Max Verstappen continued his reign at the top of the Drivers’ Championship in Montreal on Sunday after converting his second pole position of the season into his sixth race win out of nine.
The rain came heavy on Saturday causing a dramatic qualifying session, which saw Alpine’s Fernando Alonso qualify in P2 and Haas enjoy their best ever qualifying session, with Kevin Magnussen coming in fifth and Mick Schumacher in sixth - providing the opportunity to score his first ever points in Formula 1.
However, Magnussen picked up early damage battling it out with Lewis Hamilton in the opening lap, sending him down the bottom of the grid.
Schumacher’s power unit then began to fail and he retired after 18 laps, once again missing out on Championship points.
Verstappen’s 2022 rival Charles Leclerc had a phenomenal race given his circumstances - the Monegasque Ferrari driver was sent to the back of the grid after using a new power unit, but managed to climb up from P15 to P5 and secure a vital 10 points to keep his Championship hopes alive.
After a weekend full of tears, tribulations and triumphs, here are some of the key takeaways from the Canadian Grand Prix:
Has Verstappen won the Championship already?
Charles Leclerc would be sure to object to such a statement, but the Dutchman is now 36 points clear of his teammate Segio Perez and 39 points ahead of the Leclerc.
Verstappen has only secured two pole positions this year but has won six out of the nine races.
The 24-year-old reigning championship is evidently an exceptional driver, known for taking extraordinary risks and, on occasion, being accused of dangerous driving.
However, one can’t help but wonder whether Ferrari have aided their rivals Red Bull with strategic decisions that have failed to pay off.
Slow pit stops have also contributed to Ferrari’s frustrations and heading into the next half of the season, they will have to up their game if they are to keep up with their rivals and give Leclerc a shot at the Championship which looked so achievable just a few races ago.
Will Carlos Sainz ever win a Formula 1 race?
The Spaniard had possibly one of the best opportunities to win his first ever Formula 1 race as he battled it out with Verstappen in the final few laps in Canada.
However, once again, Carlos Sainz was unable to overtake that final car and secure would be a well earned and well deserved first place position.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the race, Sainz said: “This weekend I was quicker, this weekend, for the first time in the Championship I was the fastest guy on track both in the medium and on the hard - was catching Max on both occasions.”
Sainz was enjoying an early lead in the race but the appearance of the safety car hindered his ability to keep it and the Dutch driver was quickly able to regain his lead and squander one Carlos Sainz’s closest chances of winning his first ever race.
What happened to Fernando Alonso?
Alpine have been enjoying a wonderful season, sitting fifth in the Constructors’ Championship behind the inevitable foursome of Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren.
However, with only eight points between McLaren and Alpine, the franchise formerly known as Renault could easily catch up with their British rivals as the season progresses.
This feat was made even more easily after McLaren’s failure to secure any points in Canada due to troubled engines.
However, the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso suffered problems of his own after achieving his best ever qualifying position since the 2012 German Grand Prix.
He started in the front row but his engine endured air leaks sending him down to seventh place.
Having dropped five places, Alpine’s situation then became worse after the race as the Spaniard was then handed a five-second penalty for poor defending against Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
Teammate Esteban Ocon finished his race in sixth place while Alonso found himself down in ninth despite such strong qualifying.
While Alonso will be frustrated with the end result, the overall performance has identified McLaren must work harder to keep their fourth place Constructors’ position and neither Daniel Ricciardo or Lando Norris can afford to go any more races without securing points.