Did McLaren and Mercedes make mistakes at the Canadian Grand Prix? Our analysis.

At the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Red Bull were winners. However, there are doubts over whether Mercedes and McLaren missed the chance to beat Verstappen. Errors by both Mercedes drivers and a strategic error by McLaren’s Lando Norris raised doubts. The result of the race could have been different if any of the top five drivers had a slightly different weekend.

Mercedes might have had a chance to win if they could have combined George Russell’s performance in qualifying with Lewis Hamilton’s performance on race day. Hamilton, who started seventh due to a poor performance in qualifying, had a race full of errors. Despite this, he managed his tires better than Russell and showed great speed in crucial moments. If Hamilton had started from a better position, the result could have been different.

McLaren, on the other hand, did everything it could. Norris was unlucky with the timing of the safety car entry, which prevented him from entering the pits. It was a case of bad luck to make up for his previous win in Miami.

If the race had remained dry throughout, Russell, starting from pole, would have had a good chance of winning. Mercedes showed unexpected pace in qualifying and carried it into the race. However, due to the mixed conditions, Russell made many mistakes. He had problems with his intermediate tires in the first stint and went off the track in front of the McLarens on slick tires. These mistakes cost him at least second place.

Norris, with his excellent performance on intermediate tires in the first stint, had the pace to win. However, the safety car came out at an inconvenient time, forcing him to rejoin the race behind Verstappen and Russell as they switched to slick tyres. Norris was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite this, he drove exceptionally well.

Verstappen may not have been the best driver at any point in the race, but his overall performance was the cleanest. He showed determination and managed to achieve a great result even when Red Bull was not dominating.

It is evident that Verstappen faces tough competition from his rivals, who constantly challenge him. This season is shaping up to be an exciting one, with Ferrari’s fall from Monaco to Canada highlighting the unpredictable nature of racing. Verstappen’s ability to execute races cleanly, without relying solely on car advantage, is a testament to his ability.

Norris had a flawless race and showed excellent tire management. He made no mistakes, unlike Russell, who struggled because of mistakes. Verstappen and Norris were on a different level compared to the rest of the group when it came to small margins.

Norris had a chance to win the race before the first safety car disrupted his track position. His only chance to win was an ambitious attempt to overtake Verstappen. Norris believes McLaren could have made better decisions, but it was a marginal decision considering his position at the final chicane. In the end, McLaren cannot be blamed for the defeat as it was largely out of their control. This should be less frustrating for them compared to Mercedes and Russell, who have stronger arguments for letting the win slip away.

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