Can Ferrari leave Canada top the constructors standings?

Three different winners in the past three races, and a real challenge starting to mount in both championships, has certainly increased the intrigue around each race weekend. And it’s time for the now-traditional interruption to the European season with a trip to Montreal, where selecting a winner stays tricky.

We know, “struggles” is a relative term when talking about the team that are currently top of the constructors’ championship and leading the drivers’ standings too, but in recent context it’s been a tough run of form for Red Bull.

Lando Norris’ victory in Miami was helped by a Safety Car but came with McLaren quickest on that day, while Norris was arguably also the quickest across a race distance in Imola too, but a brilliant job by Max Verstappen ensured pole and the all-important track position that helped him hold on to win.

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Then came Monaco, and a true Red Bull weakness was finally exposed as the car really struggled with the kerb riding and uneven surface, leaving Verstappen limited to sixth place and Sergio Perez eliminated in Q1.

After that race, Verstappen suggested the need to attack the kerbs in Canada could also prove problematic, although Red Bull will have the data and information from Monaco to try and find ways of addressing the issue.

The Dutchman insists it is an inherent trait of the car, though, and not a quick or easy fix.

There will be a lot of focus on how they perform in Friday practice, and the drivers’ comments after those first two sessions.

After the opening few rounds of the season it was tough to see there being much of a threat to Verstappen and Red Bull’s championships again this year, even if it was clear that the field had made progress in closing the gap.

Verstappen of course had a DNF in Australia that has hurt his points total, but such incidents are central to a championship situation and Charles Leclerc’s triumph in Monaco has made a big dent in his advantage, with the gap between the two now 31 points.

That’s still more than a race win, but with Ferrari expected to be competitive again on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and McLaren also in the mix, if Red Bull’s issues (above) do limit their capacity to score, another big chunk could be taken out of that margin. The potential was there and came to pass in Monaco, so it’s not unrealistic for it to be the case again this weekend, and Norris will also hope to close the gap a little more.

Where things are even tighter are in the constructors’ standings, where Red Bull only leads Ferrari by 24 points after Monaco. Perez’s retirement was his first of the season and Red Bull’s second, while Ferrari have concluded every race with two cars in the points but also had to deal with the need to replace Carlos Sainz at late notice in Saudi Arabia, so haven’t had it all their own way.

The drivers’ championship might need more than one weekend to threaten a change of leader, but in the constructors’ there’s an outside chance of Ferrari leaving Montreal on top.

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