F1 expert selects the best race strategy of the F1 2023 season so far

Sam Cooper
The start of the Canadian GP from above. Montreal June 2023.

Max Verstappen leads the field at the start of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon’s one-stop in Montreal has been named as the best strategy call of the season so far by former Aston Martin strategist Bernie Collins.

In the highly competitive world of Formula 1, strategy can be crucial for drivers to finish as high as possible.

It is not just teams at the top end of the scale either with a good strategy able to make or break a race for those aiming for points.

Williams strategy call gives Alex Albon best finish so far

Even the most prepared strategy can be interrupted by a safety car but the very best will often use that to their advantage.

That very situation happened to Albon and Williams after they pitted in lap 12 in Montreal.

“The Canadian Grand Prix provided a season-best (so far) finish for Alex Albon and Williams,” Collins wrote for the official F1 site.

“Albon started in P9 and like all others who started on medium tyres – aside from Ferrari – stopped under the lap 12 safety car to fit the hard tyre.

“Post safety car deployment Albon was running in 12th having lost positions to [Valtteri] Bottas and [Carlos] Sainz, who stayed out under the Safety Car. Realising that many drivers were now on a two-stop strategy and would need to stop again, Albon and Williams changed focus to tyre management and attempted a huge 58 lap stint on the hard tyre.

“Albon’s brilliant execution of the one-stop strategy resulted in him gaining five positions in the second stint and defending these to the end to seal a P7 finish – a season best for both Albon and the team.

“This one result in the first half of the season brought Williams six of the 11 points they currently have, making the difference between P9 and P7 in the constructors’ championship. A great strategy and a great drive.”

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Albon was not the only driver in Canada to receive Collins’ praise with the former McLaren employee highlighting Ferrari who, like Albon, opted for a one-stop but unlike most of their competitors, they did not pit under the safety car.

Instead, they stayed out until lap 39 and 38 on their medium tyres before switching to the hards. It proved a wise call as Charles Leclerc finished fourth and Carlos Sainz in fifth.

Other moments to feature on Collins’ list were Lando Norris’ nine-place undercut at Spa, Daniel Ricciardo’s undercut in Budapest and George Russell’s dry tyre switch in Austria.

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