Canadian GP: Verstappen holds off Sainz to win in tense finish

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Max Verstappen held off Carlos Sainz for the final 15 laps in a tense finish to win the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The former Toro Rosso teammates ran nose-to-tail around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but it was a champion's drive from the Red Bull man to earn his sixth victory of the season.

Sainz had to settle for second for Ferrari, less than a second behind Verstappen over the finish line with Lewis Hamilton rounding out the podium in third.

Race Review

A clean start for Verstappen gave second-placed Fernando Alonso no chance to attack into Turn 1.

Sainz wasted little time in passing Alonso for P2 into the final chicane but couldn't pull away as his tyres grained early on.

Light contact with Hamilton damaged Kevin Magnussen's front wing, with the stewards forcing Haas to pit the Dane to repair it and ruining his race.

A suspected gearbox problem for Sergio Perez triggered a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 10, Verstappen used the opportunity to pit for hard tyres while Sainz and Alonso stayed out.

On his fresher tyres, the Dutchman eased ahead of the Alpine under DRS to reclaim second.

A second VSC was called after Schumacher's Haas shut down approaching Turn 8, denying him the chance of his first F1 points.

Sainz pitted just after the race went green again, switching to hard tyres and dropping to third.

Alonso remained out on track on his used mediums and dropped to fourth as the two Mercedes' closed in.

Charles Leclerc also went long on his first stint, coming through from 19th to run seventh but would get stuck behind Esteban Ocon in sixth.

Alonso finally stopped and would run seventh behind Leclerc, but made no impression on his fresher tyres.

After his early first stop, Verstappen pitted again and had a close moment with Hamilton exiting the pits as he dropped to third.

Sainz would take lead and would then make his second stop under a Safety Car caused by Yuki Tsunoda crashing at Turn 2, giving the Ferrari fresher tyres for the final run to the flag.

Hamilton ran third ahead of Russell with the two Alpines fifth and sixth as Alonso's race unravelled.

Valtteri Bottas hadn't pitted at all before the Safety Car and ran eighth behind Leclerc when the race resumed.

At the restart, Sainz was able to stay within DRS range of Verstappen but couldn't quite get alongside under DRS on the back straight.

And that would be the theme until the chequered flag as the reigning champion held his composure to keep the Spaniard at bay.

Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable run to the finish in third to claim his second podium in 2022 and first since Bahrain.

Russell was fourth in the other Mercedes as Leclerc leapt ahead of the two Alpines to finish P5 from P19.

Ocon led Alonso in sixth and seventh with the two Alfa Romeos breathing down their necks.

Zhou Guanyu scored his second top 10 in F1 in eighth ahead of teammate Bottas and Lance Stroll maintaining his 100% points record at his home race in P10.

McLaren would fail to score as Daniel Ricciardo just missed out in 11th and a problem with tyres at his first pit-stop dropped Lando Norris down to 15th.

Sebastian Vettel was 12th ahead of Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly, who had a tough race in 14th for AlphaTauri.

Nicholas Latifi was 16th in his home race as Kevin Magnussen was the final finisher in 17th.

At the front, Verstappen's win opens up his championship lead to 46 points over Perez who failed to score.

Next stop Silverstone!