Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen further strengthened his lead in the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship by taking victory on Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix, held at Montreal’s Gilles Villeneuve Circuit.
It was a close finish as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz crossed the line second, less than a second behind. Third place went to Mercedes-Benz AMG's Lewis Hamilton some seven seconds behind the winner.
Verstappen started the race on pole, with Alpine's Fernando Alonso making a front-row appearance for the first time in years. Verstappen made a great start and was soon carving out a decent gap thanks in part to the slower Alonso holding back Sainz and Hamilton.
Sainz managed to get past Alonso on the third lap and then worked on catching up with Verstappen. But five laps later, Red Bull's Sergio Perez was forced to retire after his car suffered some trouble.
This brought out the virtual safety car, at which point Red Bull decided to bring Verstappen in for a change from the medium to hard tires. He would emerge in third place behind Sainz and Alonso, who both stayed out.
Ferrari at the 2022 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix
Verstappen finally passed Alonso on lap 15 and then five laps later another virtual safety car was called after Mick Schumacher's Haas suffered some issues. At this point it was Sainz's turn to pit, allowing Verstappen to move into the lead and Alonso into second. Sainz would soon move up to second upon his return, with Hamilton moving into third.
In the second half of the race, Verstappen tried his best to maintain the lead spot but Sainz, with fresher tires, was catching up. Verstappen made a second stop at the end of lap 43 and emerged in third, immediately behind Hamilton. Verstappen was slowed by Hamilton but the Mercedes driver eventually moved aside on lap 44, allowing Verstappen to chase Sainz who now had a gap of almost 10 seconds.
Verstappen got a break on lap 49 when AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda lost control into turn two and slid into the barriers. The safety car was deployed and Sainz took the opportunity to pit, thus giving Verstappen the lead. This would lead to a showdown to the finish.
The safety car left the track at the end of lap 54. Verstappen pulled away in the lead spot ahead of Sainz and Hamilton. He was under plenty of pressure for the final 15 laps as Sainz was running at full charge, even registering the fastest lap of the race on lap 56. In the final laps Sainz closed in but Verstappen defended well and crossed the finish line first, ahead of Sainz and Hamilton.
Mercedes' George Russell put in another solid effort to finish fourth, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc managing fifth after having started at the back of the grid because of penalties for changing his power unit and control electronics.
Verstappen's first win in Canada means he now has a commanding 46-point lead in the 2022 Drivers' Championship. He sits on 175 points, versus the 129 of Perez and 126 of Leclerc. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 304 points, versus the 228 of Ferrari and 188 of Mercedes. The next race on the calendar is the British Grand Prix in a fortnight.
2022 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2022 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +0.993 seconds
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +7.006 seconds
4) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +12.313 seconds
5) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +15.168 seconds
6) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +23.890 seconds
7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo +25.247 seconds
8) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo +26.952 seconds
9) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +29.945 seconds
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +38.222 seconds
11) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +43.047 seconds
12) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +44.245 seconds
13) Alexander Albon, Williams +44.893 seconds
14) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +45.183 seconds
15) Lando Norris, McLaren +52.145 seconds
16) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +59.978 seconds
17) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +68.180 seconds
NC) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri - DNF
NC) Mick Schumacher, Haas - DNF
NC) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing - DNF