'Fastest guy on track' Sainz rues Safety Car for missed win in Canada

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Carlos Sainz feels a first Formula 1 win was possible before the Safety Car after being the "fastest guy on track" in Canada.

The Spaniard went head-to-head with Max Verstappen for the final 15 laps in Montreal but never got in a serious position to attempt an overtake on the world champion.

As a result, Sainz was forced to settle for second as that maiden victory remains tantalisingly elusive.

"I was pushing flat out. I wasn't leaving any inch to the wall but we just didn't have enough pace delta at the hairpin to get him into the chicane," he explained of his Verstappen duel post-race.

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"The positive thing is that we were quicker, faster all race and just needed that little bit more to win.

"I am happy with the race pace and the way we were able to put pressure on Max throughout the whole race and the timing of the pitstops. Honestly, we tried everything.

"We were very close to winning today. We will take the positive and keep trying in the next one."

Sainz had inherited the lead when Max switched to a two-stop strategy shortly before the Safety Car. And the Ferrari driver does think he would have had the pace to stay ahead until the end.

"I think without the Safety Car, it would have hung out there," he said of the tyres.

"I was quite quick. Max was catching me but not at a pace that would pass me easy at the end of the race. There was a Safety Car and we had to take it [a second stop], if not we would have been dead meat."

In a year where he has often been the fourth man among the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers, Carlos was sure he had the edge on everyone in Montreal.

"This weekend I was quicker. For the first time all season. For the first time this championship I was the fastest guy on track," he declared. "Both on the medium and hard I was catching Max on both occasions.

"I was throwing the car all over the place close to the walls and ragging it out. I felt comfortable out there It's a pity not to get the first win."