By Robert Haile
The season is taking an ominous regularity as Max Verstappen makes it back to back wins in the Canadian Grand Prix.
The defending Dutch World Champion racked up win number six as Red Bull won race number seven of the nine rounds so far.
While two virtual safety cars and full safety car made for an interesting race, Verstappen held off the charging Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the final laps of the race.
Championship leader Verstappen said: “The weekend went pretty smoothly for me, and we can be happy with that. Overall the Ferraris were very quick and strong in the race.
“It was really exciting at the end; the last two laps were a lot of fun, I was flat-out racing and I was giving it everything I had.
“The safety car towards the end of the race of course didn’t help, Carlos (Sainz) had fresher tyres so that made it difficult, I would have preferred to attack than defend, but luckily it worked out.
“Also, this year we seem to be quick on the straights so that helps a lot. The next race is Silverstone, I’m looking forward to going back to the more traditional tracks.
“We have to keep focused as a team and find improvements wherever we can.”
With Fernando Alonso’s Alpine next to Verstappen on the front row and Sainz behind it was vital to get a good start.
Verstappen nailed it and eased into the lead with Alonso and Sainz following with Sainz moving into second shortly after the start.
The first drama came on lap 8 as Sergio Perez’s frustrating time in Canada came to an end as his Red Bull came to a stop being out the first virtual safety car.
Pitting Verstappen came out behind the now leading Sainz and second placed Alonso but the remaining Red Bull was soon back into second.
The second virtual safety car came out on lap 20 as Haas’ Mick Schumacher pulled up in near identical places as Perez.
Everything settled down as the laps ticked down it was a question of how long tyres would last as those who had pitted under the first safety car wondering if they could make it to the end.
Coming in on lap 43 Verstappen came out next to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes who held his line to take the champion onto turn two run off before he swept passed and back into second.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda pitted on lap 47 and coming out with cold tyres went straight into the wall at turn 2 bringing out the safety car.
Sainz took the chance to pit and with the fresher tyres looked likely to take his maiden victory for Ferrari.
While Verstappen bolted at the restart Sainz slowly reeled him in getting to within a second of the leader.
That first win is still waiting as Verstappen crossed the line with Sainz second and Hamilton returning to the podium for the second time this season.
Mercedes’ George Russell finished fourth with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc gaining fourteen places to fifth as Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Alonso finished sixth and seventh.
Alfa Romeo got a double points finish with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu in eighth and ninth with Montréal’s own Lance Stroll in tenth for Aston Martin.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo missed out on the points in eleventh with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Williams’ Alex Albon and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly behind him.
In fifteenth was Lando Norris’ McLaren as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen were the final two.
Formula One takes a break before heading to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on July 1-3.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 175
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 129
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 126
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 111
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 102
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 77
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 50
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 44
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 39
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 22
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 16
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 15
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 15
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 13
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 11
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 3
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 3
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 3
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
- Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
- Red Bull – 304
- Ferrari – 228
- Mercedes – 188
- McLaren – 65
- Alpine – 61
- Alfa Romeo – 41
- AlphaTauri – 27
- Aston Martin – 16
- Haas – 15
- Williams – 3