Ezequiel Montero has managed to score a hattrick after claiming Pole Position, Fastest Lap, and Race victory in the SRHF1 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.
The Argentinian has now retaken the Drivers Championship lead once again after dropping from it in Baku. Second on the grid was Ivan Georgiev for Ferrari a full half a second slower than Montero's. Darren Fisher qualified a surprising 3rd with Cory Mackey lining next to him in 4th. The third row was occupied by Benny Fascelli in 5th and Janos Magasrevy in 6th. Otto Acosta found himself in 7th with Sean Higgins who finally gets into Q2 and in 8th place. Rounding up the top 10 was The Ghost David Carney in 9th and Richard Haynie in 10th for Williams.
Outside the top 10, we had Mat Harto in P11, missing out Q2 by less than one-tenth, his teammate was next to him in P12 a full 3 tenths slower. In row 7 we had Adam Freitas and Jacobo Cardozo. Jeff Oppenheim in 15th along with his Toro Rosso teammate Craig Hunter in 16th. Rounding up the grid we had Mike Conger in P17 and Steve Carney in P18 for McLaren who was unable to set a lap time.
The 18-car grid was now set and the formation got underway.
The lights went off and turn 1 went once again without an incident. With the new tire spec, it was expected to be a close fight to the limit each lap. Montero was able to keep his lead against Georgiev but Fisher didn't have the same luck as he dropped from P3 to P5. Mackey would then find himself behind his teammate in 3rd and Fascelli close behind him in 4th. Then it was the second group of cars with Magasrevy in 6th closely followed by Acosta and Higgins. Richard Haynie would soon join the train in P9 after passing Carney who would occupy the last point scoring position.
The fight for the lead intensified between Montero and Georgiev, Mackey retired from 3rd for some reason on lap 15. This put Darren Fisher back in the podium where he started. Georgiev was the first to pit from the top runners on lap 21 and changed to mediums. Meanwhile, Montero kept on going with the yellows for 8 more laps than the Ferrari driver. There was a lot of positions being swapped in the midfield with Acosta overtaking Magasrevy for 5th then Higgins and Haynie did the same. Harto would become the third car to retire after having a massive crash at turn 4 which, unfortunately, also got his own teammate involved in it, it was not the best of days for the Alfa Romeo Sauber team. On lap 27 we could see a Williams spun around next to the wall at turn 3 exit, it was car number 44 from Otto Acosta, he would retire there after running in 3rd place. Craig Hunter was the first casualty for the brakes on lap 44 while running in 14th place. Benny Fascelli had his race cut short after looking good for a podium fight at least when his engine decided to stop working on lap 45. The last man to retire was Steve Carney, also a victim of the brakes on lap 50.
The chequered flag was waived and Montero would take the win for just over a second ahead of Georgiev. The Argentinian lead 67 laps of the 70 scheduled and made two stops as most other drivers did. The big surprise came from Richard Haynie as he was the only driver in the top 10 with just one stop having finished the race with almost no rubber left on his hard tires.
At the end of the race, Montero was told by his engineers that they are not sure how he made it to the end, his front left brake was a few corners away from failure, perhaps Georgiev needed to push him a little bit hard to cause the retirement but it was not the case and with that the Mercedes driver is back at the lead of the Championship tied with Georgiev.
Will this be the trend we see from now until the end? Stay tuned as we move back again to Europe for the SRHF1 2019 French Grand Prix from the Circuit de Paul Ricard.