Is Verstappen now unstoppable in the F1 title battle? our judgment

Defending champion Max Verstappen has now won six of nine races in the 2022 Formula 1 season, and is ahead of main rival Charles Leclerc by 49 points – nearly two wins.

Red Bull has now racked up six wins in a row, with Sergio Perez in Monaco punctuating the Verstappen series that started two months ago at Imola.

Is there any chance of stopping Red Bull and Verstappen now in this title race?

Here are our book ideas:

Verstappen drives like a champ every time

Scott Mitchell

Formula 1 World Championship, Canadian Grand Prix Day, Montreal, Canada

Ferrari and Charles Leclerc knew very early on that this weekend would be all about damage reduction. They needed something dramatic to avoid falling further into the championship and they didn’t get it.

So far, Max Verstappen has almost two full wins. But forget Ferrari’s troubles – this weekend, the boost he’s giving Verstappen and the championship challenge he’s up to have to revolve around him.

In awful conditions in qualifying, Verstappen kept his composure and made sure that when calculating he was better than the rest. Yes, Red Bull looked great. But Perez put it in the wall. Verstappen put it on the pole.

Then in the race, it’s all about that word again: composure. There were a few moments that GP could have pulled away from – the early pit stop under the hypothetical safety car, and the late safety car that allowed Carlos Sainz to attack hard for several laps.

Verstappen has been consistent. With a good straight line speed, he knew he would win as long as he didn’t make a mistake. Simple in principle, difficult to implement. However, he did so without a single mistake.

Hero weekend.

Red Bull is a solid battle, and it shows

Ed Str

Formula 1 World Championship, Canadian Grand Prix Day, Montreal, Canada

What 2022 has shown us so far is that Red Bull is the front-runner to battle in Formula 1, while Ferrari is still a team that is re-establishing itself at the top.

Previous unreliability issues wiped Leclerc out of a Montreal victory battle before the weekend began, but even then, the slow stop that dropped him behind a line of traffic was a mistake that made his recovery more difficult.

Sainz gave his best, but still couldn’t beat the one-lap rhythm that Leclerc can win, and that makes it difficult for him to win races given that Ferrari’s path to victory is generally to secure and hold Saturday’s track position rather than coming from it. Behind him, he struggled valiantly in the latter part of the race.

Ferrari is a strong team, but it’s still a team that is rebuilding itself in Formula One power so this is probably to be expected.

But although the car is fast, it’s hard to see it has Red Bull’s scale during the off-season as a result, no matter how good Leclerc is.

It’s too early to judge this

Gary Anderson

Formula 1 World Championship, Canadian Grand Prix Day, Montreal, Canada

Everything looks good for Verstappen. However, you can never count your points all the way to the end.

Red Bull has race speed, but both and Ferrari are poor with reliability and two DNFs could happen very quickly on this point advantage.

Leclerc and Sainz struggled in Baku and this weekend Perez showed how good the margins are with reliability.

But the truth is that you just have to keep your head down and attack every weekend as it unfolds in front of you.

For both Verstappen and Leclerc, the vital thing is that when you can’t win, you have to take the best out of every race, as Leclerc did this weekend after start 19.

At the end of the season, you can then collect points and a smile will appear on the face of the person with the most points.

But there is a long time before you can really assume who it is.

This wasn’t a ‘bad day’ for Ferrari

Matt Berg

Formula 1 World Championship, Canadian Grand Prix Day, Montreal, Canada

Ferrari leaves Montreal and Leclerc is 15 more points away from Verstappen, but he cut four points from Red Bull in the constructors’ battle.

Not great, but in the context of their knowing from the start that Leclerc would start straight from the back and come straight out of an absolute miserable Baku disaster, perhaps it was a slightly encouraging result?

Leclerc’s absolute best case would have been 3rd had he been able to clear some DRS queues faster and had a smoother breakpoint. Even if it did, he might not have beat Mercedes given the improved race pace. The fifth could in fact be the maximum achievable from the nineteenth century.

Best of all is the Sainz shape. Although he didn’t get the win Ferrari really needed, he took the fight to Red Bull in the final laps in a way that was good for team morale but especially. Sainz then talked about feeling more confident in the car than he’s been all year. This is exactly what he needs and can be transformative.

Ferrari doesn’t have much to lose now, and certainly has no reason to give up after a weekend with so many encouraging elements.