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

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner praised his driver’s performance after the win in Canada; Verstappen held off a strong contest from Carlos Sainz in Montreal; Next up for F1 is the British Grand Prix with all sessions broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 from 1st to 3rd July

Last updated: 06/19/22 23:52

Max Verstappen celebrated the first race win of his career at the Canadian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen celebrated the first race win 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 Carlos Sainz made a save at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

After a late safety car, Verstappen was under a lot of pressure from Sainz in the closing stages of the race and really felt the pace from the Ferrari behind him.

Verstappen’s triumph at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was his sixth P1 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 team boss.

“All credit to Carlos today, he pushed Max really, really hard. But Max was absolutely clinical; it was a really impressive ride

“We actually lost communication 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 of the action from a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

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Enjoy the best of the action from a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

Enjoy the best of the action from a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

Verstappen has a 46-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings – the widest cushion any driver has had so far this season.

Despite this, the Red Bull boss is not looking too far ahead and remains solely focused on the next race at Silverstone, July 1-3.

“Silverstone is one of the best circuits on the calendar, there will be another record crowd this year and we look forward to seeing everyone there,” said Horner.

“I’m sure there will be huge support for the Mercedes drivers, but we’re going there full of vigor and trying to make amends for what happened last year.”

Verstappen: Satisfied after a “tough” race

Max Verstappen admitted it was a tough battle with Carlos Sainz at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

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Max Verstappen admitted it was a tough battle with Carlos Sainz at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Max Verstappen admitted it was a tough battle with Carlos Sainz at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

After Verstappen’s victory, his race engineer described his work on the team radio as a “world championship race”. The 24-year-old felt compelled to work hard to get maximum points.

“In general, a pretty tough race for us. I was hoping for a little more pace from the car, it seemed like Ferrari were strong in the race,” said Verstappen.

“Of course I could only compare myself to Carlos. It was difficult to really keep up with him in terms of lap times.

“You just have to keep going. The last 15 laps were full throttle and I also knew at full throttle that I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes because he was always so close to the end.”

Max Verstappen got the maximum number of points ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton completed the podium finishes at the Canadian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen got the maximum number of points ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton completed the podium finishes at the Canadian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen got the maximum number of points ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton completed the podium finishes at the Canadian Grand Prix

After the race, Sainz was quick to point out that he felt he was the “fastest man on the track” and Verstappen knows Red Bull will need to further develop his car throughout this season.

“A few lessons to look at as to why that is [Ferrari’s extra pace]’ said Verstappen.

“One race it looks like we have the upper hand and another race they look strong again so we’re very close.”

“It’s important to always have a good points advantage,” he added to the table. “But you also know that it can swing around very quickly.”

Painful day for Perez

Sergio Perez's weekend ended in disaster with a DNF

Sergio Perez’s weekend ended in disaster with a DNF

Verstappen’s euphoria was thwarted by Sergio Perez’s race, which ended in retirement after another mechanical problem.

The Mexican rider arrived in Canada on form after confident race weekends in Monaco and Baku. However, he had said he let the team down after crashing during a wet qualifying session on Saturday.

In the end, that was just the beginning of a painful weekend for Perez. Starting from 13th on the grid, his race only lasted eight laps due to a gearbox problem.

“It’s a very disappointing day to go home with zero points. The weekend wasn’t perfect but I still believed we were on our way to a great result,” said Perez. “Having those zeros is going to be extremely painful.”

At the start of the race weekend, Perez was just 21 points behind his team-mate in the standings and the question was whether the team-mates would be allowed to drive on track.

His DNF means the gap has widened significantly now, but Perez’s team boss doesn’t think he’s out of the running.

“We’ve seen the swing move so much in the championship,” said Horner.

“He now has the same number of mechanical failures as Max and we need to understand and address that.

“It’s too early to write anyone off, we’re not even close to half-time so there’s still a lot of racing to do.”

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