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Max Verstappen won Canadian Grand Prix with dead bird in brake duct

Max Verstappen was so in control of the Canadian Grand Prix that he managed to gain the race despite having a dead bird stuck in a brake duct of his Red Bull.

Verstappen, who is cruising towards a third world championship, radioed Red Bull during the race to say he had hit a bird on track.

It seemed to be the closest the Dutch driver came to being challenged out in front, having won from pole position for the third race In a row.

“The biggest moment he had was hitting a bird that did half the race behind the front right brake duct,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Sunday evening. “A very, very controlled race by him.”

When asked again whether the bird had spent the entire race there, Horner said: “Yes, the remains of the bird.”

Verstappen’s victory moved him level with Ayrton Senna’s 41 victories, which stands at fifth on the all-time winners’ list.

Only Lewis Hamilton (103), Michael Schumacher (91), Sebastian Vettel (54) and Alain Prost (51) have won more races.

It was also the team’s 100th. Horner, who has been team boss since the beginning in 2005, said it is remarkable to see how far the team has come since.

“When we first came into the sport, the ambition was to be competitive, and to compete,” Horner said. “It was Dietrich[ Mateschitz]’s vision to bring Red Bull in as an entrant. Not just take part but be competitive, and we won our first race in 2009 four years after coming into the sport.

“I remember collecting the trophy that day and getting on the plane to go home and thinking ‘at least we’ve won one’. If nothing else happens, we’ve won a race. We wanted to feel that again.

“Who would have thought 99 victories later we’d achieve a century. It’s a landmark for the team; it’s testament to the dedication and the hard work of all the people within the company. Trackside, behind the scenes, all the support services. So many unsung heroes that have contributed to this achievement.”

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