Verstappen holds off Sainz pressure to win in Canada

The victory is the reigning champion's first race win in Canada

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 19: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 during the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 19, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202206190940 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen has extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship after holding off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to take victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull man had to work hard to keep the Ferrari behind in the closing stages of the race after a late safety car bunched up the field.

Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton secured the final spot on the podium, just ahead of teammate George Russell.

Starting from the front row for the first time in a decade Fernando Alonso managed to keep Sainz behind on the opening lap, but the Ferrari driver soon had the pace to move ahead of the two-time champion.

Kevin Magnussen picked up early front wing damage after going wheel to wheel with Hamilton, resulting in him being shown the black and orange flag, forcing him to come into the pits to make repairs, while Valtteri Bottas dropped down the order after missing the chicane.

Some of the drivers complained of early tyre graining, with Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel making their first pitstops just six laps into proceedings.

Sergio Perez’s day came to an early end when he suffered a mechanical issue 10 laps in. He got the car to the side of the track, but a virtual safety car was needed to allow the marshals to push his Red Bull clear, allowing some to make a pitstop, including Verstappen at the front of the field.

Mick Schumacher looked to be in contention for a points finish as he battled with Guanyu Zhou over seventh place, but the German’s Haas lost power, forcing him to pull into the runoff area, resulting in another VSC.

The VSC allowed those who hadn’t stopped earlier to come in for new tyres, but Alonso stayed out – the only one of the front runners to do so.

McLaren stopped both of their cars, but a slow pitstop for Daniel Ricciardo held up Lando Norris, and the team didn’t have the right tyres ready for the Briton, costing him time and dropping him down the order.

With Verstappen and Hamilton having both stopped early, they came in for a second stop, meaning Sainz took over at the front of the field, but Verstappen had much newer tyres.

Sainz was able to make a second stop a few laps later though as Yuki Tsunoda crashed coming out of the pitlane, putting the Spaniard on brand new tyres right behind the championship leader.

With 10 laps to go, Sainz had DRS as he tried to find a way to move in front of Verstappen, but the Red Bull driver placed his car well to keep the Ferrari behind.

Sainz continued to press heading into the final lap of the contest, but couldn’t get the gap below 0.4s, giving Verstappen just enough of a gap to ensure he stayed ahead.

Provisional classification:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

4. George Russell (Mercedes)

5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

9. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

12. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

13. Alex Albon (Williams)

14. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

15. Lando Norris (McLaren)

16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)


Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

Mick Schumacher (Haas)

Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

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