Max Verstappen held off a late attempt from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix to further extend his championship lead
Max Verstappen survived a late charge from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.
With the Dutchman’s championship rival Charles Lelclerc starting from the rear of the field and team-mate Sergio Perez retiring early in the race, the Red Bull Racing man had a relative cruise around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
A late safety car though, brought out when Yuki Tsunoda in Red Bull’s sister team Alpha Tauri crashed coming out of the pitlane late in the race and closed the pack up, with Verstappen’s nine-second advantage over Sainz evaporated.
Despite the Spanish racer having fresher tyres, he was unable to get alongside the Red Bull to make a move stick to claim the first win of his F1 career as Verstappen took the chequered flag.
“The weekend went pretty smoothly for me, and we can be happy with that,” he said afterwards. “Overall the Ferraris were very quick and strong in the race.
“It was really exciting at the end; the last two laps were a lot of fun, I was flat-out racing and I was giving it everything I had. The safety car towards the end of the race of course didn’t help, Carlos had fresher tyres so that made it difficult, I would have preferred to attack than defend, but luckily it worked out. Also, this year we seem to be quick on the straights so that helps a lot.
“The next race is Silverstone, I’m looking forward to going back to the more traditional tracks. We have to keep focused as a team and find improvements wherever we can.”
Perez meanwhile had a nightmare weekend by comparison. Crashing out of qualifying and forced to start in the middle of the pack, he suffered a mechanical failure early on. While he remains second in the driver’s standings, he is now 46 points behind his team-mate.
He said: “We think it was a gearbox issue and I got stuck in gear unfortunately. Things were looking good, I had a good start, I was on the hard tyre and making progress.
“I had finally got Daniel (Ricciardo) in the McLaren out of the DRS zone and it should have been a race where I could have worked my way through the field, so it’s a big shame. I felt I had plenty of potential in my race to make up a lot of places and recover good points.
“We need to keep on top of the reliability because a zero, when you are fighting for the championship, is very painful and costly. You go into new regulations and there is always going to be new problems to face. Today hurts a lot, it has been a weekend to forget for me.”