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Max Verstappen in ‘shape of his life’ after winning a tough battle with Carlos Sainz in Canada


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner praised the driver’s performance after the win in Canada; Verstappen hosted a strong competition from Carlos Sainz in Montreal; Next up for F1 is the British Grand Prix with all sessions live on Sky Sports F1 on July 1-3

Last Updated: 06/19/22 11:52 pm

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the first race of his career at the Canadian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the first race of his career at the Canadian Grand Prix

Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen is in ‘the shape of his life’ after his Red Bull driver held off Carlos Sainz around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

After a late safety car, Verstappen was put under considerable pressure by Sainz in the final stages of the race and really felt the speed of the Ferrari behind.

Verstappen’s win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was his sixth P1 finish of the season and Horner praised his driver’s work on race day.

“Max is in the form of his life and the team is doing a great job,” said the Red Bull principal.

“All credit to Carlos today, he pushed Max really, really hard. But Max is absolutely clinical; it’s a really impressive motivator.

“We really lost contact with the car! It was one-way traffic, he could hear us but we couldn’t hear him… I guess he didn’t need to hear us too much.”

Enjoy the best action from the thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

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Enjoy the best action from the thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

Enjoy the best action from the thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

Verstappen holds a 46-point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings – the biggest cushion any driver has had so far this season.

Despite that, the Red Bull boss is not looking too far and is focused only on the next race at Silverstone on July 1-3.

“Silverstone is one of the best circuits on the calendar, it’s going to be a record again this year and we look forward to seeing everyone there,” Horner said.

“I’m sure there’s going to be huge support for Mercedes drivers but we’ll go there with great enthusiasm and try to do exactly what happened last year.”

Verstappen: Happy after ‘tough’ race

Max Verstappen admits it was a tough wits match with Carlos Sainz around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

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Max Verstappen admits it was a tough wits match with Carlos Sainz around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Max Verstappen admits it was a tough wits match with Carlos Sainz around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

On team radio after Verstappen’s win, his track engineer described his work as a ‘world champion’s driving force’. The 24-year-old feels he has to work hard to get maximum points.

“Overall, it was quite a difficult race for us. I was expecting the car to accelerate a bit more, it seems Ferrari in the race is very strong,” Verstappen said.

“Of course, I can only really compare with Carlos. It is difficult to compare with him in terms of lap times.

“You just have to get on with it. The last 15 laps have passed and I also know, during the elimination, that I can’t go wrong because he was always so close to me. It succeeded at the finish. “

Max Verstappen takes maximum points against Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton completing podium spots at the Canadian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen takes maximum points against Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton completing podium spots at the Canadian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen takes maximum points against Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton completing podium spots at the Canadian Grand Prix

After the race, Sainz was quick to point out that he feels like the ‘fastest man on the track’ and Verstappen knows Red Bull must continue to develop their car as this season goes on.

“A few lessons to see why this is so [Ferrari’s extra pace]Verstappen said.

“One race looks like we have the upper hand and another race they seem strong, so we’re a good match.”

“It’s important to stay on top of the good points,” he added of the leaderboard. “But, you also know that it can spin very quickly.”

Painful day for Perez

Sergio Perez's weekend ended in disaster with DNF

Sergio Perez’s weekend ended in disaster with DNF

Verstappen’s excitement was thwarted by Sergio Perez’s race ending in retirement, following another mechanical issue.

The Mexican driver arrived in Canada in form, following a confident race weekend in Monaco and Baku. However, he did say he ‘let the team down’ after being bumped during a wet qualifying practice session on Saturday.

In the end, it was just the beginning of a heartbreaking weekend for Perez. After starting at 13th on the grid, his race lasted only eight laps due to gearbox problems.

“It was a disappointing day to leave with zero points. The weekend was not perfect, but I still believe we are on the right track to get a great result,” said Perez. “Having these zeros is going to be incredibly painful.”

At the start of the race weekend, Perez was only 21 points behind his teammate in the standings and the hot topic was whether the teammate was allowed to run on the track.

His DNF means the gap has now widened considerably, however, the Perez captain does not consider him to be out of reach.

“We’ve seen the rotation in the championship move around a lot,” said Horner.

“He now has the same amount of mechanical failure that Max had, and we need to understand and address that.

“It’s too early to rule out anyone, we’re not even close to halfway so there’s still a lot of race to go.”





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