Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix with a dead bird stuck in his car

Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix with a dead bird stuck in his car

Max Verstappen believed he had struck a bird in the early stages of the Canadian Grand Prix with the dead bird remaining lodged in his car for the rest of the race.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix after starting from pole position and taking the lead for every lap. This marked his third victory leading every lap and his fourth straight win in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.

However, Verstappen’s win did not come easy as wild animals sometimes get loose in Montreal. Groundhogs are typically the kind of animals that sneak through the concrete barriers, stray onto the racetrack, and let fate decide what is to come.

The early stages of the race saw race-leader Verstappen hit a bird and as a result the dead creature got stuck in Verstappen’s right front brake duct over the course of the race. However, it did not affect the Dutchman’s performance.

The Red Bull driver radioed in early in the race to say that he thought he hit a bird as he was pulling away from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Inspection after the race revealed that this was indeed the case and a Red Bull mechanic had to remove what was left of the unfortunate animal that was lodged inside Verstappen’s front right brake duct after the RB19 came back to the pits.

“It was still stuck on my car when I came in, it didn’t look great!” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1 afterwards. “I also feel sorry for the mechanic having to remove it.”

With his fourth straight win and 41st of his career, the World Championship leader surpassed the late, great Ayrton Senna in career victories. His lead at the top of the standings is currently at 69 points.

The Red Bull driver’s progress was quite calm for much of the race apart from the bird strike as team principal Christian Horner admitted, considering that his margin of victory was nothing like as big as he has been accustomed to so far in 2023.

Taking into account Verstappen’s victory was decided by ‘just’ nine seconds at the finish line, the Dutchman was questioned about how much of that can be ascribed to improvements from manufacturers like Aston Martin and Mercedes or a more relaxed day for Red Bull, given the fact that he has already won eight of eight races this year. Verstappen said he experienced a mix of both.

“Well, from our side, like I said, I don’t think it was our best day, because of the tyre temps and stuff,” the Red Bull driver said. “So that doesn’t help. But I also know that with their updates, they naturally of course improved.

“So, for sure, they got closer to us.”

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