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Verstappen holds off Norris to win third straight Canadian Grand Prix

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Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press







Published Sunday, June 9, 2024 6:21PM EDT






Last Updated Sunday, June 9, 2024 6:22PM EDT

Formula One leader Max Verstappen drove to his 60th career victory Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen became the third driver to three-peat at the Canadian GP, joining seven-time world champions Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

The 26-year-old Red Bull driver started second on the grid behind George Russell at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Russell of Mercedes finished second and third to round out the podium.

The race started with a soaking wet track on a gloomy day in Montreal.

Blue skies emerged 10 minutes in but rain showers returned periodically throughout the afternoon, causing tricky conditions.

Russell started on pole after he and Verstappen clocked identical times in qualifying Saturday. Russell broke out in the lead and hung on until Lap 21 when Norris flew from third to first.

Norris breezed to a 10-second lead but a safety car came out on Lap 26 after Williams driver Logan Sargeant crashed.

Verstappen led the pack on Lap 46 before he and second-place Russell pitted. Norris stayed out and built a significant lead, but Verstappen narrowly regained it three laps later when he squeezed past Norris after the McLaren driver came out of the pit lane.

The Dutch driver hung onto the top spot the rest of the way.

It’s Verstappen’s sixth win in nine races this season. The three-time reigning champion increased his lead in the drivers’ standings to 56 points over second-place Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

Verstappen’s 60 career wins are the third most all-time behind Hamilton (103) and Schumacher (91).

Hamilton, a seven-time Canadian GP winner, finished fourth after a late push when he briefly grabbed third.

Montreal’s Lance Stroll ranked seventh for his best result on his home track.

It was a nightmare weekend for Ferrari. Leclerc, winner of the Monaco GP two weeks ago, retired on Lap 43 after gambling with his tire strategy and falling far behind the pace. He finished 19th.

Teammate Carlos Sainz exited later in the race when he veered off course, finishing 16th.

An announced 350,000 spectators made the trip to the track over the event’s three days.

The poor weather didn’t stop fans from rolling into Notre Dame Island on Sunday as an array of colours — including Ferrari red, McLaren orange and neon yellow rain ponchos — filled the grandstands.

The Canadian GP returns to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next year. The racetrack is under contract with F1 until 2031.

The F1 series moves across the pond for the Spanish Grand Prix on June 23.

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