Can Max Verstappen be stopped in his bid for a second straight F1 title?

Max Verstappen raced to victory at Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix to increase his championship result in 46 factors.

With System One returning to Montreal for the primary time in three years, it was the Pink Bull of Verstappen which took the chequered flag to maneuver 46 factors clear on the high of the standings.

Carlos Sainz was quick within the closing levels following a interval behind the security automotive however couldn’t discover a well past Verstappen and needed to accept second place, the pair joined on the rostrum by Lewis Hamilton – the person who Verstappen beat to his maiden world title in 2021.

Right here we have a look at the elements which could stand in the way in which of Verstappen charging to his second title in succession.

Is Verstappen the most effective driver on this planet proper now?

Max Verstappen dominated in Canada to assert his sixth win of the season (Jacques Boissinot/AP)


With six victories from 9, and a commanding benefit within the championship battle, Verstappen is the grid’s in-form driver.

Contemporary from dominating on the streets of Baku per week in the past, the Dutchman produced an equally spectacular show at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Verstappen put his Pink Bull on pole within the moist, and after beating Fernando Alonso to the opening bend, his victory – regardless of a late problem from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz – by no means appeared in peril.

He’s 46 factors away from team-mate Sergio Perez as we strategy the halfway stage of the season. Pink Bull in the meantime, have gained the final six races.

What has occurred to Leclerc?

Charles Leclerc was compelled to begin on the again in Canada following engine penalties (Paul Chiasson/AP)


Leclerc gained two of the opening three rounds to steer Verstappen by 46 factors. However the Monegasque has endured a torrid run since – and largely by way of no fault of his personal.

Leclerc’s retirements in Spain (Might 22) and Azerbaijan (June 12) with engine failures have been sandwiched by a technique fake pas from his Ferrari staff in Monaco (Might 29) which denied him a possible win. Sunday’s Canadian GP was a case of injury limitation after he began on the again following engine penalties.

He drove properly to complete fifth, however now trails Verstappen by 49 factors – the equal of two wins.

Can Leclerc haul himself again into the title battle?

Regardless of Leclerc’s grid penalty, Ferrari will take some confidence from their velocity in Montreal.

Sainz hustled Verstappen to the chequered flag following a late security automotive, whereas Leclerc’s cost by way of the pack reveals Ferrari nonetheless have a aggressive machine.

The fast-flowing Silverstone circuit for subsequent weekend’s British Grand Prix ought to play to their strengths. However there isn’t a level having a quick automotive whether it is handicapped by reliability.

May mechanical issues pose a menace to Pink Bull, too?

Sergio Perez retired from the race in Canada with technical gremlins (Ryan Remiorz/AP)


Perez stopped with a gearbox failure in Montreal to supply hope to Verstappen’s rivals that Pink Bull’s technical gremlins might rear their head once more.

But it surely also needs to be famous that Verstappen is on a run of six consecutive finishes, profitable 5 of them, and ending third within the different.

Are Mercedes challengers?

Lewis Hamilton’s marketing campaign has been derailed by Mercedes’ porpoising woes, and the seven-time world champion regarded set for one more gloomy weekend in Canada when he completed solely thirteenth in observe.

However Hamilton certified fourth within the rain earlier than bettering one spot within the race to assert his first podium for the reason that opening spherical in Bahrain.

The British driver stated his end result afforded him perception that the Silver Arrows might claw the hole again to Pink Bull and Ferrari.

Haven’t we been right here earlier than?

Lewis Hamilton is a distant sixth within the championship standings (David Davies/PA)

(PA Wire)

Sure. Hamilton drove from final to fifth at Might’s Spanish GP and predicted he might return to the winner’s circle this season solely to be introduced again right down to earth with a bump by ending eighth in Monaco after which fighting extreme again ache attributable to his unruly Mercedes machine in Azerbaijan.

And though Hamilton was rightly happy to be again on the podium in Canada, he nonetheless crossed the road seven seconds adrift of Verstappen throughout a race which re-started with simply 16 laps to run following a security automotive interval. He’s 98 factors behind Verstappen within the championship.

May a guidelines re-write scupper Verstappen’s cost?

System One’s regulator, the FIA, has vowed to scale back or eradicate porpoising to guard driver security, and issued a brand new technical directive on the eve of the Canadian GP. Hamilton’s Mercedes staff need a change to the laws – however Pink Bull, and Ferrari are fiercely opposed. F1’s bouncing phenomenon is unlikely to go away and the row will rumble on for the rest of the yr. And with 13 rounds nonetheless remaining, the FIA’s subsequent transfer might have a bearing on the vacation spot of this season’s championship.

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