Max Verstappen details key to defending Carlos Sainz to land Canadian Grand Prix

The reigning world champion held off the Ferrari for 15 laps at the end of the race to triumph in Montreal

Max Verstappen revealed that finding the perfect racing line at the corner before the DRS zones was decisive in holding off Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was the dominant force all weekend in Montreal and looked set for a comfortable victory until a safety car after Yuki Tsunoda crashed out tightened up the field in the closing stages.

It ensured a 15-lap shootout to decide the race and - despite being on slightly older tyres, as well as his pursuant having the benefit of DRS speed boosts - Verstappen demonstrated his incredible driving skill to keep Sainz at bay.

The Ferrari had greater straight-line speed and the long back straight at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve enabled the Spaniard to use DRS to get up to the Red Bull’s rear wing but he was unable to get past at either the final corner or Turn 1 of the following lap.

And the Dutch world champion explained the precision required to not leave himself vulnerable to an overtake from the slightly quicker car.

“Well, of course, you always have to make sure that you know the place where he had DRS, [and] you have a good exit the corner before,” said Verstappen.

“It was all about just really pushing to the limit and not making a mistake in general because I knew that, even in sector one, if I would have made a tiny mistake, Carlos would gain a tenth on me.

“That might have been enough to then get closer in the first DRS zone, and then in the second...it was proper racing, proper pushing.”

Sainz’s wait for maiden F1 win goes on, while Verstappen now has a 46-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez atop the Drivers’ Championship and looks like a heavy favourite to retain his world title.

But the 24-year-old hinted that it wasn’t completely smooth sailing at the Canadian Grand Prix despite his eventual triumph.

“I had my moments where I had a bit of oversteer, and then I looked in the mirror and saw Carlos having the same amount of moments,” added Verstappen.

“So, it was really on the edge, but that’s good to see.”

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