Formula 1

2024 Canadian Grand Prix: What the Drivers are Saying after the Race

11 Mins read
Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen took an outstanding victory at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix in an action packed wet-to-dry race, which saw three different drivers lead the way and challenge for a spot on the top step of the podium.

George Russell was unable to convert his pole position to victory but did secures Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s first podium of the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season. Lance Stroll secured points at his home Grand Prix, while Daniel Ricciardo scored points for the first time in a full race format in 2024. It was a disappointing race for both Scuderia Ferrari drivers and Sergio Pérez, as they failed to finish.

Read what the drivers had to say following 70 laps of racing:

Max Verstappen — Oracle Red Bull Racing — 1st

“It was a really rewarding victory today, these kind of races are a lot of fun as you don’t know what is going to be thrown at you and I enjoyed racing today. With the weather so bad it was so easy to make a mistake; we had to be really focused as one tiny move off the racing line could result in us going off the track into the wall. 

“The Team made all the right calls at the right time and remained really calm. If you look at the last few weekends that we have had in these conditions, we have typically always done well, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into today. We also got quite lucky with the safety car, sometimes it can work for you and sometimes against you but that is racing! 

“Once we were on the slick tyres at the end, the car had pretty decent pace and we managed to keep it going until the end. It was a tough weekend but I am really proud to bring home my 60th win.”

Lando Norris — McLaren F1 Team — 2nd

“That was eventful! To be honest, I felt like I drove a good race from start to finish. The conditions were so stressful inside the car but very enjoyable at the same time. The first two stints were very strong, but we were a bit unlucky with the Safety Car. 

“Well done to Max Verstappen who drove a good race and didn’t make any mistakes. I’m happy with second. It was good fun out there and we’ve scored good points for the team. 

“The car’s been great all weekend, so thanks to everyone at McLaren. It’s nice to be so close and on the podium again. We’ll keep fighting to get back onto the top step.

George Russell — Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team — 3rd

“I’m disappointed with myself today. I made too many errors that set us back and cost us a chance of victory. I was really pushing the limits out there. That said, it feels great to be disappointed with P3. 

“We’ve made small steps over the past few races and to come to Canada, get pole position and a podium is really encouraging. We’ve been one of the fastest cars on track all weekend, so we’ve definitely made progress. There are many positives to take away from here.

“The conditions were incredibly challenging out there. Put a wheel even one millimetre off line and you would be in trouble. Unfortunately, the errors I made came with consequences as it let other cars past. 

“Other drivers made errors too, but they didn’t come at the same cost. We were still able to battle back to the podium though with the pace we had. We will continue to work hard, develop the car, and I’m looking forward to heading to Barcelona.”

Lewis Hamilton — Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team — 4th

“We scored some good points for the team today. We’re also looking like we’ve made a step closer to the front this weekend which is really encouraging. Thank you so much to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth who has worked so hard to deliver our recent updates. It has moved us in the right direction, and we will continue to put the effort in to continue that progress. 

“On my side, it wasn’t the best weekend. We had the pace to be fighting higher up but we ultimately ended up with P4. I’ll go away and work out what I need to do to come back stronger. I made too many mistakes overall but the positive I will take away is the performance of the car.” 

Oscar Piastri — McLaren F1 Team — 5th

“P5. It’s obviously not quite the result we wanted on my side of the garage, but we’ve got a good haul of points for the team and we’ve made more progress in the Constructors’ Championship.

“The pace that the Mercedes had on the fresh tyres for the final stint was better than we anticipated, but the race had the potential to be chaos so I think we can be pleased with what we’ve done. 

“We will now get our heads down into the triple header and I look forward to seeing what we can do.”

Fernando Alonso — Aston Martin Armaco F1 Team — 6th

“It was a good race for the team and finishing in sixth and seventh positions in an extremely challenging race weekend is a good result. I think we can be more optimistic heading into Barcelona. 

“It ended up being a lonely race for me despite the mixed weather conditions. There wasn’t much we could do with the top five cars ahead as they were a little bit too fast today and there were not too many threats behind us. 

“It was stressful with the changeable conditions, and you had to avoid making a mistake and also switch the tyres at the right time. Most importantly, we brought both cars home and scored double points for the team.”

Lance Stroll — Aston Martin Armaco F1 Team — 7th

“I’m super happy with our performance today. It was a tricky race – one of the trickiest I can remember – and the changing conditions kept us on our toes, but we handled it well. The first stint was really about managing tyres, especially as the track began to dry, and then we were able to pit for another set of Intermediates under the Safety Car for the second round of rain. 

“We judged the switch to the Hard compound well and kept it on track while others struggled. The characteristics of this circuit definitely suited our car, but we did a good job to stay focused and make the most of the opportunities that came our way.”

Daniel Ricciardo — Visa Cash App RB — 8th

“It was a good weekend from the start, considering all conditions, and with a crazy race like that, I’m happy to finish it with some points in the bag. I got a penalty for a jump start, but I was a bit confused because I knew that I didn’t jump the lights but then I remembered that during the start I felt that maybe the car was moving. 

‘We had a bit of an issue with the car, and we’ll have a look at it, but obviously, this was a backstep for our race. When we pitted for the Inters, we lost a few positions to the cars that stayed out and weren’t really able to get much more out of the new tyres. 

‘We jumped out of the point-scoring positions, and the race was kind of getting away from us, but as the track dried towards the end and we were on mediums, I was able to pick my way through a few cars back into the top 10 which was a little bit of a relief. 

“I’m happy it was a fairly smooth weekend for us, and obviously for increasing the gap to the midfield behind us.”

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly — BWT Alpine F1 Team — 9th

“We can be very pleased as a team with our result today, with both cars finishing in the points for the first time this year. I had contact with Sergio at the start of the race after Turn 2 and lost a few positions. After that, we focused on fighting our way back. 

“We made some good and opportunistic calls today, pitting early for Hards when the rest of the grid was still on Intermediates. In hindsight, we should have waited another lap, but it worked out well in the end, allowing for decent pace and gaining back positions we lost at the start. 

“We tried to gain the maximum for the team today and wanted to attack Daniel for P8 at the end of the race by swapping positions. We can be very pleased with the points we scored and great teamwork by everyone today.”

Esteban Ocon — BWT Alpine F1 Team — 10th

“I am happy for the team that we were able to score points with both cars today. We did a mega race starting from the back of the grid to make it into the points, and that is amazing for the team. The team had to fix the car on the grid before the race start and I am very grateful for the hard work they did. 

“The energy management was difficult towards the end of the race, meaning I could not really get the battery to full potential. I had the instruction to let Pierre pass two laps to the end to catch Daniel who was ahead. I let Pierre past me and lost a place on the second to last lap. 

“I did what was best for the team and respected the instruction I was given.”

Nico Hülkenberg — MoneyGram Haas F1 Team — 11th

“With Tsunoda’s spin, I tried to react, stop it, and somehow avoid him, but it must’ve been by a few millimeters – I was braced for impact. The first 10 laps went really well but then the track dried out, so all the work came undone again, but we knew about that scenario. 

“I think it was a clean race, no mistakes, but I think we got a little bit unlucky with one of the safety cars, I feel like we missed out. At the end, it was good to wait a little bit later for the slicks because it was difficult in the first sector to keep it on the track. 

“I gained a few positions there but then I was running in a train with others. I was running high downforce so on the straights I was a sitting duck, and without DRS I was going pretty slow.” 

Kevin Magnussen — MoneyGram Haas F1 Team — 12th

“It didn’t feel like we got the best out of it today with all the opportunity that race offered, we didn’t seem to capitalize on that, so that’s disappointing. We’ll review and try to understand it as right now it’s all a bit blurred, but there was lots of opportunity, that’s for sure, and we didn’t get any points. 

“We had one very slow pit stop and one medium slow pit stop, and I also think we pitted for inters off from the full wets too early. It felt like something was coming at the beginning of the race but there’s nothing to show for it.”

Valtteri Bottas — Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber — 13th

“Today hasn’t been the easiest day in the office. We went for a set-up change to make the car more suitable to these weather conditions, and I think it was the right thing to do – as always, it was good to give it a try, as it allowed us to unlock a bit more downforce. 

“Staying out while on intermediate tyres was the correct move; we tried to be aggressive later with the slicks, but we possibly went a lap too early. We eventually didn’t make it into the top ten today, and I don’t feel like we could have achieved much more than this with our pace – our on-track progress was more due to other cars making mistakes or retiring. 

“Looking ahead, we need to keep working on bringing updates to make our car faster; we do have bigger upgrades lined up, and I’m positive that’s the key to progress. Barcelona will be close as well, and we know we have work to do ahead of it: getting back into Q2 will be the first step, and then we’ll work up from there.”

Yuki Tsunoda — Visa Cash App RB — 14th

“Today was my mistake, a stupid move, and I’m sorry to the team. They definitely made the right decision about strategy and did a good job; it wasn’t easy on the old Inters but I was feeling okay. Also, the call when to change to dry tyres was good. 

“At least I turned it around from Free Practice to qualifying and that’s good, but today’s disappointing and not the way I should’ve finished the race. It was just about bringing it home.” 

Zhou Guanyu — Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber — 15th

“Today has proven to be another tough race for us, on top of what has overall been a challenging weekend. While there was quite a lot going on during the race, it’s been a lonely race for me, especially in the second half. 

“Similarly to Monaco, I didn’t feel too confident with the car, especially in terms of braking and cornering. Coming out of a weekend like this, we’ll need to sit down and investigate our issues, to address them ahead of Barcelona.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. — Scuderia Ferrari — DNF

“A race to forget for the team. We knew today was going to be difficult because we have been struggling all weekend with grip and car handling. The entire race was on the edge, and when I tried to push in the DRS train to overtake I made a mistake on the kerb and for that I want to say sorry to the team and to Alex (Albon).

“We have work to do ahead of Spain to understand what has happened this weekend and make sure we don’t find ourselves again in this situation in the upcoming races. We move on.”

Alex Albon — Williams Racing — DNF

“A disappointing end to our race today. Points were definitely on the table and the car felt good on all compounds in the changing conditions. We didn’t take any unnecessary risks and the race plan was well-executed by the team. 

“It was a battle of survival, which was always going to be the case considering the weather, and we ended up getting caught in other people’s errors. That’s racing and I don’t think I could’ve done anything differently.”

Sergio Pérez — Oracle Red Bull Racing — DNF

“I have lost a lot of momentum recently and I will be working hard in the next couple of weeks to get back to form. I picked up some damage to my front wing on the first lap when Gasly and I touched, which compromised my first stint and lost us some momentum. 

“There was only one dry line for most of the race and it was so difficult to pass at times. Later the dry line started to open up and as it did my inters were a little bit too used, then when I went onto the new inter and changed front wing I had good pace but it was still tricky to get by. 

“The incident was on me, I touched the wet part into turn six and I couldn’t stop the car, I couldn’t touch the brakes. It has been a very tough couple of weekends, we will regroup, keep our heads down and learn from the weekend. We identified a couple of issues after qualifying and they meant we would have qualified a lot higher.

“Hopefully we can be back to our form in Spain and get back to the level we were at earlier in the season. I am confident in that, there are good tracks coming for us.”

Charles Leclerc — Scuderia Ferrari — DNF

“The bottom line today is that the engine issue is what compromised our race. We were losing substantial lap time compared to the other cars, so we tried to go on slicks, knowing that it was our only chance to try to finish in the points. There was nothing to lose and I’ve got no regrets on that.

“This one hurts and it’s a big loss of points for the team with both of us unable to finish. We will look into the issue we had to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Logan Sargeant — Williams Racing — DNF

“The track conditions were difficult especially at the start of the race with the amount of standing water. There was quite a lot of aquaplaning going on, so I was trying to manage that. I made too many mistakes today and two punishing ones. 

“I lost the rear extremely quickly and couldn’t save it. I’m disappointed with myself after feeling like I was driving great this weekend. We had good pace when we were able to put together clean laps. We’ll move on and look ahead.”

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