Max Verstappen won the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix after a fending off a rampant Carlos Sainz, admitting he would’ve preferred being on the attack.
The final Safety Car caused by Yuki Tsunoda’s crash meant that – despite regaining the lead – the 2021 Formula 1 Champion would have to deal with Carlos Sainz who was on fresh rubber and breathing down his neck.
But Verstappen soaked up the pressure beautifully, not putting a foot wrong, and made good use of the powerful Honda – or whatever you want to call it – power unit bolted to the back of the RB18 that meant Sainz could not pass even with DRS.
Verstappen said after the race: “The weekend went pretty smoothly for me, and we can be happy with that. Overall the Ferraris were very quick and strong in the race.
“It was really exciting at the end; the last two laps were a lot of fun, I was flat out racing and I was giving it everything I had,” the Dutchman added.
“The safety car towards the end of the race of course didn’t help, Carlos had fresher tyres so that made it difficult, I would have preferred to attack than defend, but luckily it worked out. Also, this year we seem to be quick on the straights so that helps a lot,” he exclaimed.
“The next race is Silverstone, I’m looking forward to going back to the more traditional tracks. We have to keep focused as a Team and find improvements wherever we can,” the Red Bull ace concluded.
Trouble on Sergio Perez’ side of the garage
On the other side of the Red Bull Garage, Sergio Perez had a miserable weekend in Montreal, crashing in qualifying which meant he started the race 13th, then retiring early on in the race with gearbox troubles.
“We think it was a gearbox issue and I got stuck in gear unfortunately,” Perez reflected. “Things were looking good, I had a good start, I was on the hard tyre and making progress.
“I had finally got Daniel, in the McLaren out of the DRS zone and it should have been a race where I could have worked my way through the field, so it’s a big shame.
“I felt I had plenty of potential in my race to make up a lot of places and recover good points,” he went on. “We need to keep on top of the reliability because a zero, when you are fighting for the Championship, is very painful and costly.
“You go into new regulations and there is always going to be new problems to face,” Perez lamented. “Today hurts a lot, it has been a weekend to forget for me, so I want to forget about today and move onto Silverstone.”
Verstappen has been superb all weekend
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was full of praise for Verstappen, he said: “Max was amazing today, he was under so much pressure particularly at the end of the race, he’s been superb all weekend – every session through practice, qualifying, and then the race.
“The Ferrari was very quick today, with the DRS zones the way they are here he couldn’t break it and Carlos was cruising up to the back of him and you could see them recharging their battery to have another go time-after-time, but Max kept his concentration really well and it was absolutely amazing performance,” he explained.
“It was a frustrating weekend for Checo and we think he had a suspected gearbox issue, so we’ll need to get the car back and have a look at what happened.
“It’s exciting to now head towards Silverstone,” Horner concluded.
Verstappen head to Silverstone – the venue of his scary 2021 Copse Corner crash with Lewis Hamilton – leading the Championship from Perez by 46 points. Red Bull lead Ferrari by 76 points.