Lewis Hamilton bags podium finish as Max Verstappen puts on Canadian GP clinic to move level with legend Ayrton Senna

MAX VERSTAPPEN notched up Red Bull’s 100th Formula One win with yet another crushing display of dominance.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso traded places in second and third place with the Spaniard crossing the line ahead of the Brit, despite nursing a brake problem.

Nevertheless, Hamilton was pleased with third as it marks another step with the team’s recovery as he now has back-to-back podiums.

He said over the team’s radio: “That was a tough, tough race. Great job today. Great job this weekend. Let’s keep this consistency.”

He later added: “It has been a great weekend for us, we are slowly chipping away and have some more updates coming.

“It was quite an honour to be up there with two world champions and I was excited to be in that mix.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have the pace. We knew this would not be our circuit as we  are struggling in the low-speed corners.

“We have a lot of work to do to add downforce to the car, but we will get there. Our pace was closer and we are going in the right direction.”

It was the 41st victory of Verstappen’s career as he moved level with the great Ayrton Senna.

He said: “I am very happy right now. It was not a very straight forward race, we were sliding around quite a bit but to win again, the 100th Grand Prix for the team is incredible.

“It is amazing, I never expected to be on these numbers myself, so we keep going.”

The Dutchman was dominant, leading from the start, and held on the first place to make it a hat-trick of consecutive clean sweeps.

He has now taken pole, led every lap and taken the win in the last three races in Monaco, Barcelona and now Canada.

It was all so easy that at one point he laughed over the team’s radio saying how he “almost knocked himself out on the kerb”.

Hamilton made a fantastic start and quickly leapfrogged Alonso into second place going into the first turn on lap one.

However, the Mercedes man was unable to catch Verstappen, who was also quick off the line to hold his place at the front.

Further back Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz had a good battle for 11th which forced Kevin Magnussen to take evasive action and dart over the grass.

But George Russell was not so fortunate as he was launched off the sausage kerbs and into the barriers at turn four on lap 12.

It was a big impact and saw the race steward deploy the safety car due to the debris on track.

Somehow Russell made it back to the pits and his Mercedes team patched up his car and sent him back out on track, albeit in last place.

The safety car period allowed the front-running drivers to make a pitstop for tyres as Verstappen darted in from the front. Hamilton and Alonso also followed.

But due to a slow stop from Mercedes, the Brit came close to driving into the Spaniard, who was already back on his way down the pitlane.

Both escaped punishment from the FIA despite the near miss and they set about trying to eat into Verstappen’s lead.

Alonso’s quicker Aston Martin allowed him to keep close to Hamilton and he eventually made his pass on lap 23.

With the benefit of DRS he swooped past the Brit in to turn one and into second place as he started opening a small gap over the Mercedes man.

Hamilton rolled the dice by pitting on lap 40 for medium tyres and Aston responded by calling in Alonso a lap later to cover off the threat of Hamilton getting passed.

Red Bull also called in Verstappen for new tyres on lap but had such an advantage he kept his place running in first.

Russell was eventually forced to retire 15 laps from the end when the damage caused by his earlier smash into the barriers caught up with him.

He trundled down the pitlane and was rolled back into the garage by his mechanics as he apologised to the team for his accident on lap 12.

Hamilton pressed Alonso late on, as he was struggling with his brakes but he was unable to catch the Aston Martin.

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