Iconic Podium Featuring Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen & Fernando Alonso Branded “Apt” to Celebrate a Momentous Occasion

Published 06/24/2023, 2:00 PM EDT

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It takes time, patience, talent, and hard work to be considered great at anything. Max Verstappen waited for his time, took his chances, and proved his worth, winning races and championships along the way. And now, he’s rightfully earned his place in the record books and driven his way into the conversation of Formula 1 greats. Although, Max’s last victory in Canada was special in several ways. Besides the record-making & equaling feat, the 2023 Montreal podium roster has been etched in F1 history.

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When Verstappen secured his second championship at the Japanese GP last year, he made the occasion special for Honda (given it was the company’s final race in F1 with Red Bull), winning the championship at Honda’s home race. And to make Red Bull’s centenary in Canada even more memorable, he won his 41st race there, equalling Ayrton Senna’s record. And he shared the podium with two other greats of the sport – Lewis Hamilton & Fernando Alonso.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso – The Epitome of F1 Greatness in Canada

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Verstappen joined F1 in 2015. But before his era of domination with Red Bull, a large part of the past two decades saw the formative and prime years of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Less than a decade after Verstappen was born, Alonso won his first championship in 2005 and followed it up in 2006. The following year, he moved to McLaren and was joined by a rookie Lewis Hamilton. And that’s when the rivalry that made them better drivers started and is still going strong. It’s safe to say that the two of them have secured their place among the greats, and it’s not just because of the numbers.

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At the Canadian GP, Verstappen was on pole, with Alonso in second and Hamilton in third. Verstappen took off in front at the start, but Hamilton overtook Alonso into Turn 1. While Verstappen was on his merry way leading the pack, Hamilton and Alonso were fighting it out for P2, and on lap 22, Alonso retook second place. But the fight between the greats didn’t end there. It continued till the final lap, with Alonso crossing the line ahead of Hamilton. Verstappen, having equaled Senna’s record, the podium was an iconic one with Alonso and Hamilton with him. And Christian Horner thought so too.  

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In a post-race interview, as quoted by motorsportweek.com, Horner commented, “Having matched Ayrton Senna, I thought the podium was actually very apt of the last couple of decades of Formula 1 with Max, Fernando, and Lewis up there.”

He added that at 25, Max has already managed to win 41 races and 2 championships, which is an incredible feat. He said, “What we’re witnessing with Max is the emergence of another mega talent, and you can start to talk about him in the same sentences as the greats now.” Max has earned his place among the greats, but will he ever become the GOAT of racing?

Is Fernando Alonso the GOAT of racing?

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According to Jenson Button, if being the GOAT of racing was just about numbers, there would be no doubt that Hamilton would take the title. He believes if it’s all to do with numbers, Verstappen might break every record and become the greatest. But it’s not just about numbers, and it’s not just about F1. Button thinks that to be the greatest racer, Hamilton and Verstappen would have to step out of F1 and prove themselves elsewhere, something Alonso has already done.

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The Spaniard left F1 in 2018, and in his time off, he won Daytona once and the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. And then, he decided to come back to F1. And now, he’s having one of the best seasons he’s had in the past decade, competing for podiums in almost every race, adding to his laurels every chance he gets. So if Button had to choose the GOAT of racing, would it be Fernando Alonso?

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Max Verstappen is undoubtedly one of the best drivers to have raced in F1, and he’s only getting better. Do you believe he’s one of the greats now?

WATCH THIS STORY | Bromance moments between Max Verstappen & Lewis Hamilton

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan

757Articles

One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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