Verstappen holds off Sainz in thrilling battle to seal Canadian GP victory

Max Verstappen extends world championship lead with Canadian GP win; Carlos Sainz denied his first F1 win after thrilling battle; Lewis Hamilton finishes third to claim first podium since opening race of season; Charles Leclerc recovers from back row start to finish fifth

Last Updated: 19/06/22 9:22pm

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Max Verstappen extends his lead at the top of the world championship after winning the Canadian GP despite late pressure from Carlos Sainz
Max Verstappen extends his lead at the top of the world championship after winning the Canadian GP despite late pressure from Carlos Sainz

Max Verstappen held off Carlos Sainz in a thrilling battle to claim the first Canadian GP victory of his career in an action-packed race in Montreal.

A late Safety Car at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve set up a gripping finale, but Verstappen superbly defended the Ferrari of Sainz – despite having older tyres on his Red Bull – to extend his world championship lead to 46 points.

Lewis Hamilton managed to find some pace – in a Mercedes he described as “undriveable” on Friday – to claim a first podium since the opening race of the season, while his team-mate George Russell followed in fourth.

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Sergio Perez’s miserable weekend in Montreal is ended prematurely due to a mechanical failure
Sergio Perez’s miserable weekend in Montreal is ended prematurely due to a mechanical failure

Charles Leclerc recovered to finish fifth in the other Ferrari after starting on the back row having taken a new power unit for the race, while Sergio Perez’s hopes of challenging his Red Bull team-mate for the world championship suffered a major blow as an early gearbox failure ended a terrible weekend for the Mexican after he crashed out of qualifying on Saturday.

While Verstappen was always likely to extend his championship lead with his nearest challengers starting so far down the grid, his maturity and composure in denying Sainz a maiden F1 victory was an ominous showing in terms of his rapidly strengthening title defence.

The Dutchman, who was driving in his 150th Grand Prix, has now won six of nine races this season, with two early-season retirements caused by reliability issues now seeming a distant memory.

Ferrari, aided by Sainz scoring an extra point for the fastest lap of the race, were at least able to narrowly reduce Red Bull’s advantage in the constructors’ championship to 76 points.

Fernando Alonso, who started second after a throwback performance in Saturday’s wet qualifying, finished seventh, a place behind team-mate Esteban Ocon, after Alpine made a strange strategy call in opting to delay pitting the Spaniard.

Valtteri Bottas was eighth for Alfa Romeo, while his rookie team-mate Zhou Guanyu claimed the highest finish of his debut F1 campaign in ninth, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10 at his home race.

More to follow…

Canadian GP: Race Result
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) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Source : Sky Sports