MONTREAL (AP) — Max Verstappen tied the late Ayrton Senna for career victories and Red Bull won its 100th Formula One race as the Dutchman extended his season-long dominance on Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen won for the sixth time this season — the fourth in a row — and Red Bull remained a perfect 8 for 8 on the year. The victory for the two-time reigning world champion was the 41st of his career, which ties the 25-year-old with Senna for fifth overall.
Lewis Hamilton holds the all-time record with 103 wins, but the seven-time champion said in Canada he expected Verstappen to surpass the mark.
“A century for the team,” Red Bull principal Christian Horner radioed Verstappen. “Fantastic. And thank you for producing that race victory.”
Hamilton and the rest of the field had hoped to give Verstappen a challenge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where rain throughout the weekend scrambled the competition and created hope that Red Bull would legitimately be challenged.
Fernando Alonso thought he had a shot, and it was improved when Nico Hulkenberg was given a qualifying penalty that moved Alonso to the front row next to Verstappen for the start.
But Hamilton, starting alongside Mercedes teammate George Russell on the second row, got a surprise jump on Alonso and snagged second place at the start. Verstappen still easily pulled away from both, and on the first dry day of the weekend in Montreal, rolled to another easy win.
The one bright spot for everyone chasing Verstappen was that his margin of victory over Alonso was only 9.5 seconds.
Yes. Verstappen has been so dominant this year that he typically wins by 20-plus seconds a race. In fact, Alonso himself noted following Saturday qualifying that the only way to even pressure Verstappen was to be “two seconds behind them. Not 20 seconds behind them.”
It wasn’t an overwhelming Red Bull rout; Sergio Perez, who had hoped to “reset” his season in Canada, was a distant sixth.
Hamilton finished third for his second consecutive podium and was followed by Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Alex Albon of Williams was seventh and followed by Esteban Ocon of Alpine.
Lando Norris, who earlier in the race received a five-second penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior, waged a frantic last-lap battle that thrilled the fans who had sat through an otherwise predictable Verstappen parade. Norris of McLaren complained on his radio that the rear wing on the Alpine was flapping and a danger to him as the trailing car.
Norris chased Ocon for the final lap and the two had a wheel-to-wheel battle into the final chicane, where Norris had to bail out on the game of chicken. Norris dropped from ninth to 13th.
Lance Stroll was ninth for Aston Martin, a disappointment for the only Canadian in the field. His father owns Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll had expected both of his cars to make the podium.
The Associated Press