the ten teams were represented including both Haas drivers. Charles Leclerc had to start the race at the back of the grid due to a power unit change. Still, the skill of the drivers was on display. The Canada Grand Prix is only 2.7 miles long with 14 turns and one long straight. This is a stark difference from last week’s race in Azerbaijan. The teams rapidly adjusted their set ups to the constantly changing conditions and put on a great race on Sunday.

Alonso stated, after Saturday’s qualification, that he was going to attack Verstappen during the first lap. Unfortunately for Alonso, Verstappen attacked the track and jumped out way ahead of the grid at the start of the race. Alonso managed to gamely hold on to second place thru out the early part of the race of the race. However, during lap 23, both Sainz and Hamilton passed Alonso up, shuffling him to fourth. He never broke into the top three again and ended up in seventh place. Overall, Alpine had a strong showing, and they are catching up to McLaren in the constructors championship. Four points is the difference between McLaren (4th place) and Alpine (fifth place).

Mercedes continues to tweak their car every week. This week they raised their cars just a bit to give the drivers a better ride. They even gained a bit of speed as well. Lewis Hamilton earned his 184th podium overall and his 2nd podium of the season. He was in decidedly better health and a better mood at the conclusion of Sunday’s race. George Russell remains fourth in the Drivers Championship. He is the model of consistency has he continues to be the only driver who has finished every race in the top five this year.

Ferrari is struggling to put pressure on Red Bull overall. Their cars are consistently faster, yet the Red Bull team consistently finds a way to win. Though Sainz earned fastest lap on Sunday, Verstappen won the race. Leclerc was the driver of the day though. Starting at the back of the grid, he managed to finish in fifth place. This is quite an accomplishment when you consider he earned 6th position by lap 29. He then pitted at lap 42. He should have come out of the pit tenth, however it was a slow stop and he had to work his way up from 12th position. Leclerc drove the wheels off his car on Sunday. Look for Ferrari to have a strong weekend at Silverstone in two weeks.

With three races to go, we are closing in on the halfway point in the season. Red Bull is leading the way with Ferrari trailing first by 49 points in the drivers championship and whopping 78 points in the constructors championship. In fact, even though Sergio Perez has DNF’d two races in a row, he still sits in second place for Red Bull. It seems their first-year gambit at building their own engines is working out well, despite a few DNF’s. When their cars are on track, no one seems to have a chance. After Sunday’s last yellow flag, Sainz was consistently half a second behind Verstappen. It looked like he could catch him in the straight, but there wasn’t enough straight for an overtake. Verstappen worked the corners with precision and mastery, holding Sainz at bay for the final 15 laps of the race. Mercedes is starting to the close the gap as well. In the constructors championship, the top three are separated from the rest of the field by 123 points. Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are pulling away. However, Red Bull is the toast of Formula 1 and it looks like they will stay there. Or will they?

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