MONTREAL — 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.
“I hate to compare different generations,” Verstappen said, deflecting. “From my side, the only thing I can say is when I was a little kid driving and karting, I was dreaming about being a Formula One driver. I never imagined to win 41.
“And of course I’m proud of that. But of course I hope it’s not stopping here. I hope that we can keep on winning races.”
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 eventually. Verstappen was quick to note that as Red Bull celebrated its 100th win, he alone was responsible for 41 victories.
“We’ll talk about maybe a new contract because of that,” Verstappen said with a laugh.
Red Bull principal Christian Horner radioed his gratitude when Verstappen crossed the finish line.
“A century for the team,” Horner told 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 optimism that Red Bull legitimately would 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. It was the closest race of the season because Verstappen has been so dominant 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.”
“Probably not our best race, but still to win by nine seconds, I think shows that we have a great car,” Verstappen said of the margin of victory.
It wasn’t an overwhelming Red Bull rout; Sergio Perez, who had hoped to “reset” his season in Canada, was a distant sixth. Perez has been so underwhelming of late that Alonso answered a simple “yes” when asked if he can pass Perez in the championship standings.
Perez is second in the standings with just a nine-point lead over Alonso. Verstappen leads Red Bull teammate Perez by 69 points.
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 of McLaren, 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 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.