A catwalk. Two generations. Three world champions.
In 2013, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton took the second and third steps of the podium respectively at the Canadian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel triumphed.
On Sunday, ten years later, only one of those three faces was different. On the first step of the podium appeared Max Verstappen, the new young king of F1.
“10 years ago, I wasn’t on the grid! laughed the winner. “I remember at the time watching them compete in Formula 1. I’m very happy to be there now too and compete against them. »
Not only does the Red Bull driver measure up to these two sporting greats, he dominates them aboard a car significantly more powerful than theirs. In a race with little history, he once again flew over the circuit to easily win his second Canadian Grand Prix, his sixth of the season and his 41st in his career. He also gave his team its 100th victory.
So many numbers, but few surprises. To tell the truth, the only surprise was to see the champion win by “only” 9 seconds of difference. Has Aston Martin’s pace increased? The Red Bull one that slowed down?
“We changed the car a bit compared to Friday, so I didn’t know how it would go. Luckily it went in the right direction, but it was pretty hard to keep the tires in the right window today. They were always pretty cold,” explained an amused Verstappen of Hamilton, who was taking selfies next to him.
“It probably wasn’t our best race, but still, to win by nine seconds shows we have a good car. »
Alonso, who started 2nd on the grid, was overtaken by Hamilton at the start. It took him 20 laps before he managed to regain his place thanks to a nice overtaking from the inside.
“We had more pace in this part of the race,” noted the Spaniard. It was going well until the last 20 or 25 laps, Lewis was coming really fast and I still had to push to the limit. »
There was no animosity between the three champions gathered on the sofa in the conference room, an hour and a half after the race. It’s not like there are any big on-track battles this season, like there were between Verstappen and Hamilton in 2021.
All over the paddock it is agreed that Red Bull will dominate this campaign until the end – they have already won all eight races so far. Hamilton mentioned it himself, when a journalist asked him if he was building up a certain frustration over the Grands Prix.
“It’s not a frustration anymore, if it ever was,” replied the Mercedes star. We know what we’re up against and there’s nothing I can do about their incredible performances. There’s a good chance [Red Bull] will win every race this year. »
“I’m happy to be back in the race and I just hope that at some point we’ll be able to have a higher level to get back to the good races we had in 2021. all three in one big battle would be awesome. »
It is not the first time this season that the three champions have found themselves on the same podium; this was also the case in Australia, at the beginning of April. Alonso, the oldest of the trio at 41, admitted to enjoying fighting on the track with his two counterparts.
“There’s a lot of respect, a lot of talent when you fight against them. You know you can’t make a mistake because they will take advantage of it and they won’t make a mistake. […] It is a very intense, fair, respectful struggle. »
Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, summed it up best, with his trademark composure:
“It’s an iconic top 3. I don’t know if there’s ever been a top 3 like this, I don’t think so. Hoping there will be more. »