Red Bull only had one car in the race after Sergio Perez suffered a gearbox failure on Lap Nine, but Max Verstappen kept his head down to win in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Dutchman secured another 25 points for Red Bull; they increased their lead to 76 points over Ferrari.

Runner Up Yet Again

From third on the grid, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz took the fight to polesitter Verstappen both on track and in the pits. The son of former two-time Rally World Champion, Carlos Sainz Sr., did well to manage his tires. He made it close with Verstappen on the last few laps. The Spaniard closed the gap until they were within one car length of one another, but Verstappen defended smoothly to win the Canadian GP.

Carlos Sainz has finished second three times this season and on each occasion, his disappointment showed in his body language after the race. This past Sunday, he knew that he drove very well and that the Red Bull and Ferrari cars have different strengths; unlike in Monaco, when he felt he could have won the race if not for backmarkers.

Sainz’s first win in Formula 1 continues to elude him. This season is his best chance yet because the Ferrari F1-75 is competitive. I have no doubt that it will come for him soon.

Charles Leclerc was voted “Driver of the Day” after the race because he made up 14 places. He started from the back after taking a grid penalty for swapping his power unit. Leclerc finished fifth, which is damage limitation, as every point counts to remain in contention in the Drivers’ Championship.

The problem that I see for Sainz is the same one that I see for Perez. It appears that both Ferrari and Red Bull have stars, championship protagonists, who can win races in Leclerc and Verstappen. Even though Sainz and Perez are both great drivers, Verstappen is last season’s World Champion, and Leclerc won the first two races of this season.

When it comes down to team orders for who should win a Grand Prix between Verstappen and Perez, the calls tend to lean Dutch. I don’t think Ferrari has this problem yet… because they have other problems right now.

Reliability Issues

The Ferrari power unit has failed more than once. This not only affects Scuderia Ferrari, but also the other teams who buy their engine. Unfortunately, Mick Schumacher, who started the race in P6 after a tremendous qualifying effort on Saturday, suffered power unit failure. Haas uses a Ferrari engine.

Leclerc had power unit failure in Baku when the Ferraris double DNFed. Kevin Magnussen’s engine cut off in Baku this month, as well as Guanyu Zhou, who was running in P10. You get the point.

Ferrari’s engine has had the most reliability concerns so far. Mercedes have their own problems, but Russell has finished in the top five in every race, so their engine’s reliability isn’t a concern, and that includes their customer teams for the most part.

Schumacher has been desperately hunting for his first points finish in F1. This weekend’s result was really disappointing for the young driver.

On Sunday, Guanyu Zhou secured his highest finish in F1 by finishing P8 in Montreal and securing four points for Alfa Romeo. Zhou has scored once before, on his debut in Bahrain, where he picked up one point. The first Chinese driver made Q3 on Saturday, but couldn’t improve from there, so he started P10. It was a great drive from the young man.

It has been a grueling season for the rookie driver, who has suffered three DNFs this season and had a seven-race streak without points. But he looks great after Baku and Canada.

“Still We Rise.” – Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Mercedes came back with impressive results after their problems in Baku. This time last week, we weren’t even sure if Hamilton would race in Montreal because of his back pain. The seven-time F1 World Champion was vocal about it on the radio in Monaco and Baku. The issue in Baku was that the team ran the car very low to the track, and the porpoising problem caused the car to bottom out frequently on the straights.

I expected that if Hamilton did race in Canada, the car would be in a transitional development phase as they worked to limit the porpoising. However, Hamilton managed to qualify P4 in the wet, and he drove well to secure third place. To make his strategy work, Hamilton needed to overtake Alonso, who opted for a one-stop strategy, but Alonso’s race was hampered by a Safety Car.

Hamilton is certainly not one to give up, and while I believe that his championship campaign is over for this year, he can still push for a top three in the Constructors’ Championship.

His teammate George Russell recovered well from a poor qualifying, where he gambled for dry tires in wet conditions and only qualified P8. The Brit crossed the line in fourth on Sunday, and he continued his “Mr. Consistency” streak. I’ll just leave this here:

I trust that the pair of British Mercedes drivers are looking to make a statement at the next stop, the British GP.

FIA’s New Porpoising Regulation

As we know, porpoising has been affecting all teams to various degrees, and some drivers spoke out about the problem and the health complications associated with it. Mercedes were very vocal over the radio in Monaco and Baku. Hamilton complained about his lower back during and after the race last week. Fans are concerned about the impact of bouncing on the drivers’ brains and their bodies.

Last week, the Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff requested that the FIA step in and regulate porpoising… and it backfired. They got regulations, but not exactly the kind they were hoping for.

These regulations will mainly hamper Mercedes because they are the ones suffering from the most porpoising. Under the new rules, the FIA will quantify the bouncing, and if a team is over the acceptable limit, then they will have to change their ride height according to the FIA’s guidelines.

Wolff was likely hoping that the FIA would make a mandatory ride height regulation that would prevent them from falling behind their competitors for straight-line speed.

Red Bull’s team boss, Christian Horner, was opposed to Wolff’s request that the FIA step in. From Horner’s perspective, it should be up to Mercedes to fix it. His reaction to the mid-season regulation change was,

“A solution can be found. It’s a very dangerous thing to be giving the FIA the right to set up your rear ride height and your set-up going into a race. What happens if the wind changes during the race? What happens if the porpoising gets worse for whatever reason, based on the baseline they give? So it’s the metric with, how could they measure it?” 

– Christian Horner (McDonagh, 2022)

Lando Norris expressed in an interview that the minor porpoising on his McLaren is tolerable and welcomed if it means the car will be competitive. He seems to agree with Horner on this one.

The FIA is getting involved for safety reasons, and likely because the fans are complaining. The governing body wrote, “The FIA has decided to intervene following consultation with its doctors in the interests of the safety of the drivers.”

I personally, do not enjoy watching my favorite drivers suffer from the bouncing race after race. At the beginning of the season, I wondered if the porpoising during testing was hard on the drivers, and I didn’t expect to see it so much this late into the season. I tend to agree with Horner and Norris on this one, but feel free to leave a comment down below with your thoughts.

My name is Morgan Raynal, and I am a writer for Belly Up Racing and Belly Up Sports. You can find me on Substack and Twitter.

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