Montreal-Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is holding back Ferrari striker Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday and advance 46 points in the Formula One World Championship after his 150th race.
The 24-year-old Dutch driver won his 26th career victory with 0.9 of a second ahead of Spaniard Sainz, who narrowed the gap and launched an exciting final chase thanks to the deployment of a safety car.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the podium for Mercedes in a remarkable twist for the Briton, who dismissed his bouncing car as unmanageable just days earlier.
Sainz collected the bonus point for the fastest lap, while the Italian team reduced the gap with the runaway leader Red Bull in the constructors’ championship to 76 points from the previous 80.
“It was really exciting in the end. I gave him everything I had and, of course, Carlos did the same, “said Verstappen after his sixth win of the season and sixth in a row for Red Bull.
“I’ve seen it push and charge, but when you’re on DRS (resistance reduction system), it’s much easier to charge. The last few tours have been a lot of fun. ”
His victory was his first in Canada.
Sainz, who had fresher tires than Verstappen, said he had tried his best to end his long wait for his first victory on the track named after the late Ferrari great in Canada, Gilles Villeneuve.
“We were very, very close to victory today. I will take the positives and will continue to try in the next one, “he added.
Hamilton is defeated
Hamilton said the result with fourth teammate George Russell was “quite striking” and gave him and the team a lot of hope for the rest of the season.
This was his first podium after third place in Bahrain in the opening race.
“This year has been such a battle with the car, but we continue to be vigilant, focused and never give up, and that’s something I’m proud of,” he said.
“We are getting closer, so we must continue to insist and hope that we will eventually be in the battle with these boys.”
Verstappen’s Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, who finished second overall, withdrew and set off a virtual safety car after just eight of the planned 70 laps when his car broke down in gear.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc started 19th after penalties from the engine and finished the fifth day, but now 49 points behind Verstappen.
Verstappen took the field away from pole position, with double Alpine world champion Fernando Alonso together in the front row after a wet Saturday qualifier, but failed to carry out his threat to take the lead in the first corner.
The 40-year-old Spaniard was overtaken by Sainz on the third lap and finished seventh, behind teammate Esteban Ocon in sixth, but was relegated to ninth after stewards imposed a penalty five seconds after the race for turning the track.
Valteri Botas, who was amused by Alonso’s strong defense, climbed to seventh for Alfa Romeo, and Chinese teammate Guanyu Zhou was eighth.
Canadian Lance Stroll took the last point for Aston Martin on a sunny afternoon.
A blow to Haas
There was disappointment for Haas after Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher were fifth and sixth in the grid, but failed to score.
Magnussen had to play to replace a damaged front wing in the seventh lap, and Schumacher, still chasing his first point in Formula 1, slowed down and retired in the 19th lap.
This sparked the second virtual safety car of the afternoon, with Sainz stepping down from the leadership he had inherited when he stayed out during the Perez incident while Verstappen came in for new tires.
The real safety car was deployed after Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri entered the barriers in lap 48, with Sainz making his second stop and keeping Verstappen in sight ready for attack for the last 16 laps.
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