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5 things that made 2024 Canadian Grand Prix worth watching

Another race when staying up in the early morning was the best decision

Caffeinated or not, the weather put everyone at the edge of their seats. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

Formula 1 has reached the Great White North at its wettest in the calendar so far. Much like in Miami, the Canadian Grand Prix started broadcasting early Monday morning (Philippine time), but despite it ending with the current championship leader winning, the race provided nail-biting moments thanks to the heavy rain.

Lightning doesn't strike twice, but a tie in F1 qualifying does. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

1. A dead heat occurred in qualifying. An incredible phenomenon that hasn’t been seen for 16 years happened on Saturday.

In Q3, George Russell (Mercedes-AMG) set the fastest lap of 1:12.000 and put him on pole. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) crossed the line afterward and set an identical time on the board, a +0.000 split. Since the Brit crossed the line first, he earned the P1 spot the next day and celebrated with his signature T-pose, while the Dutch sat in P2.

The last time a qualifying session ended in a tie was during the 1997 European Grand Prix when Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen equally clocked in 1:21.072 at the Circuito de Jerez.

Not sticking to the status quo in the first stint. PHOTOS FROM HAAS F1 AND FORMULA 1

2. The race start was a masterclass. The clouds started crying on Sunday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and all but one team wore intermediate tires hoping the downpour wouldn’t be heavy. Only Haas decided to put wet tires on Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, and the results paid off…in the first few laps of the race.

While everyone else struggled to keep their cars straight, the Dane-and-German duo took advantage of their tire compound and achieved as high as P4 and P8, respectively, until the eighth lap. By then, the skies had slowly cleared up, and both drivers had to pit for grippier rubber—returning to being backmarkers.

Charles Leclerc doesn't seem to be a fan of his new engineer. PHOTOS FROM SCUDERIA FERRARI AND FORMULA 1

3. Back to reality. After his memorable win in his hometown, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) swallowed a hard pill with technical issues plaguing his entire weekend. As if qualifying in P11 wasn’t enough, his engine showed signs of lagging on Lap 5 where his new race engineer didn’t help boost morale.

The tire swap gamble on Lap 29 didn’t help his pace as road conditions still weren’t ideal for the hard compound, and the others were even faster on intermediate sets. Leclerc had to retire the car by Lap 43, a lap behind Zhou Guanyu (Sauber).

Highs and lows for Williams. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

4. Slip and slide, now let’s go around again! The slippery conditions throughout the day kept the drivers alert and awake (and facing the other direction). Logan Sargeant (Williams) was the unluckiest in the wet, overshooting Turn 6 on Lap 6 and spinning at Turn 9 on Lap 25 (the latter causing the first retirement of the race).

Meanwhile, his teammate Alex Albon (Williams) won the best overtake of the year so far by squeezing between Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Daniel Ricciardo (VCARB) to get through Turn 13. Unfortunately, his race was cut short on Lap 54 after Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) spun and unintentionally took out the Thai racer.

Avoiding another safety car at the cost of a penalty. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

The good news of Sergio Perez (Red Bull) staying with the team until 2026 didn’t complement his performance after a Q1 elimination, a first-lap shunt with Pierre Gasly (Alpine), and a race-ending pirouette on Lap 51. Adding insult to injury, the Mexican was given a three-place grid penalty due to his harrowing return to the pits with a damaged rear wing.

Another driver who confirmed his re-sign was Yuki Tsunoda (VCARB), who amazingly maintained his position within the top 10 throughout the race. However, a chase toward Ocon turned sour as the Japanese came into Turns 8-9 too hot and spun like Sargeant did, disappointingly finishing in far back.

McLaren and Lando Norris continue to impress despite the blunder. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

5. What a battle for the podium. Hearing that the top three started and finished the race together might sound like a repeat of HAM-BOT-VER of yesteryear on paper. However, the fierce competition between George, Max, and Lando Norris (McLaren) in the rain was breathtaking.

The papaya driver lunged around the three-time world champion on Lap 20 and the Mercedes driver shortly after, putting him in the lead for seven laps. By Lap 45, he regained first after diverting from both Russell’s and Verstappen’s decisions to change to slicks.

These small mistakes shook up the top three. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

Moments later, Lando finally entered the pits for a new set of tires, but choked on the exit as the Dutchman flew by at Turn 2, losing the lead and finishing in P2. Meanwhile, George was focused on regaining the front row, leaving behind Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-AMG) to cross the line in P3.

Max finished in P1 again, yet almost everyone agreed that this year’s Canadian GP was the best. Will the excitement streak continue, or are the best races only happening while our time zone is asleep? The circus returns to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix on June 23 (9pm, Philippine time).

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.