F1: Max Verstappen back atop the podium with Canadian Grand Prix victory

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Reigning Formula One world champion Max Verstappen won for the sixth time this season, navigating wet and dry conditions and a challenge from Lando Norris to capture the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday in Montreal.

Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing Honda finished the 70 laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve by a 3.879-second margin over Great Britain’s Norris in his McLaren Mercedes. George Russell and his teammate Lewis Hamilton drove their Mercedes to third and fourth places, respectively, while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was fifth.

Verstappen collected 25 points for the victory and increased his lead in the drivers’ championship standings from 31 to 56 points over Charles Leclerc, a Monaco native who didn’t finish the race. An engine issue and trouble with slick tires in wet conditions led Scuderia Ferrari to pull Leclerc’s car for no points.

Lando is in third in the standings, 63 points behind Verstappen.

Russell, who won the pole, and Verstappen battled for the lead early in the rain before they were overtaken by Norris on lap 22 as the track dried out. Norris, however, was at a disadvantage when Logan Sargeant crashed, bringing out a safety car on lap 25 of 70. Norris had already passed the pit lane entry point and had to pit later, causing him to drop to third place.

“It was a pretty crazy race, a lot of things were happening and we had to keep on top of our calls,” Verstappen said. “As a team, we did really well today, we remained calm and we pitted at the right time, the safety car worked out nicely for us, but even after that we were managing the gaps quite well.

“I love it, that was a lot of fun, those kind of races you need once in a while.”

Verstappen had already moved in front when he used the restart to protect his lead. Cars switched from intermediate tires to slicks as track conditions improved, but drivers couldn’t catch Verstappen despite another safety car period after a collision between Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon on lap 53.

Norris stayed ahead of Russell, who had to deal with challenges from his teammate and seven-time champion Hamilton as well as Piastri.

“It was (wild),” said Norris, who had outpaced Verstappen for his first F1 victory at the Miami Grand Prix on May 5. “It was chaos. It was eventful. To be honest, I felt like I drove a good race the whole time, from start to finish.

“The first two stints were strong, I had amazing pace, then the safety car had me over, just like it helped me in Miami. It’s now had me back over. Honestly, I thought it was a pretty perfect race from my side, just a bit unlucky but it was good fun overall.

“These conditions were so stressful inside the car but very enjoyable at the same time.”

–Field Level Media

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