June 19, 2023

Montreal Grand Prix (2 minute read)

Mario, Princess Peach go on a new adventure in the animated film, Super Mario Brothers

By Hong Lau

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been the stage for some memorable moments in F1 history, as well as a few controversial ones.

I will say that typically I’m not excited for this Grand Prix. It’s never done anything for me, but I was pretty excited about this weekend. We had Aston Martin come with upgrades, Mercedes second weekend (Monaco doesn’t count; it’s not a traditional circuit), and Ferrari continues to develop its car.

Well, we were in for a treat as the weekend was filled with rain for the most part. If you’re new, you’re probably new to this saying, but rain is the ultimate equalizer every weekend for these cars.

I’ll start by saying I got to watch most practices, and it was hard to make any calls because of the rain. Practice runs are way more entertaining when it rains because you worry about drivers putting their cars into the wall and spin-outs. It keeps you on the edge due to the entertainment value and safety component for the drivers.

Based on practice, I expected Ferrari and Aston Martin to be competitive.

Mercedes is a good car, but its real strengths come out on race day; whether that be pure reliability (George had a one-off incident) or tyre degradation, the team has a solid race car. The rain wasn’t the only wrench/surprise this weekend. Who would have predicted both Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez wouldn’t have made it out of Q2 into Q3.

Checo has struggled over the last couple of races, I heard during race day that Horner feels he needs a good result to get back on track, and I hope that is the case.

As for Charles, I’m not sure what’s going on. I believe I said this before, but if you asked me at the beginning of the year who was the better Ferrari driver, there’s no question with no hesitation that I’d answer Charles Leclerc in a heartbeat. I don’t know if Charles has been the better driver this year.

I do believe Carlos Sainz is a good driver, and being very technically in tune with the car is a huge component of his success. With this being the second year with the car, I think the gap has closed quite a bit (Charle is a better driver in general because he’s instinctual and can drive with more variables).  

Mercedes looking pretty solid and Max Verstappen dominating the whole weekend are two statements that we can pretty much chalk up every race weekend. Max looked like he was at another level on both Saturday and Sunday.

While Lewis and George did the expected on Saturday and Sunday seemed pretty standard other than a big mistake from George. Lewis is still the second-best driver in the world, and I’d have to throw Alonso in the conversation as well right there with him. I don’t know why George made the mistake (it felt like he was overcompensating to try to keep up with Alonso). He is a better driver than that, and it’s a terrible mistake to make as your team is fighting for second in the constructor’s championship.

Aston Martin’s upgrades looked really solid, as, in my head, they have the second-best piece of machinery. Many people would probably argue with me that Mercedes does based on the result. But I believe Mercedes has spent most of their money, and Aston Martin is ahead at this current moment. I’d also say that Aston Martin has more upgrades coming compared to the Silver Arrows.

My last point would be that George Russell >>>>>>> Lance Stroll, and I don’t think it’s close. Aston Martin brought its full upgrade package, which was in full effect. I think it was said perfectly on the Sky Sports broadcast. They were losing to Max Verstappen, a Red Bull, for a good 20-40 Seconds (I’d also say that we should be skeptical if Max was pushing his advantage). But today, it was less than 10, and Alonso had an issue where he had to lift and coast to manage the car effectively. Lance Stroll has effectively lost to every one of his teammates that stayed in F1 for more than 1 year …. Yes, I’m saying Sergey Sirotkin doesn’t count.

I don’t understand how Lawrence Stroll continues to say he wants to win a championship, and they have championship aspirations with Lance driving for his team.

Anyways that’s it for today’s article. Appreciate everyone for reading hope to see you back for the next race weekend!