Verstappen wins in Canada on 150th start

Staff WritersReuters
Max Verstappen holds his Canadian Grand Prix trophy aloft after extending his F1 championship lead.
Camera IconMax Verstappen holds his Canadian Grand Prix trophy aloft after extending his F1 championship lead. Credit: AP

Max Verstappen was having a ball in his Red Bull as he held off a late charge from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix and extend his championship lead.

With Formula One returning to Montreal for the first time in three years, it was the Red Bull of Verstappen which took the chequered flag, in his 150th F1 race, to move 46 points clear at the top of the standings.

Sainz was fast in the closing stages but could not find a way past Verstappen and had to settle for second place, the pair joined on the podium by Lewis Hamilton - the seven-time world champion taking third for Mercedes.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was 11th in his McLaren, finishing four places ahead of his teammate Lando Norris.

"The last few laps were a lot of fun," Verstappen said after his sixth win of the season and Red Bull's sixth in succession.

"I was giving it everything I had. Of course, Carlos was doing the same. Following is tricky around here but I could see he was pushing, charging, but of course, naturally, when you are in the DRS, it is a bit easier to charge."

Sainz said he had tried everything he could to win at a circuit named after Canada's late Ferrari great Gilles Villeneuve.

"I was pushing flat out, I wasn't leaving an inch," Sainz said.

"I am particularly happy with the race pace, with the way we put pressure on Max. The timing of the pit stop was right. Honestly, we tried everything, we were close to winning today."

Verstappen's Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, who remains second overall, retired after just eight of the 70 scheduled laps when his car's engine failed and was stuck in gear.

"The reliability is very painful and having a zero (points) for the championship, it's also very painful, very costly," Perez said.

Mercedes' George Russell finished fourth and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started 19th after engine penalties, ended the day fifth and is now 49 points behind Verstappen.

Dutchman Verstappen cantered off the line and into the first corner well ahead of Fernando Alonso, who had impressed in qualifying to take his first front-row start in a decade.

Verstappen's 26th win of his career and his fifth in the last six races leaves the reigning champion in a great position heading to Silverstone, nearly two race wins clear of his closest challenger in the drivers' standings.

With AP.

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