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Next Event Starts in:
3hrs 24min - MotoGP Qualifying
Jun 12, 2024
GridRival Crew

There's so much to break down after what's been the best race of the season that we pulled together three of our staff, Alex Somerville, Garrett Ball, and Brendan Burns, to go over some of the more memorable moments of the race. 

The Triumphs

Firstly - congratulations to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on a return to the top step of the podium, furthering his campaign for the World Driver’s Championship. Not all is well in the Red Bull kingdom however, as Sergio Perez saw an abysmal round of qualifying, only to be forced to retire his car two separate instances of damage; the first at the beginning of the race during a collision with Pierre Gasly and the second later on, when he spun out and damaged his rear wing. The second instance forced Perez to retire, but not after receiving a three-place grid penalty from the stewards, for driving back to the pits with a “significantly damaged car”.    

Other contenders for the WDC made for an incredibly interesting race. Lando Norris started the weekend with a bang for McLaren, as he qualified within 0.021s of pole position, bringing his qualifying place to third. After the lights went out, we saw a fantastic performance from both McLaren’s seeing Norris and Oscar Piastri near the front of the pack for most of the race. A poor timed safety car may have squashed Norris’s lunge for first, however he managed to score another podium finish in third place, with Piastri not far behind, finishing fifth.

For just the second time in F1 history since timing switched to three decimal places, we had a tie for pole position. And it was not Max Verstappen taking P1, but George Russell. Mercedes found a new gear after their success in Monaco, taking the fight to the likes of McLaren and RedBull, with Russell snagging the team’s first podium finish of the season. While George was rightfully disappointed for being unable to turn his P1 start into a win, he nevertheless gave the viewers a great show. After going off track on lap 64 and losing position to Piastri and Lewis Hamilton, he was able to overtake both in the final stages to claim his podium spot. Mercedes has to be happy with the direction they are heading, as it looks like they could be in the fight for wins very soon.

The Misfortunes

Unfortunately both Ferraris saw a disappointing beginning to the weekend, with a poor round of qualifying leaving them near the back of the pack for race start. A stroke of misfortune with our last race winner Charles Leclerc’s power unit saw him fall farther away from the points and after gambling on a last-ditch tire strategy, it was decided to retire the car. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also ended his grand prix with a retirement following a slide and subsequent collision with William’s Alex Albon.

Continuing the trend, Ferrari wasn’t the only team to see both cars retire. Canada ended up being a tragic showing for both Williams drivers. Albon’s race ended after his collision with Sainz, and Logan Sargeant saw his race end earlier in the race after he lost control and hit the wall. It’s certainly a weekend to forget for both teams.

As for Alpine, on the surface level, things were much brighter. It was their first double-points finish of the season, and both drivers avoided hitting each other. However, Esteban Ocon was audibly unhappy with the team, which isn’t surprising given the events that we’ve seen take place after Monaco. Fresh off being told “you’re done after this year”, he’s naturally a bit salty.

We saw some great racing from Haas, however due to some slow stops and poor calls towards the latter half of the race, the early positions gained by Kevin Magnusson and Nico Hulkenburg were lost, leaving both drivers finishing in eleventh and twelfth place respectively. 

Team RB also had some surprises up their sleeves, as we saw signs of life from Daniel Riccardo. Despite a lackluster season from the Australian vet, he struck back against critics this race, taking his best qualifying position of the year to an eighth place finish (despite a jump start), giving him his first score in the points this season. As for Yuki Tsunoda, the surprise was not nearly as pleasant. A spin late in the race left him without points and finishing in 14th.

As for our backmarker team, Kick Sauber managed to finish in 13th and 15th between Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu. They managed to avoid early retirements, but were unable to capitalize on the shifting of the mid-field that we saw in this race. They managed to be quite unremarkable in what is likely going to be considered one of the most entertaining races of the year.

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