F1 Winners and Losers of the 2024 Canadian GP

Who were the winners and losers of an impossibly dramatic 2024 Canadian GP?


The dust settled on a barnstorming 2024 Canadian Grand Prix weekend with Max Verstappen returning to the top step of a Formula 1 podium after seeing off everything McLaren and Mercedes could throw at him.

It was a rollercoaster three days for so many drivers and teams but the biggest winners were undoubtedly neutral F1 fans, who were treated to the tightest of qualifying sessions followed by titanic battles up and down the grid in the grand prix.

Mercedes have already had several honourable and dishonourable mentions in this series, and their maiden podium of the year in their third highest-scoring grand prix since the end of 2022.

Yet they actually talked themselves out of a Winners slot post-race, with Lewis Hamilton branding it “one of my worst-ever races” and a “really poor performance” while George Russell doubling down, adding “I’m really disappointed with myself today”.

Likewise Alpine should’ve been a shoo-in for the Winners after both cars finished in the top 10 for the first time this season. However, the fractious fallout that’s further alienated Esteban Ocon soured the taste of success and keeps them off the list.

Winner: Daniel Ricciardo

In the week that Red Bull announced contract extensions for Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda‘s, it was ironic that the only driver now not signed to their stable for 2025 was the one who stole the limelight.

Ricciardo was squarely in the firing line as Jacques Villeneuve lambasted the Australian on live TV, urging him to leave after several years in the doldrums.

Villeneuve may have only picked up points just 22 times in the final eight seasons of his F1 career and his criticisms were certainly blunt, but it’s worth acknowledging that they were also valid to an extent.

2020 was the last time Ricciardo could genuinely be placed in the top quartile of the grid and rather than slipping back towards average, he’s been a contender for the bottom five driver in the three seasons since and comfortably outperformed by his teammate every year.

However, vintage Ricciardo was back in Canada and boy, was it good to see. While he wasn’t dominant in every Saturday session, Q3 came down to who could hold their nerve in tricky conditions on the Ile de Notre Dame and he excelled under the pressure, qualifying fifth and less than two-tenths off pole in the VCARB 01.

He suspected a clutch issue caused the false start that cost him a five-second penalty but Ricciardo still showed all his nous to hold off the chasing pack and hold onto eighth place for his first grand prix points in almost eight months.

The question now is whether he can back it up – that last top-ten finish in Mexico City proved to the latest in a succession of false dawns since Ricciardo‘s move to McLaren, but he believes this time will be different after stripping back his weekend schedule in an attempt to manage his own energy more efficiently.

Daniel Ricciardo drives for RB during practice ahead of the 2024 Canadan Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Loser: Ferrari

You can take the Mattia Binotto out of Ferrari. You can add Fred Vasseur, Lewis Hamilton and even Adrian Newey to Ferrari. But crucially, you can’t take the Ferrari out of Ferrari.

This weekend was nothing short of a complete disaster for the Scuderia, a failure that started with a tyre miscalculation at the start of Q2 costing them a place in the top shootout and ended with Sainz‘s comical spin after clouting Alex Albon.

Maybe it’s somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Ferrari to remove two more weeks of premature questions about a title challenge, but their performance combined with the next entry in this list prompted us to seriously question whether we should add another category below ‘Loser’ into this series.

Loser: Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez in the garage prior to practice ahead of 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez would’ve been better served flying from Bologna to Barcelona immediately after the Emilia Romagna GP and spending a month getting acclimatised to the Circuit de Catalunya in an old Red Bull than competing in the F1 world championship rounds at Monaco or Montreal.

It’s been two weekends of utter and abject misery for Perez as he’s failed to escape Q1, failed to finish a race and failed to even run in the points for a single lap in either race – and it will cost Red Bull even if they escaped this time.

Ferrari won’t have many pointless weekends in 2024 but Perez has shown that form like this is far from a one-off occasion. Since Leclerc and Sainz last combined for a duck at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, Perez has less podiums than the former, less wins than the latter and failed to score due to his own mistakes on four occasions.

Even in the all-conquering RB19 he missed out on the top five a further four times and now that advantage has gone there’s even less reason to expect he’ll consistently beat either Ferrari, let alone both.

All of which makes it even more staggering that Red Bull handed him a 2025 extension especially after the Monte Carlo meltdown, and one week later they must already be fearing that decision could cost them dearly.

Winner: Canadian GP

Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB leads Alexander Albon of Williams during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Oh Canada, you sure do know how to spoil us. 2022 was a rare dull race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but there’s a reason the weekend remains a true fan favourite, it’s probably only bettered by Silverstone and Interlagos for so reliably providing drama and excitement over the last two decades.

The rain helps of course, but that’s part and parcel of the Montreal package and helped produce the best race of 2024. It would’ve been good to see Verstappen put under more pressure for the win after the final safety car but that was the only complaint from a neutral perspective as the three-team battle at the front was an absolute treat.

The victor was impossible to call right until the last few laps as the leading five drivers all showed race-winning potential at different points in the afternoon, and there were nine on-track overtakes for the podium positions.

Montreal will remain on the grid until at least 2031 and it once again reminded fans why it’s a simply undroppable event.

Winner: Max Verstappen

Verstappen‘s ‘Flying Dutchman’ moniker proved more apt than usual in Canada as he expertly handled the sodden conditions and restored a sense of order to Red Bull at least temporarily.

While Verstappen obviously benefitted from the timing of the safety car, was also desperately unlucky to miss out on pole position having set the same laptime as Russell in arguably harder conditions but was still relegated to second.

But after the uncharacteristic mistake early on that allowed Norris past him, Verstappen was virtually flawless from then until the end and deserves more credit than he received for making the race for victory such a non-factor in the final stages.

After all the championship talk, this was a reminder of why Verstappen‘s been virtually unbeatable since the start of 2022 and why it will require a superhuman effort to stop him winning a fourth successive crown.

Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Loser: Williams

As of the end of the Canadian GP, Williams have had five retirements in 2024 plus Logan Sargeant‘s collision-enforced withdrawal in Melbourne – no other team has more than three.

The American had looked on course to finally beat his teammate in grand prix qualifying for the first time ever but an improvement at the death in Q2 sent Albon through and put that aggregate score up to 30-0.

Albon is operating with considerably better machinery than Sargeant and 13th was still a superb starting spot – it’s even the sixth time he’s outqualified Perez in his F1 career – but the problem was Sargeant followed that up with yet another retirement as a result of driver error.

As for Albon, he once again delivered a sterling job to reach Q3 and was the victim of one of the unluckiest retirements of the season after trying in vain to avoid Sainz‘s pirouette as he looked on course for his second points finish of 2024.

However, his retirement is ultimately yet another entry on Williams‘ repair bill that was already estimated at over three million dollars after Monaco.

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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