“You always had to make sure that the places where he had DRS you had a good exit the corner before, but it was really about pushing to the limit and not making a mistake in general. Because I knew that even in Sector 1, if I would make a tiny mistake then Carlos would gain a tenth on me and that might have been enough to then get closer in the first DRS zone and then in the second.
“So it was proper racing, proper pushing. I had my moments where I had a bit of oversteer and then I looked in my mirror and saw Carlos having the same amount of moments! So it was really on the edge and that’s good to see.”
Sainz was looking forward, focused on Verstappen’s rear wing. But every time he would cross the finish line 0.4sec adrift and then slip slightly back before the DRS zones brought him close again.
“I was pushing flat out,” Sainz said. “I wasn’t leaving any inch to the walls under braking. I was pushing everything with the battery. I tried everything to pass Max, but today we just didn’t have enough pace delta to get him close enough in the hairpin to then get him a bit out of line into the chicane. But the positive thing is that we were quicker, we were faster all race, it’s just that little bit more to overtake around here.”
Behind them, Hamilton had enjoyed a relatively trouble-free second half of the race, and even threatened to stick with the front two after the Safety Car period.
“It feels great today, to be in amongst the battle and for a second at the end there, I was just about keeping up there with these guys, but they pulled away at the end,” Hamilton said.
It still marked a second podium of the season for Hamilton, and back-to-back ones for Mercedes after George Russell in Baku. Russell himself made quick progress through the field – passing both Haas drivers into the hairpin – to run fifth by the fifth lap, and was promoted to fourth as Alonso faded with a power unit issue.
Alonso’s closing stages were a battle as he sat within DRS range of his team-mate Ocon after both were impressively overtaken by Leclerc under braking for the hairpin. In sixth, Ocon was towing Alonso along to try and keep the Alfa Romeo pair at bay, but on the final lap Bottas got well within range and had to lift on the run to the last chicane as Alonso moved in a straight line.
The stewards weren’t impressed and handed Alonso a five-second time penalty, demoting him to ninth behind Bottas and Zhou, with Lance Stroll clearing a struggling Daniel Ricciardo for the final point in his home race.
The winning margin of 0.9sec was as big as the gap ever was between the top two in the final stint, and Sainz admitted he “was the fastest man on track” throughout, but with Verstappen not putting a tyre wrong under extreme pressure, he came home with another 25 points that pushes the Ferrari pair further adrift.
2022 Canadian Grand Prix results
|1hr 36min 21.757sec
*Includes additional point for fastest lap
** Includes 5sec penalty