Motor racing-Verstappen takes Red Bull’s 100th win in Formula One

MONTREAL (Reuters) -Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday to stretch his Formula One championship lead and take Red Bull’s milestone 100th victory.

The Dutch 25-year-old led every lap as he took his career tally to 41 wins, stepping up alongside Brazil’s late triple champion Ayrton Senna in the record books.

Fernando Alonso finished second for Aston Martin at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Spaniard’s sixth podium in eight races, with Britain’s seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes.

Hamilton was followed home by the two Ferraris, with Charles Leclerc taking fourth and Carlos Sainz fifth.

Red Bull have won every race so far this season and Canada was double world champion Verstappen’s sixth of the campaign and fourth in a row.

As impressive as those results have been, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner took the opportunity after the race to issue a scary warning that his team is capable of winning every grand prix this season.

“Today, to win the 100th grand prix for the team that’s pretty incredible,” said Verstappen, who has now led more than 200 consecutive laps.

“I never expected to be in these kinds of numbers myself as well, we keep enjoying, we keep working hard but today has been a great day.”

While Red Bull toasted a landmark victory it was not a perfect day for the team as Sergio Perez’s worrying run of below-par performances continued with the Mexican failing to get on the podium for the third consecutive race.

After a poor qualifying effort that saw him start 12th, Perez moved up to finish sixth and take the bonus point for the fastest lap.

Despite his recent struggles Perez remains second in the drivers standings, but a whopping 69 points behind Verstappen who leads with 195.

There was also some disappointment in the Aston Martin garage with the team unable to deliver the double podium result owner Lawrence Stroll had asked for at his home race.

While Alonso reached the podium, the Canadian billionaire’s son Lance Stroll finished ninth.

“We were hoping to challenge more the Red Bulls,” said Alonso. “It was a battle with the Mercedes, we were pushing all the race so I didn’t have one lap where I could relax a little bit, an amazing battle.

“It was tough, a very demanding race, almost 70 laps of qualifying.”

Hamilton’s third place provided more proof that Mercedes are heading in the right direction as the team looks to close the gap on the rampaging Red Bulls.

It is the second consecutive Grand Prix Hamilton has appeared on the podium while team mate George Russell had looked a threat until spinning into the wall early in the race, damaging his car. He did not finish the race.

For the second straight year Verstappen won from pole on the island circuit. He bolted away from pack at the start and was never under threat but was also unable to pull away, finishing 9.5 seconds clear of Alonso.

Driver of the day honours went to Alex Albon, who finished seventh after a great display of defensive driving on well worn tyres to give Williams a rare points finish.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Montreal, additional reporting Alan Baldwin in London. Editing by Toby Davis)

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