Max Verstappen has won the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal after an epic late-race battle with the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.
The Dutchman fought hard for his first victory today after a hefty job of keeping Sainz in his rearview mirrors. Although a late safety car played right into the hands of Sainz, he simply didn’t have the pace to catch Verstappen by the end of Lap 70.
The Spanish driver ultimately came home in second, just .9s off the pace.
Joining them on the podium was a very happy Mercedes man, Lewis Hamilton, who stood on the podium for just the second time this season.
Although the British driver admitted the team has strides of improvement left to make to truly be in the battle with Red Bull and Ferrari, this marks a major step forward for the Brackley-based outfit.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Sunday’s victor, Max Verstappen said: “The safety car didn’t help. Overall, they [Ferrari] were very quick in the race, so it would have been really tough for me to close that gap at the end even on fresher tyres.
“But it was really exciting at the end – I was giving it everything I had and, of course, Carlos was doing the same. I could see he was pushing and charging, but when you’re on the DRS it’s a lot easier to charge. The last few laps were a lot of fun.
“Luckily, this year, we seem really quick on the straights so that helps a lot.”
Carlos Sainz then said: “I was pushing flat out, I wasn’t leaving any inches to the walls, the breaking and I was pushing everything with the battery. I tried to pass Max.
“The positive thing is that we were quicker, faster all race and it just [needs] that little bit more to overtake around here.”
Finally, Lewis Hamilton added: “It’s quite overwhelming to get this third place – it’s been such a battle this year with the car, but we continue to stay vigilant, focused and never giving up, and that’s something I’m proud of.
“We’re getting closer, so we’ve got to keep pushing and keep pushing, and hopefully we’ll eventually be in the fight with these guys.”