Carlos Sainz Jr. felt he did everything he could to take his maiden FIA Formula 1 World Championship race victory in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, but it was not enough as he was unable to find a way passed Max Verstappen in the final laps.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was in the lead when the safety car was called following a crash by Yuki Tsunoda at turn two, but he opted to pit for fresh tyres, which saw him fall back behind the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver.
Despite the fresher tyres and being in the Drag Reduction System (DRS) window for pretty much the remainder of the race, Sainz was unable to find a way passed, but he was pleased to finish second.
“That was a solid race and an intense battle with Max (Verstappen) to the line,” said Sainz. “The pace was very good during the entire race, but unfortunately we lost the lead after the last Safety Car. From there, I gave it my all to pass the Red Bull, but to overtake here you need a bit more than two or three extra tenths.
“Even though I’m disappointed at not getting the win, there are many positives to take from Canada. We were the fastest on track today and I felt much better in the car, being able to push constantly throughout the race.”
Sainz is keen to carry the momentum from the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve into the next race on the calendar, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on the first weekend of July.
“Now we need to build momentum and carry this feeling onto the next race,” he said. “Next stop, Silverstone.”
“I had to be quite aggressive to make it work” – Charles Leclerc
Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished fifth, not bad a result considering he started all the way down in nineteenth following grid penalties for unscheduled engine changes in Canada.
Leclerc admitted it was frustrating to be part of a DRS train for much of the day, meaning overtaking was even harder than he would have hoped it to be, and it was only when he made the switch from the hard tyre to the medium that he was able to utilise his pace advantage to make passes.
The Monegasque racer says it was fun to be aggressive at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but he already has his eye on the British Grand Prix, a venue where he came close to victory in 2021.
“I gave it my all,” admitted Leclerc. “It never feels good to finish in P5, but considering where we started and the way that the race unfolded, it was the best result we could bring home today.
“The first part of the race was quite frustrating, as we were stuck behind a DRS train, so it was all about practicing patience. After our pit stop, we came back out behind another DRS train and started fighting our way back up.
“This part was much more fun, because I had to be quite aggressive to make it work. It was just one of those races where you had to maximize the points and that’s exactly what we did today.
“I’m looking forward to Silverstone now. It’s one of my favourite circuits on the calendar and hopefully we can score some big points there.”