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    How Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen compare after 150 F1 races… and Mercedes star proves why he’s GOAT

    MAX VERSTAPPEN celebrated his 150th Formula One race with victory at the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend.The Dutchman stretched his lead in the drivers standings to 46 points as he eyes a second successive title.
    Verstappen is on track to retain his drivers championship this yearCredit: Getty
    How Hamilton and Verstappen stack up after their first 150 F1 races
    Hamilton has broken all sorts of records during his F1 careerCredit: AFP
    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, who was controversially pipped to a record-breaking eighth championship by Verstappen last year, secured his first podium since the opening race of the season as he came home in third.
    Regardless of what Hamilton does from here on in, the seven-time champion will arguably go down as the greatest driver in the sport’s history.
    But how does Verstappen compare with the Mercedes legend after 150 races?
    Well, it’s safe to say Hamilton has the edge in that department too.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}BEN HUNT .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Mercedes should ignore Hamilton’s pleas if they want to catch Ferrari & Red Bull
    Hamilton had a sensational first 150 races of his F1 careerCredit: PA
    The Brit managed 34 wins during that early part of his career, eight more than Verstappen.
    He also secured significantly more pole positions – boasting 40, a mammoth 25 more than the Dutchman’s 15.
    Their number of podiums after 150 races is a much closer comparison.
    But Hamilton still comes out on top in that too – with 72 top three finishes to Verstappen’s 67.
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    The one statistic in Verstappen’s favour is that he started his F1 career at a much younger age.
    The Red Bull driver lined up on the grid for the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at just 17 years old.
    That is five years younger than Hamilton was when he began his F1 journey at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix.
    Nevertheless, Verstappen still has a long way to go if he is to get close to Hamilton’s plethora of remarkable records. More

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    Red Bull suspend junior star Juri Vips after F2 driver used racial slur on live Call of Duty stream

    RED BULL have suspended a junior driver after he used a racial slur on a live stream.Juri Vips, 21, now faces a “full investigation” from his team.
    F2 driver Juri Vips will be investigated after being suspended by Red Bull for using a racist slurCredit: Getty
    The Estonian Formula 2 star was part of a Twitch stream of video game Call of Duty, with fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson playing the first-person shooting game.
    Video footage surfaced on Tuesday with Vips said to have used the racist comment.
    Lawson then replied: “Juri.”
    Later this evening, Red Bull confirmed the immediate action taken by the team.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}BEN HUNT .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Mercedes should ignore Hamilton’s pleas if they want to catch Ferrari & Red Bull
    A statement said: “Red Bull Racing has suspended junior driver Juri Vips for from all team duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the incident.
    “As an organisation, we condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”
    Vips took to his Instagram to respond with an apology.
    He said: “I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today.
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    “This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold.
    “I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set.
    “I will cooperate with the investigation fully.”
    Vips is a former national and Formula 4 champion and is currently in his third season in F2 with the Hitech Grand Prix team, sitting seventh in the standings.
    He also has been a test and reserve driver for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri in F1 since 2020 after joining the team’s junior programme in 2018.
    The youngster made his debut on an F1 race weekend in May 2022 when he filled Sergio Perez’s RB18 seat for first practice at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. More

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    Watch Lewis Hamilton push Mercedes physio into river after she bet against seven-time F1 champ at Canadian Grand Prix

    LEWIS HAMILTON turned his physio into the Big Dipper as he celebrated an upturn in his rollercoaster year.The Mercedes driver pushed Angela Cullen into a river – after she promised to take the plunge if he landed a podium spot at the Canadian GP.
    Lewis Hamilton was happy to help team physio Angela Cullen get a soaking after the Mercedes star finished third in the Canadian GPCredit: Instagram / @mercedesamgf1
    There was cold comfort for sodden Angela Cullen as she was plunged in while Lewis Hamilton remained buoyant in more ways than oneCredit: Instagram / @mercedesamgf1
    Cullen helped Britain’s seven-time world champ defy back problems that left him doubtful to even start Sunday’s race, let alone deliver a season’s best third place.
    Now ‘ecstatic’ Hamilton hopes the tide has turned for his fitness AND form.
    However, Mercedes performance coach Cullen was left as drenched as the Montreal track had been during Max Verstappen’s weekend victory as Hamilton gave her a soaking sign-off.
    He remained Canada Dry while he turned the New Zealander into a Merc-maid by gleefully dispatching her into the water with a two-handed shove.
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15px;}.css-1qsre5o{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;height:100%;-webkit-align-items:flex-start;-webkit-box-align:flex-start;-ms-flex-align:flex-start;align-items:flex-start;-webkit-align-content:flex-start;-ms-flex-line-pack:flex-start;align-content:flex-start;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;justify-content:space-between;}.css-16djrfc{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:1;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;padding-top:2px;}.css-1skzs3j{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:1;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;padding-top:2px;}.css-7ysxcx{padding:0;text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-7ysxcx:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-jkwlot{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;height:100%;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;justify-content:space-between;padding:0;text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-jkwlot:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1x7hydu{font-family:The Sun;font-size:24px;line-height:1.1666666666666667;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:semi-condensed;padding:1px 0px;}.css-1x7hydu::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -0.5px);}.css-1x7hydu::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:-0.2333333333333334em;}.css-1lobn43{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(0,0,0,1);}.css-1lobn43 svg{fill:rgba(0,0,0,1);}READ MORE ON F1.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-h98a3b{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(236,245,247,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou a:not(.nk-card-link){z-index:2;position:relative;}.css-1uyse24{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;border:none;}.css-1uyse24 .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,114,238,1);}.css-1uyse24:hover:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,86,180,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:active:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,62,129,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:visited:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24 .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(34,37,38,1);}.css-1uyse24:hover:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(0,86,180,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:active:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(0,62,129,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:visited:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}WHO ARE LEW? .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Meet Hamilton’s family from elusive mum to dad he sacked and racer brother
    Mercedes posted a clip on social media of her soggy fate with the words: “Get in there, Ang!
    “Angela said if Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium she’d jump into the river. She just needed a push.”
    The 47-year-old, who has been working with Hamilton since 2016, managed a wide-eyed smile throughout – much like the team’s reaction to his performance on Sunday.
    Championship leader and title-holder Verstappen held off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s late challenge to triumph – but Hamilton beat team-mate George Russell to third spot.
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    Re-energised Hamilton, 37, whose bouncing Mercedes had given him a bad back in Baku, said: “I’m ecstatic. I didn’t expect this.
    “It feels really special, especially as it was where I got my first Grand Prix win.
    “It has given me and the team a lot of hope. There’s more to come from this car. The potential is truly there if we can get the setup right.”
    “That’s been the most difficult thing this year – really trying to optimise the set up.

    Of his back issues, he claimed: “It is feeling good. I am back to feeling young again!”
    Cullen used acupuncture as well as physiotherapy to get Hamilton fighting fit over the past week.
    So a shower of praise might have been a fairer reward than a slam dunking!
    Brit Lewis Hamilton was ‘ecstatic’ with his third place at MontrealCredit: AFP More

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    If Mercedes serious about catching Ferrari & Red Bull they must ignore Hamilton’s pleas and keep experimenting with him

    IF Mercedes are serious about catching Ferrari and Red Bull, they must ignore Lewis Hamilton’s plea to stop using him as their guinea pig.Until now, Hamilton’s position this season has been compromised as Mercedes play a balancing act of splitting their cars’ set-up between the seven-time world champion and his team-mate George Russell.
    Mercedes have arguably been held back by trying to balance the needs of their two British drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George RussellCredit: Alamy
    Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes have tried two different avenues and the one chosen for him was ‘dreadful’ but he still came a fine third in CanadaCredit: Getty
    Normally, there is a preferred direction of progress. In layman’s terms, start at a particular point with the design and make small changes to see if the car’s performance improves.
    There is a feeling — but not confirmed by Mercedes — that Russell has been getting the preferred set-up and  Hamilton has been sacrificed in the hope his experience helps the team unlock the potential of his car.
    Hamilton said in Canada: “We tried two different avenues and the avenue I was down was dreadful.”
    Having witnessed Hamilton’s feedback first-hand during a behind-the-scenes trip to Mercedes’ Brackley HQ last year, it is understandable the team call on his help.
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Sun;font-size:24px;line-height:1.1666666666666667;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:semi-condensed;padding:1px 0px;}.css-1x7hydu::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.24520833333333342em + -0.5px);}.css-1x7hydu::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:-0.2333333333333334em;}.css-1lobn43{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(0,0,0,1);}.css-1lobn43 svg{fill:rgba(0,0,0,1);}READ MORE IN F1.css-1gojmfd{margin-bottom:16px;}.css-gmec1d{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;height:auto;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-align-content:center;-ms-flex-line-pack:center;align-content:center;-webkit-box-flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-wrap:nowrap;-ms-flex-wrap:nowrap;flex-wrap:nowrap;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-left:calc(-20px/2);margin-right:calc(-20px/2);}.css-fh9577{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(20px/2);margin-right:calc(20px/2);}.css-65fvqt{max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-h98a3b{box-sizing:border-box;overflow:hidden;background-color:rgba(236,245,247,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;position:relative;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;max-width:302px;max-height:294px;}.css-bk55po{box-sizing:border-box;display:block;position:relative;margin-bottom:0;}.css-1shocxe{box-sizing:border-box;}.css-1a2irou{box-sizing:border-box;padding:0;}.css-1a2irou a:not(.nk-card-link){z-index:2;position:relative;}.css-1uyse24{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;border:none;}.css-1uyse24 .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,114,238,1);}.css-1uyse24:hover:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,86,180,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:active:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(0,62,129,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:visited:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-kicker{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24 .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(34,37,38,1);}.css-1uyse24:hover:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(0,86,180,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:active:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(0,62,129,1);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1uyse24:visited:not(:disabled) .nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}WIN YOU GO .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Watch Hamilton push Merc physio in river after she bet against him at Canada GP
    But he is not exactly happy and no longer wants to play the role of the sacrificial lamb.
    After his third place in Montreal, he had a taste of the champagne and, with the British GP up next, now wants more, which could pose a problem.
    He said: “Maybe in the second half of the season George can do the experiments! We’re just trying to work. We’re just trying to progress as a team.
    “Moving forward, we’ll be a little bit more cautious on doing too many experiments as it really does hinder you through the weekend, especially if you only have practice one and two in the dry.
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    “I really hope, moving to Silverstone . . . it’s such an important race for us and for me, so I really hope that . . . I just want to be in a battle.”
    Hamilton’s desire is understandable as he  chases a record of winning at least once in each of his  15 seasons in F1.
    This year’s struggles with the bouncing, and a lower top speed than their rivals, pose the biggest threat to achieving that feat.
    But if Mercedes are serious about sticking with their current car design philosophy, then they must shelve any emotional comments from their driver.
    Boss Toto Wolff knows they need to press on with their development and Hamilton is the best man for the job.
    It might be a tough decision but they simply have to stick with him trying the alternative car set-up for any chance of catching the leaders.
     Wolff  believes the team have much work still to do to narrow the gap with their rivals, despite Hamilton’s third in Canada.
    He said: “One swallow doesn’t make a summer.
    “We saw that swallow in Barcelona but somehow it flew somewhere else.
    “We need to be careful. There is so much work we need to do in order to be back at the front and we are not yet there.”
    CASE FER DEBATE
    SPARE a thought for poor old Fernando Alonso, who was a little delusional after going from second on the grid to finishing  ninth in Montreal.
    The Spaniard had promised to fight pole-sitter Max  Verstappen for the lead into Turn One — which he did not.
    He then sank like a stone before being told to stay behind his Alpine team-mate, Esteban Ocon.
    Despite claiming to be a “hundred times faster” than Ocon all weekend, Alonso then claims he had a faulty engine.
    He moaned: “It’s another  reliability issue on car No 14 only. That’s disappointing.
    “We didn’t finish on the podium because we had a reliability issue on car 14.”
     OK, Fernando. We get the point . . . but I am not too sure  “reliability” is to blame for the five-second penalty you received for weaving. More

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    Watch Lewis Hamilton push Mercedes physio into river after she bet against F1 star at Canadian GP

    LEWIS HAMILTON turned his physio into the Big Dipper as he celebrated an upturn in his rollercoaster year.The Mercedes star pushed Angela Cullen into a river – after she promised to take the plunge if he landed a podium spot at the Canadian GP.
    Lewis Hamilton was happy to help team physio Angela Cullen get a soaking after the Mercedes star finished third in the Canadian GPCredit: Instagram / @mercedesamgf1
    There was cold comfort for sodden Angela Cullen as she was plunged in while Lewis Hamilton remained buoyant in more ways than oneCredit: Instagram / @mercedesamgf1
    Cullen helped Britain’s seven-time world champ defy back problems that left him doubtful to even start Sunday’s race, let alone deliver a season’s best third place.
    Now ‘ecstatic’ Hamilton hopes the tide has turned for his fitness AND form.
    However, Mercedes performance coach Cullen was left as drenched as the Montreal track had been during Max Verstappen’s weekend victory as Hamilton gave her a soaking sign-off.
    He remained Canada Dry while he turned the New Zealander into a Merc-maid by gleefully dispatching her into the water with a two-handed shove.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}WHO ARE LEW? .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Meet Hamilton’s family from elusive mum to dad he sacked and racer brother
    Mercedes posted a clip on social media of her soggy fate with the words: “Get in there, Ang!
    “Angela said if Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium she’d jump into the river. She just needed a push.”
    The 47-year-old, who has been working with Hamilton since 2016, managed a wide-eyed smile throughout – much like the team’s reaction to his performance on Sunday.
    Championship leader and title-holder Verstappen held off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s late challenge to triumph – but Hamilton beat team-mate George Russell to third spot.
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    SUN BINGO GET £50 BONUS & 50 FREE SPINS TODAY
    Re-energised Hamilton, 37, whose bouncing Mercedes had given him a bad back in Baku, said: “I’m ecstatic. I didn’t expect this.
    “It feels really special, especially as it was where I got my first Grand Prix win.
    “It has given me and the team a lot of hope. There’s more to come from this car. The potential is truly there if we can get the setup right.”
    “That’s been the most difficult thing this year – really trying to optimise the set up.
    Of his back issues, he claimed: “It is feeling good. I am back to feeling young again!”
    Cullen used acupuncture as well as physiotherapy to get Hamilton fighting fit over the past week.
    So a shower of praise might have been a fairer reward than a slam dunking!
    Brit Lewis Hamilton was ‘ecstatic’ with his third place at MontrealCredit: AFP More

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    F1 Canadian Grand Prix LIVE RESULTS: Hamilton seals PODIUM place, Verstappen WINS – latest reaction

    MAX VERSTAPPEN stormed to victory to win the Canada Grand Prix for the FIRST time.While Lewis Hamilton picked up a podium place by finishing third in a much-improved display for Mercedes.
    Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was second, with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell fourth.

    Follow ALL the action from Montreal with our live blog below…
    That’s a wrap
    Thanks for sticking with us for our F1 coverage on our blog.
    It was a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix, won convincingly by Max Verstappen.
    The Dutchman now extends his lead at the top of the Drivers Championship.
    Join us again for the British Grand Prix next.
    Drivers standings after Canadian Grand Prix
    1) Max Verstappen – 175
    2) Sergio Perez – 129
    3) Charles Leclerc – 126
    4) George Russell – 111
    5) Carlos Sainz – 102
    6) Lewis Hamilton – 77
    Leclerc frustrated
    Even though he managed a fifth placed finish, Charles Leclerc was frustrated by his Canadian Grand Prix race.
    “It was very frustrating actually,” he told Sky Sports F1.
    “The last part was nice but obviously the very first part I was stuck in a DRS train and couldn’t do anything. Then in the middle part of the race I found myself stuck behind Esteban [Ocon] on much newer tyres so he had very good traction and that was enough to keep me behind.
    “Then we had a slow pit stop and fell behind another DRS train, but the end was quite fun. I had to be aggressive to get more points and fifth is the best we could manage today.
    “Overall the feeling was good and that’s a good sign. Whether it would have been enough to Red Bull today I don’t know, but it has been close all season and I felt like Carlos [Sainz] was quite strong today. This shows that it would have been close.”
    Sainz reacts
    Carlos Sainz is pleased with his second-placed finish.
    He reacted: “I can tell I didn’t leave anything on the table today. I was the fastest car today – it was very difficult to mount an overtake on the RB. I gave my maximum.
    “We tried our best and as a team we executed the race.”
    Winners and Losers
    Red Bull are obviously the big winners from the Canadian Grand Prix with Verstappen clocking up another victory, but it is not a faultless win.
    Sergio Perez’s retirement due to a suspected gearbox issue suggests gremlins remain in their car, an issue that was prevalent early in the season.
    It’s a great day for Mercedes who showed a marked step forward, and Ferrari will be happy to have both cars finishing and both making up positions, even if they’ve fallen further behind Red Bull.
    Meanwhile, Haas’ day unraveled from the first lap as Magnussen sustained front wing damage which caused him to lose time and pit early, while a competitive-looking Mick Schumacher lost out on the chance of points due to a mechanical issue.
    It was an equally bad day over at Alpha Tauri, as Yuki Tsunoda left the pits to drive into the wall while Gasly had mechanical issues from early on and never really got going.
    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reacts to the race
    “Within the team, [Hamilton] was always positive in the mindset. It’s astonishing. I’m happy for Lewis as he had bad luck on his side and would have been on the podium if not for the safety car a couple of times.
    [On whether Mercedes can win at the next race at Silverstone] “If we can run the car low, we should be competitive.”
    Making a point at home
    Lance Stroll sneaked in 10th with a late overtake over Daniel Ricciardo, gaining a point in his home race.

    Top step of the podium
    Verstappen listens to the national anthems at the top step of the podium, with this win being his 5th win in six races.
    It’s also Red Bull’s sixth race win in a row.
    With Perez retiring early on and Leclerc only making his way up to 5th, this now firmly seems like Verstappen’s title to lose.
    Preparing for the podium
    Verstappen, Sainz and Hamilton are chatting in the cool-down room with F1 boss Stefano Domenicali.
    They all seem to be in good spirits, with the result particularly good for Verstappen and Hamilton who both stopped under the first virtual safety car, which now clearly seemed to be the best strategy. This race also marks the first time Hamilton has finished above his teammate Russell since the opening race.
    As for Carlos Sainz, this is his 5th-second place finish in F1 but he is yet to win a race. Today seems like a missed opportunity.
    Hamilton on his 3rd place finish
    “We’ve had such an awesome crowd here this weekend. It’s quite overwhelming to get this 3rd place this weekend but we continue to be vigilant and not give up so thank you to the team and everyone back at the factory.
    “We just have to keep pushing and hopefully we can be up there with them [Ferrari and Red Bull].
    “Our pace was quite good, especially in the second phase so honestly I’m ecstatic. I didn’t expect [a podium] coming back this week. I love it in Montreal.”
    Verstappen reacts
    “The safety car didn’t help. Overall [Ferrari] were really quick but yeah it was really exciting at the end. I was giving it everything I had and so was Carlos. The last few laps were very fun.
    “Luckily this year we seem really quick on the straights so that helps.”
    What a win
    Verstappen really had to fight for that one after the safety car restart.

    Best of the rest
    George Russell comes home 4th, meaning he continues his incredible run of top 5 finishes in every single race this season.
    Charles Leclerc’s recovery drive takes him from 19th to 5th, with Ocon and Alonso coming home 6th and 7th. Disappointing for Alonso who started 2nd.
    Bottas and Zhou come home to finish 8th and 9th in a double-points finish for Alfa Romeo.
    MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX!
    The Red Bull driver holds off Sainz who takes second place.
    Hamilton on the podium for the first time since the opening race in Bahrain.
    Lap 69/70
    Sainz was closer than ever to Verstappen on lap 68, but he still couldn’t get close enough.
    He has two more laps to try and claim his first F1 win.
    Lap 67/70
    Twice in history the Canadian Grand Prix has been settled on the final lap, with Nelson Piquet victorious right at the end of the 1991 race and Jenson Button famously getting past Vettel when made a mistake.
    Could the same thing happen today? Sainz is still stuck less than a second behind Verstappen.
    Meanwhile its Alpine v Alfa Romeo in the battle for 6th, with Ocon leading Alonso who leads Bottas and Zhou.
    Lap 64/70
    Edge of your seat stuff at the front of the grid

    Lap 63/70
    Verstappen has managed to pull out of the DRS range of Sainz, who may have missed his best opportunity to take the lead off the Red Bull.
    Sainz needs to pull something special out of the bag – or hope Max makes an uncharacteristic mistake – to win this one.
    Lap 61/70
    Sainz just won’t let go. He remains so, so close to Verstappen, who is looking for his 26th win in F1. Sainz is still looking for his first.
    On his fresh tyres and with DRS, Sainz may just have enough pace to take the lead or try and force the Dutchman into a mistake.
    Lap 60/70
    Sainz is hunting down Verstappen! Every lap the Ferrari is within DRS range of the Red Bull, with the Dutchman unable to pull away on his holder tyres.
    This one could well go down the wire.
    Meanwhile the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc has passed Alonso for 6th, and is now trying to get past the other Alpine of Ocon for 5th.
    Lap 57/70
    Verstappen has a good safety car restart, and manages to keep clear of Sainz, with Hamilton and Russell close behind. There’s only around four seconds covering the top 4, with Verstappen not yet able to pull away.
    No movement in the rest of the field either, although Guanyu tried unsuccessfully to put a move on Vettel.
    Lap 54/70
    Safety car in at the end of this lap! We are ready to go with the final 15 laps of this Canadian Grand Prix, and you don’t want to miss the ending to this one.
    Lap 52/70 – Safety Car
    So Yuki Tsunoda’s crash after leaving the pits has triggered the full safety car, the third intervention of this race after we earlier got two virtual safety cars.
    Sainz may well feel he has nothing to lose and everything to prove as he prepares to gun for Verstappen at the rolling restart.
    How racy will George Russell be feeling behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton? The Mercedes pair have previously had a great scrap in Miami after the safety car on that occasion.
    Then we have two Alpines in 5th and 6th, with Leclerc keen to make up positions from 7th.
    We have a wonderful script for the closing laps of this Canadian Grand Prix.
    Lap 50/70 – Safety car
    Sainz pits under the safety car, with Verstappen re-taking the lead but Sainz now on fresher tyres. The restart could be very interesting to watch.
    Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are pitting from 5th and 6th respectively under the safety car, with Bottas finally pitting for the first time.
    Lap 49/70
    Tsuonda has hit the wall at turn 1! We have a safety car, and this could be massive for the race!
    Load more entries… More

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    Lewis Hamilton delighted with ‘overwhelming’ third-place finish at Canadian Grand Prix after horror season

    LEWIS HAMILTON is revved up for the British GP after ending his podum drought with a third-place finish in Canada.The F1 veteran, 37, came into this weekend nursing a bad back after being bashed up in Baku by his bouncing Mercedes.
    Lewis Hamilton was ‘overwhelmed’ after recorded a second podium finish of the season in MontrealCredit: Reuters
    But after knocking up his 184th podium, he was all smiles ahead of Silverstone and said he is feeling young again.
    He said: “It’s quite overwhelming, honestly, to get this third place…
    “It’s been such a battle this year with a car and as a team, but we continue to stay vigilant and focused and never give up, and that’s something I’m so proud of and inspired by.
    “Red Bull and Ferrari are a little bit too quick for us at the moment but we’re getting closer. We have got to keep pushing and keep pushing. Eventually we will be in the fight.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}LEW GOT THIS .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Verstappen wins thrilling Canadian GP ahead of Sainz as Hamilton takes third
    “I’m ecstatic. I didn’t expect this. It feels really special, especially as it was where I got my first Grand Prix win.”
    When quizzed on his back’s condition, he added. “It is feeling good. I am back to feeling young again!”
    And Hamilton admitted today’s result has given him “hope” that Mercedes have turned a corner.
    He said: “It has given me and the team a lot of hope. There’s more to come from this car. The potential is truly there if we can get the setup right.
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#dcdddd;background-color:#ffffff;}.css-14dqn90{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(4px/2);margin-right:calc(4px/2);}.css-12an5ma{font-family:The Sun;font-size:20px;line-height:1.2;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;padding:1px 0px;}.css-12an5ma::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.261875em + -1px);}.css-12an5ma::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:calc(-0.25em + -1.3px);}.css-dzrove{color:rgba(37,129,145,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;margin-right:4px;}.css-dzrove:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CANADIAN GP .css-1efa55o{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1efa55o:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton charges to PODIUM place, Verstappen WINS in Montreal
    SUN BINGO GET £50 BONUS & 50 FREE SPINS TODAY
    “That’s been the most difficult thing this year – really trying to optimise the set up.
    “And when you have not been on the podium for a long time, it was also special as I had my first win here 15 years ago.
    “To experience the energy from the crowd was very reminiscent of that first year, I am so happy with it.
    “One really great thing is we’ve got really good reliability, which I think is a real tribute to all the great work the team are doing.
    “So we’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep working.”
    Hamilton finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate George Russell, who was fourth, for the first time since the Bahrain GP at the start of the year – the last time Hamilton had a podium.
    But he is unlikely to close the 98-point gap on championship leader Max Verstappen, whose victory in Montreal was his sixth of the year.
    However, he admitted he was put underpressure after a late safety car that sparked an exciting race to the line with Ferrari’s Caros Sainz.
    Verstappen said: “The safety car didn’t help. Overall Ferrari were very quick in the race, so it would have been tough for me to close the gap, even on fresh tyres.
    “It was exciting at the end and I gave it everything I had.”
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    Meanwhile, Sainz, who was second, said: “I was pushing flat-out. I wasn’t leaving any inches. I was pushing very hard to pass Max but we just didn’t have enough pace.
    “The positive thing is we were faster but needed a little more to overtake around here.
    “I am particularly happy with the race pace and the way we managed to keep the pressure on Max.
    “We tried everything and were very close to winning, so I will take the positives and keep trying in the next one.” More

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    Max Verstappen wins thrilling Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz as Lewis Hamilton takes third after impressive drive

    LEWIS HAMILTON took his second podium of the year while Max Verstappen’s victory in Canada saw him open up a whopping 46-point lead in the championship.Hamilton was third and had a box office seat for a thrilling finale, as Verstappen held off the late challenge from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who finished second.
    Max Verstappen made it back-to-back wins with victory in MontrealCredit: Getty
    Lewis Hamilton secured a podium finish for just the second time this seasonCredit: Reuters
    Carlos Sainz took the final place on the podium for FerrariCredit: EPA
    The Brit, who has endured a miserable season, crossed the line ahead of his Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
    A delighted Hamilton said: “It’s quite overwhelming, honestly, to get this third place…
    “It’s been such a battle this year with a car and as a team, but we continue to stay vigilant and focused and never give up, and that’s something I’m so proud of and inspired by.
    “Red Bull and Ferrari are a little bit too quick for us at the moment but we’re getting closer. We have got to keep pushing and keep pushing. Eventually we will be in the fight.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CANADIAN GP .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton charges to PODIUM place, Verstappen WINS in Montreal
    “I’m ecstatic. I didn’t expect this. It feels really special, especially as it was where I got my first Grand Prix win.”
    It was a cracking end to an otherwise processional GP – yet there was already a simmering row before a wheel had even turned in anger in this contest.
    Just 24 hours earlier from lights out, a regular catch up between the team bosses and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali descended into a slanging match.
    The argument was over the new F1 cars and their bouncing problem, which frustratingly continues to set the news agenda.
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#dcdddd;background-color:#ffffff;}.css-14dqn90{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;margin-left:calc(4px/2);margin-right:calc(4px/2);}.css-12an5ma{font-family:The Sun;font-size:20px;line-height:1.2;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;padding:1px 0px;}.css-12an5ma::before{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-bottom:calc(-0.261875em + -1px);}.css-12an5ma::after{content:”;display:block;height:0;width:0;margin-top:calc(-0.25em + -1.3px);}.css-dzrove{color:rgba(37,129,145,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;margin-right:4px;}.css-dzrove:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CANADIAN GP .css-1efa55o{display:inline;font:inherit;margin:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1efa55o:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton charges to PODIUM place, Verstappen WINS in Montreal
    SUN BINGO GET £50 BONUS & 50 FREE SPINS TODAY
    But some feel the aerodynamic phenomenon of drivers bouncing up and down in their cockpits has been hijacked in the latest political play in an attempt to rewrite the rules.
    Of course, this is nothing new in F1.
    You need only look back to the tedious rows over flexing rear wings last season and accusations over which team it benefitted and whether it was legal.
    This time, however, it seems different. Almost as if team bosses are slipping in to character to suit the heavily dramatised Netflix series, ‘Drive to Survive’.
    After all, there had never been any such issues in the Saturday morning catch-ups in the past only this time – and for the first time – Netflix were allowed into the meeting to film it.
    It all seems a little bit crass to imagine, but there is a distinct feeling that some are using the presence of a TV crew to peddle their own narrative in an attempt to write their own scripts.
    Here, the bouncing row stems from Red Bull, who have the quickest car and are leading both championships, and are calling foul play on their rivals’, who are demanding changes are made in the name of safety.
    It is pretty hard to disagree when you see the likes of Hamilton’s head pinging about before complaining of a bad back.
    Verstappen is well on his way to a second world titleCredit: Getty
    However, Red Bull’s argument is simple; they created a better can and the others can solve their bouncing by increasing their cars’ ride height, even if it slows them down.
    It is all rather niggly but has served to stoke up the rivalry that exists between F1’s big three teams – Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari – and the fans will love it.
    There is not any doubt about the impact the Netflix show has had in North America.
    This race was a sell out and the scenes in Downtown Montreal on Saturday were like no other I’d witnessed in the city.
    The bars and restaurants were packed and there was one funny moment when some Ferrari owners stuck their cars in neutral and revved the nuts off their engines to cheers from the F1 fans who were all filming on their phones.
    Unbeknown to them, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton sat in the car in front; a modest Mercedes SUV being driven by his physio Angela Cullen while Hamilton laid low in the back seat, hidden by the tinted glass.
    The Brit looked relaxed as he made his way to the grid having taken his best qualifying spot of the season the previous day.
    Hamilton started in fourth and held on to the position at lights out while Verstappen powered away from pole.
    The Red Bull man looked unstoppable as he opened up a comfortable gap over second-placed Feranando Alonso.
    The 40-year-old two-time world champion had set himself the target of fighting Verstappen for the lead, but his challenge was blown away when he was passed by countryman Carlos Sainz on lap three.
    Sergio Perez became the first car eliminated from the race on the ninth lap when he retired with engine failure while running in 10th place.
    The Mexican’s retirement kick-started a flurry of pitstops with Verstappen coming in from the lead for fresh tyres.
    The Dutchman returned to the track in third place behind Sainz and Alonso while Hamilton also stopped for tyres.
    The Mercedes man moved back up to fifth when he overtook Esteban Ocon into turn one on lap 12.
    And Hamilton got into the top three once Alonso then made his stop for tyres as the top three played out an intriguing battle.
    The pressure began to tell as Verstappen anxiously messaged his team saying “my tyres are really starting to drop, mate,” before he was called in at the end of lap 43 for tyres.
    When he came out of the pits he was behind Hamilton and blasted his team on the radio “why didn’t you make sure I am ahead of him?!”
    The reply was telling as he was succinctly told “didn’t have the pace”.
    It meant that it became the first time this season that last year’s rivals were able to race each other.
    Sadly, it lasted for less than a lap as Hamilton was passed on the final straight and then opted to duck into the pits himself.
    But there was still another twist. Yuki Tsunoda crashed out on lap 49, sparking the deployment of the safety car.
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    It set up a grandstand finish as Verstappen was leading Sainz while Hamilton was third and Russell in fourth.
    At the restart, Verstappen held his nerve but he was not able to build a gap over Sainz, who was doggedly holding on while Hamilton also remained in the hunt.
    The Spaniard pressed Verstappen, trying to pressurise him into making a mistake in a gripping end to the grands prix.
    However, Verstappen hung on for his fifth victory in the last six races to open up a commanding lead in the championship. More