Grand Prix du Canada – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) vainqueur : Tout ce qui sépare le loup de la meute

There was only a second to cross the line. 993 thousandths precisely. But the gap between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz at the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix said nothing of everything that separates the leader of Red Bull from the Spaniard, and more generally from many others. On Saturday, in tricky conditions, the reigning world champion had dulled the competition unceremoniously. On Sunday, it was the little details that made the big difference.

The Dutchman did not experience the quiet race that one could imagine given the construction of the grid. Blame it on a small miscalculation of his low wall, which sent him back into Lewis Hamilton’s exhaust after his second stop. But also and above all to three neutralizations, including one by safety car regime, on the 49th lap, which put him within gunshot of Carlos Sainz, whose “hard” rubbers were six laps cooler. Enough to punish the slightest mistake of the Batavian. Spoiler: there were none.

Canadian Grand Prix

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On the restart, 15 laps from the checkered flag, Verstappen lined up the qualifying laps and forced his pursuer to do everything better than him, that is to say to the impossible, despite the DRS and the efficiency of the Ferrari accelerating. “Overall it was difficulthe assured the microphone of Jenson Button afterwards. The Ferraris were fast. I saw it push, then reload [ses batteries, NDLR], then pushed back… Because with the DRS, it’s easier to reload.”

I would rather have had to attack than defend

Never, however, Sainz was able to get close enough to the hairpin to attempt an attack at the last chicane. Even if, in the opposite situation, he might have gone there. “The last laps were really complicated‘, Verstappen added. It had cooler tires. I would have preferred to have to attack than defend. But it worked.”

“Piastri is coming, he’s the next big thing in Formula 1”

Helped by the power of the rebadged Honda, which had not always been the case in previous years, the Batave remained impervious to pressure. A new time. Sainz, he ended up cracking after a blockage on the last passage of the hairpin.

In the championship, the blow is huge. With the abandonment of Sergio Pérez and the fifth place of Charles Leclerc, the leader of the World Cup now has a 46 point lead over his teammate and 49 over the Monegasque. Almost two jokers. With the exception of Monaco, the Dutchman has won every time he hasn’t given up. What give another reading of the balance of power that was considered much more reduced a few weeks ago.

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