Max Verstappen held off a late onslaught from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday in glorious sunshine and in front of a record crowd estimated at 338,000 over the three days.
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The Dutchman not only celebrated his fifth win in a row on his Red Bull, but also his first in Montreal.
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Lewis Hamilton accompanied the two leaders onto the podium. The Briton is in the stands for the second time in 2022 after finishing third in the season opener in Bahrain in March.
After a disastrous qualifying, Lance Stroll left 17th placee as the red lights went out, an unexpected point presented itself when he finished tenth at the wheel of his Aston Martin.
The Quebecois now has three points on the clock (all the result of a tenth place finish) in 2022. In five appearances he has accumulated four top 10 finishes at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.
“I’m very happy with my result,” said Stroll, “but there’s still a lot to do.”
His compatriot Nicholas Latifi, for whom this could be his last (and only) presence in Montreal, rode at the back of the field to eventually finish 16the Position.
The intervention of the safety car, at 49e 70 laps of the race (following a minor accident involving Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda) revived debates after a rather lackluster event.
Verstappen started from the lead and then had a comfortable lead when it came to regrouping the peloton. At the restart Sainz threatened, but failed to force his opponent into a mistake.
“What is certain is that the safety car didn’t help, as the winner recognized. In the end I gave everything like Carlos. I would rather have attacked than defended myself.”
“Foot on the Ground”
If Sainz still has to wait for his first success in Formula 1, he has never been so close to his goal.
The Spaniard conceded just nine tenths of a second to Verstappen when waving the checkered flag.
“With my foot on the ground, I took a big risk at the end of the race by hitting the walls on many occasions,” said the Scuderia driver. But I didn’t get close enough to try to overtake him.
Increased ledge to the top
Verstappen makes an excellent operation in Montreal.
With this victory, the 26e throughout his career, he increased his lead in the general classification (175 points) by taking advantage of the early retirement – after a mechanical failure – of his teammate Sergio Pérez (129) and the penalty – engine change – against Charles Leclerc ( 126), which forced him to start at the back of the grid.
The Monegasque nevertheless made the most of his Ferrari, which he led to fifth place. Before him, George Russell maintained his regularity. The Brit achieved his ninth top five in nine events this season.
9e Stage of the F1 World Championship
1. Max Verstappen (PB/Red Bull) 305.270 km in 1 h 36 min 21.757 s
2. Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/Ferrari) at 0.993s
3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) at 7.006 seconds
4. George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) at 12.313 seconds
5. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) at 15.168 seconds
6. Esteban Ocon (FRA / Alpine-Renault) with 23.890 seconds
7. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Alfa Romeo) with 25.247 seconds
8. Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo) at 26.952 seconds
9. Fernando Alonso* (ESP/Alpine-Renault) with 29.945 seconds
10. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) at 38.222 seconds
11. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) at 43.047 seconds
12. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) at 44.245 seconds
13. Alexander Albon (THA/Williams/Mercedes) at 44.893 seconds
14. Pierre Gasly (FRA / Red Bull-Honda) with 45.183s
15. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) at 52.145 seconds
16. Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) at 59.978 seconds
17. Kevin Magnussen (DAN/Haas-Ferrari) at 1:08.180
* Alonso was penalized 5 seconds for improper defending (repeated changes of direction in a straight line) at the end of the race.
Sergio Pérez MEX/Red Bull Mechanical problem on lap 8
Mick Schumacher ALL/Haas-Ferrari Mechanical problem Lap 20
Yuki Tsunoda JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull head to tail in the 49th lap
Fastest lap in the race: Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP / Ferrari) 1:15.749 on lap 63 (average 257.207 km/h)
Ranking of drivers
1. Max Verstappen (PB) 175 pts
2. Sergio Perez (MEX) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (MON) 126
4.George Russell (GBR) 111
5. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) 102
6. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 77
7. Lando Norris (GBR) 50
8. Valtteri Bottas (END) 46
9. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 39
10 Fernando Alonso (ESP) 18
11.Pierre Gasly (France) 16
12.Kevin Magnussen (DAN) 15
13 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 15
14.Sebastian Vettel (GER) 13
15.Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) 11
16. Zhou Guanyu (CHN) 5
17. Alexander Albon (THA) 3
18. Lance walk (CAN) 3
19 Mick Schumacher (GER) 0
20 Nicholas Latifi (CAN) 0
Ranking of builders
1. Red Bull 304 pts
4. McLaren Mercedes 65
5. Alpine-Renault 57
6. Alfa Romeo 51
7. AlfaTauri Red Bull 27
8. Aston Martin-Mercedes 16
9. Haas-Ferrari 15
10. Williams-Mercedes 3