Verstappen resisted late pressure from Sainz to win in Canada

Max Verstappen resisted the late pressure from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix following a late safety car disruption, with Lewis Hamilton taking a well deserved third.

The race had already been twice interrupted by virtual safety car periods, which put Verstappen and Sainz on different two-stop versus a likely one-stop strategy for the Ferrari ahead of the closing stages, before the safety car closed them up and set up a straight fight for the victory on the same hard compund, even though Carlos was on fresher rubber.

Behind, Fernando Alonso’s front row start became a seventh-place finish for Alpine behind Mercedes drivers Hamilton and George Russell, while Charles Leclerc’s recovery drive from the back of the grid finished with fifth position.

At the start, Alonso’s intention to attack Verstappen at the first corner never came close as the Red Bull driver made the perfect getaway and easily led into Turn 1.

Sainz followed Alonso through the opening corners while behind Hamilton’s left-front brushed Kevin Magnussen’s right-side front wing endplate when the Haas attacked to the Mercedes’ outside of Turn 3, which broke the part and left it hanging off.

As Verstappen consolidated his lead, which was 1.0 seconds at the end of lap 1 of 70, Sainz took until the end of lap three to pass Alonso – using DRS to get by on the approach to the final corners.

Verstappen eked out a few tenths per lap over Sainz during the initial laps, where the Ferrari driver struggled with graining tyres, but the Spaniard was starting to reverse this trend when the first stint was interrupted by the first VSC activation on lap nine.

Just after Magnussen had been ordered to pit to replace his front wing by the FIA, Sergio Perez pulled out of the mid-pack with what he suspected was an engine problem that meant he stopped in the runoff behind Turn 9 and the run down the hairpin late in the lap.

While one of its cars was being cleared away under the VSC, Red Bull immediately pulled Verstappen in to switch for hards to take advantage of the reduced time stop with racing neutralised, as Sainz and Alonso stayed out while Hamilton followed Verstappen in.

Sainz led for the next phase of the race after green flag racing resumed at the end of lap ten, with Verstappen then eating into what was a maximum 6.4 seconds advantage for the Ferrari over the former leader, who quickly caught and passed Alonso for second, getting by with an easy DRS move down the back straight

The status quo held until lap 20, when the VSC was activated again after Mick Schumacher, who had fallen back from his sixth-place starting spot on the opening lap, pulled off with a mechanical gremlin at the same spot as Perez had done earlier.

This time Sainz pitted to take the hards, rejoining just as the VSC ended at the start of lap 21 and slightly ahead of the already-stopped Hamilton, then leading him back up behind Alonso, who again stayed out despite the offer a cheap VSC service.

Like in the very early stages, Sainz used DRS to blast by Alonso on the run to the final corners on lap 22, which left him with a 9.4 seconds deficit to Verstappen, while Hamilton soon followed the Ferrari past Alonso to run a distant third behind the leaders.

Sainz used his fresher hards to slowly erode Verstappen’s lead over the next section of the race, but it was still holding firm at just above eight seconds with 30 laps completed and even as Verstappen reported his hards were beginning to lose grip.

But by the start of lap 40, Sainz had been taking ever bigger chunks from Verstappen’s meant the gap had shrunk to just over six seconds and so Red Bull opted to bring the leader in for a second time, again taking new hards on lap 43.

Verstappen was frustrated to come out just behind Hamilton, but shot past the Mercedes with DRS the next time down the back straight, with Hamilton then immediately pitting for a second time as well.

Sainz therefore enjoyed a 10.8 seconds lead with 25 laps remaining, but Verstappen quickly pushed to bring that down to 7.7 seconds at the end of lap 49.

But the race picture was then completely altered when Yuki Tsunoda crashed just after making his second stop and slid straight into the Turn 2 barriers at the pitlane exit.

Ferrari called Sainz in and he was able to take fresh hards and re-joined just behind Verstappen, which set up a 14-lap chase to the finish once the race resumed at the start of lap 56 after the AlphaTauri had been craned away.

Sainz could not put a move on Verstappen at the restart after the leader had waited until the final corners before shooting back to top speed, with the Red Bull pulling a 0.8 seconds gap on the first lap back to racing speed.

But Sainz pushed hard to stay in DRS range when the system was reactivated two laps after the restart and so was able to keep Verstappen under severe pressure.

Lap after lap the Ferrari used its DRS to close in on the long final and pit straights, but Verstappen was able to stay ahead thanks to his excellent traction out of the hairpin and final chicane.

Twice Sainz got to 0.3s back from Verstappen’s rear wing and twice moved towards the inside line for the final chicane in a bid to put his rival off, but Verstappen did not crack to the pressure.

Sainz locking up at the hairpin on the final lap meant Verstappen was able to scamper to a final winning margin of 0.9 seconds, with Hamilton completing the podium having been quickly dropped by the leaders after the safety car restart.

Russell was a gainer under the second VSC and was homing in on Hamilton before the leading Mercedes pitted after Verstappen blasted by, after which Russell was also given a second stop and so ran behind his teammate to the finish, with neither coming in under the safety car.

Leclerc’s race was one of frustration as he struggled with rear tyre grip while making his way up the order from P19 on the grid.

He made steady progress through the lower positions but was not making the progress he expected and was then frustrated for a long time behind Esteban Ocon during the middle phase of the race.

By this point, Alonso had finally stopped and was roaring back towards the Ferrari, which had started on the contra-strategy of hards for the start and had likewise not come in during the two VSC periods.

When Leclerc pitted on lap 41, a slow service meant he re-joined behind a gaggle of cars – Zhou Guanyu, Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo – that were trailing the then yet-to-stop Lance Stroll.

He took several laps to clear them, with Leclerc just clearing Stroll before Tsunoda’s crash and he was another driver not to come in during the resulting safety car.

That meant he trailed the Ocon and Alonso for the restart, the latter still behind his teammate due to what Alpine called a “straight line speed issue” following his pitstop.

Despite having older rubber (Ocon and Alonso did stop for the same mediums Leclerc was already running), Leclerc fought his way past the pair with two moves at the hairpin to rise to fifth – although his pass on Ocon came after he had got a move into the chicane wrong and had to let his rival by a short while beforehand.

Alonso suggested Alpine should let him by Ocon before the finish, but ended up coming home behind his teammate in seventh.

Valtteri Bottas was the second-highest one-stop finisher (behind Leclerc) in eighth, with Zhou taking ninth after a battling drive following his period stuck behind Stroll.

The Canadian claimed the final point after a late DRS pass on Ricciardo, who lost time with a long stop during the second VSC.

Lando Norris also lost a heap of time due to McLaren’s double-stack stop calamity, with the Briton then handed a five-second time addition for speeding in the pitlane.

Norris eventually took P15 ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Magnussen, who ended up as the last finisher.

So congratulations to Max Verstappen in winning the race and extending his championship lead. Carlos Sainz put up with a brave fight against the defending champion, but the Red Bull car was faster than the Ferrari. As for Lewis Hamilton, this was a solid result following so many difficult weekends. The next race is Hamilton’s home race in Silverstone so expect massive fan support from the British fans.

Canadian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:36:21.757
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 0.993
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 7.006
4 George Russell Mercedes 12.313
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 15.168
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine 23.890
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine 24.945
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 25.247
9 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 26.952
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 38.222
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 43.047
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 44.245
13 Alex Albon Williams 44.893
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 45.183
15 Lando Norris McLaren 52.145
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams 59.978
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 68.180
– Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri DNF
– Mick Schumacher Haas DNF
– Sergio Perez Red Bull DNF

4 thoughts to “Verstappen resisted late pressure from Sainz to win in Canada”

  1. Canadian Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Max Verstappen claimed his fifth win in the last six races at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, withstanding a late onslaught from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took his second podium of the season in P3.

    Verstappen was looking well-placed for a comfortable victory over Sainz at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve when a Safety Car was called on Lap 49 of 70, after Yuki Tsunoda hit the Turn 2 barriers after exiting the pits.

    Racing resumed with 16 laps remaining, Verstappen holding off the attacks of the fresher-tyred Sainz to claim his sixth victory of the season, and his 26th overall, as Sainz took his fifth podium of the year – although the Spaniard’s wait for his first victory continues.

    Hamilton had been scathing in his assessment of the Mercedes W13 on Friday, but the car looked handy on race day in Canada, as the seven-time champion completed the podium, his first rostrum appearance since the Bahrain season opener.

    George Russell backed up his team mate in P4, while Charles Leclerc was able to recover to P5 for Ferrari, having started 19th after a raft of power unit element changes.

    Despite starting P2 after a sensational qualifying on Saturday, Fernando Alonso finished a frustrated P7 behind his Alpine team mate Esteban Ocon, as Valtteri Bottas led home his Alfa Romeo team mate Zhou Guanyu for P8, Zhou taking his second-ever points score. Home hero Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

    A slow stop for Daniel Ricciardo contributed to him finishing just outside the points in P11 for McLaren, ahead of the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel, with Alex Albon taking 13th for Williams.

    Pierre Gasly encountered problems early on and was left to come home 14th for AlphaTauri, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris – who also had a slow stop – Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, the Dane dropping from P5 on the grid to P17 after a tough day in Canada.

    Tsunoda was joined by Haas’s Mick Schumacher and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the retirements category, both Schumacher and Perez pulling up at Turn 8 early doors with technical issues.

    For Verstappen, though, there were no such problems, as he further stretched his lead at the top of the standings, with what was only his second ever Montreal podium.

    Saturday may have witnessed a deluge at the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – but that had made way for clear skies and a balmy 20-degree heat by Sunday, with the track temperatures up in the low 40s. A perfect day for racing, in short.

    Fernando Alonso told the media after his fantastic P2 in qualifying yesterday that he wanted to lead the opening lap of the race. Max Verstappen knew, though, that with Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari starting P3, conceding position to Alonso would have been disastrous – and the Dutchman refused to let it happen, nailing the start to quickly ease into a solid lead over the Alpine.

    Behind, it was a polite opening tour from the drivers, Mick Schumacher losing out from a career-best qualifying position of P6, as he was quickly demoted by Esteban Ocon and George Russell to P8 – Russell’s team mate Lewis Hamilton having a side-by-side moment with Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, causing wing damage to the Dane that brought out a black-and-orange flag that forced him into a pit stop.

    At the front, Sainz was finally able to clear Alonso on Lap 3 and set off after Verstappen. But Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez would cause early drama, the Mexican pulling up on Lap 8 with what Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner felt was a gearbox issue, Perez retiring after an unhappy couple of days in Canada.

    The resulting Virtual Safety Car allowed Verstappen to pit to swap from medium to hards, emerging P3 as Sainz and Alonso stayed out, Verstappen joined by Hamilton, Tsunoda and Latifi in taking a cheap pit stop.

    Verstappen was past Alonso on Lap 15 for P2 – while another Virtual Safety Car was called for after the luckless Schumacher pulled up in the same spot as Perez on Lap 20, allowing Sainz, Russell, Zhou, Ocon, Vettel and the two McLarens of Ricciardo and Norris to box.

    It was a disastrous pit stop for the papaya team, though, who were slow with Ricciardo, while trying to double stack only worsened the problem, Norris’s tyres not ready as he sat helpless in the car, eventually emerging P18 and last.

    Lap 21 and Charles Leclerc was up to P7 after a sweet pass on Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo into Turn 13, the championship protagonist having started P19 after taking penalties for power unit changes, with Leclerc opting not to pit under either VSC after starting on the hards.

    The Monegasque wasn’t calm in the cockpit however, as he complained of a lack of grip, Ferrari having trimmed the rear wing off his car to improve his straight-line speed.

    With team mate Sainz having pitted under the second VSC, by Lap 25 of 70 the order was Verstappen from Sainz and Hamilton – the pair having passed the non-stopping Alonso on Laps 22 and 23 – Alonso fourth ahead of Russell. Verstappen’s lead was a comfortable 8s, while Alpine eventually pulled Alonso in on Lap 28, emerging behind Leclerc in P7.

    The halfway point was reached on Lap 35, the field spread out as Verstappen led Sainz by 8s, who was himself 8s clear of Hamilton in third – Russell a further 10s back ahead of Ocon, who was hemming in the Ferrari of an increasingly frustrated Leclerc, with Alonso and Bottas rounding out the top eight. Behind, an exciting battle was brewing between Stroll, Zhou, Tsunoda and the recovering Ricciardo scrapping over P9.

    Tyre degradation was now the buzzword. Only Leclerc, Stroll and Bottas were yet to stop, while those who’d stopped under the Lap 8 VSC were starting to puzzle over whether they could make it to the end, or whether another stop would be required.

    Verstappen, his lead having been trimmed to around 6s over Sainz, was sounding edgy about his rubber. Red Bull called him in for stop two on Lap 43, emerging side by side with his 2021 title rival Hamilton, who helped his former foe onto the Turn 2 run-off, before Verstappen quickly passed him back for P2, Hamilton then immediately pitting himself, quickly followed by Russell a lap later.

    Leclerc had finally been allowed to pit on Lap 41, but a slow stop dropped him behind that Stroll-Zhou-Tsunoda-Ricciardo fight, adding to the Monegasque’s irksome afternoon thus far – although with fresh rubber he at least made short work of those drivers.

    Tsunoda was called into the pits on Lap 47. But as the Japanese driver emerged on cold hard tyres, he appeared to carry too much speed and simply careened straight into the Turn 2 wall, an embarrassing error that brought out a Safety Car. That worked out nicely for Sainz, who was able to take a cheap stop and keep hold into P2 – Sainz joined in the pits by the double-stacking Alpines of Ocon and Alonso, the double-stacking Alfas of Bottas and Zhou, plus Ricciardo and Albon.

    Green-flag racing got under way again on Lap 55, Verstappen having weaved all the way down the back straight right up until Turn 13 before bolting away. Verstappen quickly tried to pull a gap to Sainz as he desperately sought to escape DRS range, Sainz being kept honest by Hamilton, who was showing a decent turn of pace in a Mercedes W13 that he’d been extremely unhappy with in Friday’s dry running.

    Sainz had scented blood, though, and lap after lap he parried against his former Toro Rosso team mate. It would be to no avail, though, Sainz trying everything but ultimately failing to stop Verstappen, who swept across the line at the end of Lap 70 for his sixth win of the season. It was also his fifth in the last six races, while Red Bull have won the last six Grands Prix – something they’ve only done once before, back in 2013 when Vettel won nine on the bounce.

    Sainz may not have taken that elusive first win, but after a tough start to 2022, the Spaniard was buoyed by his strong race pace in Canada. So too was Hamilton, as he took third place, matching his best finish of the season at a track he adores, and showing a clean pair of heels to team mate Russell in P4 – who at least maintained his record of finishing in the top five in the opening nine races this year. ‘Mr Consistency’ indeed.

    Leclerc limited the damage in his title ambitions by eventually recovering to P5 as Perez failed to score, Leclerc leading home the Alpine pair of Ocon and Alonso – Alonso pleading to be allowed past his team mate in the closing moments of the race, as he told Alpine he had been “100 times faster this weekend”. It was Ocon, however, who’d take Alpine’s joint-best finish of the year.

    The Mercedes and Alpines were line astern in the classification, and so too were the Alfa Romeos, Bottas recovering from failing to make it out of Q2 to take P8, one place up on Zhou Guanyu, as Lance Stroll gave the home fans something to cheer about with a hard-earned point for P10.

    McLaren will have some head-scratching to do after a trying weekend saw them finish outside the points, Ricciardo in P11 and Norris in a disconsolate P15. Vettel was 12th ahead of Albon and Gasly – who’d had to lift-and-coast to manage a technical issue early on – with Latifi and Magnussen rounding out the order. After starting fifth, Magnussen had been unable to recover from that early pit stop that ruined Haas’s chance of taking points – the team having now not done so since Imola.

    So it’s Verstappen who tightens his grip on the lead of the standings, Verstappen now 46 clear of team mate Perez, Leclerc a further three behind – with Silverstone next up.

  2. It was a tense finish between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. The Ferrari driver admitted he “didn’t leave an inch to the walls” fighting the Red Bull driver to the win. has the news story.

    Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz said he “wasn’t leaving an inch to the walls” to try and pass Max Verstappen and win Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull’s world champion Verstappen looked in control in the early stages of the race, but a late safety car for Yuki Tsunoda’s off in Turn 1 spiced things up.

    Sainz, who was still due a stop, used the safety car to slot in behind Verstappen for the restart on hard tyres that were five laps fresher than the Dutchman’s.

    While Sainz looked slightly quicker and managed to stay within Verstappen’s DRS throughout, the Spaniard didn’t quite have the pace to overtake Verstappen on Montreal’s long straight due to poor traction out of the hairpin and Red Bull’s top speed advantage.

    Despite the DRS and optimising his battery deployment for the final sector, Sainz crossed the line in Verstappen’s wake as the Dutchman celebrated his sixth victory of the season, with Sainz still chasing his first.

    “I was pushing flat out,” Sainz said. “I wasn’t leaving an inch to the walls under braking. I was pushing everything with the battery. I tried everything to pass Max.

    “But today, we just didn’t have enough pace delta to get him close enough in the hairpin to then get him a bit out of line into the chicane.

    “The positive thing is that we were quicker, we were faster all race. It was just that little bit more [we needed] to overtake around here.”

    After a few races in which Ferrari tripped up with various mistakes, Sainz said it was good to see the Scuderia both had the pace and the race management to fight Verstappen until the last lap.

    “Yeah, I’m particularly happy with the race pace, with the way we managed to put pressure on Max during the whole race, and the timing of the pitstops I think was right,” added Sainz, who also grabbed the point for the fastest lap.

    “Honestly, we tried everything, and we were very, very close to winning today. So I will take the positives and keep trying in the next one.”

    Verstappen said he would have “preferred attacking instead of defending” knowing how hard it was to follow other cars through the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s first two sectors.

    “The safety car didn’t help,” Verstappen said. “I think overall, they were very quick in the race.

    “It would have been really tough for me to close that gap to the end, even on fresher tyres, but then of course, the safety car came out, so they had fresher tyres.

    “I was like, well, I think I would have preferred attacking instead of defending, but luckily it worked out.”

    “Following is tricky around here, but I could see he was pushing, charging, pushing. So yeah, the last few laps were a lot of fun.”

    Verstappen now leads teammate Sergio Perez, who retired from the race with a suspected power unit issue, by 46 points. Charles Leclerc follows a further three points behind after charging from 19th to fifth.

  3. Taking a third place finish was a relief to Lewis Hamilton. With the Mercedes driver commented that this Canada Formula 1 podium was really “overwhelming” after recent struggles. has the full details.

    Lewis Hamilton says his podium finish in Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix was “overwhelming” after recent struggles with Mercedes.

    The seven-time champion has endured a run of difficult races since the start of the campaign, with his Mercedes car suffering quite badly from porpoising.

    But after appearing to take a slight step forward with form in Montreal, Hamilton managed his second podium finish of the season as he took third place behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

    He admitted, however, that this one felt much better because it had come after the team had endured its fair share of pain in recent weeks.

    “It’s quite overwhelming, honestly, to get this third place,” said Hamilton.

    “It’s been such a battle this year with the car and as a team. But we continue to stay vigilant and focused and never giving up.

    “That’s something I’m so proud of, and I’m inspired by my crew. So thank you to everyone that’s here and back at the factory.”

    Hamilton finished the Montreal race just more than seven seconds behind race winner Verstappen, thanks to a late-race safety car compressing the field.

    However, he felt that the form of the Mercedes had been much better compared to Red Bull and Ferrari than recent races.

    “They’re a little bit too quick for us at the moment,” he said about the cars ahead. “I was giving it everything but we’re getting closer. So we’ve just got to keep pushing. Hopefully will be in a fight with these guys.”

    Hamilton’s Canada weekend had not got off to a good start after a failed experiment with a new floor and extreme set-up on Friday, trials that he had labelled a “disaster”.

    But he says a concerted effort back at the Mercedes factory and in the simulator had helped turn things around.

    “Honestly, our pace was quite good, particularly in the second phase of the stint,” he said.

    “We did a lot of work back in the simulator but also here to get the setup right. So honestly, I’m ecstatic.

    “I didn’t expect this coming into the weekend. It’s my second podium of the year. So this feels really special, especially where I got my first grand prix win.”

  4. Fernando Alonso said he had to drive like a “kamikaze” in the corners after suffering an engine issue early in Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix.

    Alonso felt he had the pace to fend off the Mercedes drivers but ultimately he tumbled down to seventh from his second grid spot.

    Alonso is under investigation for doing more than one change of direction while defending from Valtteri Bottas in the final stages of the race.

    The Spaniard ran a very long opening stint from his second grid spot, but the strategy was compromised by a reduction in power and a first stop under green conditions, and he fell behind teammate Esteban Ocon.

    Later, he was able to make a second stop under a VSC, along with Ocon, putting both drivers on medium tyres for the final stint.

    In the closing laps he was asking his team about getting past the Frenchman, claiming he had been “a hundred times faster” during the weekend, but in the end he held station.

    “The engine, that was the only answer,” he said when asked about his tumble down the order.

    “We had an engine problem on lap 20 where we cut the energy very early on the straights, as soon as we exited the corners.

    “So we tried to fix it. But it didn’t work. So luckily, we didn’t retire the car and we still scored a few points. But until that point, I think we were fighting for the podium.

    “At the beginning of the race I felt strong compared to Hamilton, we just didn’t have the pace of [Max] Verstappen and [Carlos] Sainz, but okay to control Hamilton and the Mercedes.

    “And then the virtual safety cars, lucky or unlucky, that could change the race, okay. But we could still maybe be fighting for P3, P4.

    “But then when the engine problem came, it was just trying to survive, trying to get the DRS, driving kamikaze in the corners before the detection, because the DRS was my only safety on the straights after that.”

    Asked about his “hundred times faster” comment he said: “I could not pass. But yeah, it was very frustrating because my car was flying this weekend.

    “And I had one second deficit more or less on the straights. And even with that I was still quicker on the race. So it’s unbelievable to finish P7.

    “We had the same tyres [as Ocon], because we both stopped on the VSC. I was one second slower on the straights, so I had to recover 1.1 or 1.2 on the corners, just to close that gap. So it was difficult.”

    Alonso had some reliability issues in the early races of the season, but had experienced better luck of late.

    “Yeah, obviously it’s another reliability issue on car 14 only. So that’s that’s disappointing.

    “I mean, I’m here trying to be better than sixth and seventh. I think this weekend we were better than sixth and seventh.

    “So if we didn’t finish on the podium or before is because we had a reliability issue on car 14 and unlucky maybe with the virtual safety car, but the luck you cannot control. Reliability on car 14 should be a little bit better.”

    Alonso added that he enjoyed the experience if being at the front end of the grid again.

    “Yeah, it was it was fun, for sure it’s a little bit more a normal situation and I did enjoy but yeah, now at the end of the day it’s frustrating.”


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