Red Bull vs Ferrari: Verstappen continues to win

Canada Grand Prix 2022

On paper, everything seems clear: seven wins for Red Bull and two for Ferrari. Although Ferrari was faster in the race this time. And Ferrari weakened this time from the penalty kick starting Charles Leclerc. And Red Bull wins thanks to Max Verstappen.

The duel between Red Bull and Ferrari is still a matter of tenths of a second. The two cars are equal to each other with different qualities. And before at least half a second from the rest of the field. Despite the balance, Red Bull won seven wins and two for Ferrari.

Ferrari has not won since the Australian Grand Prix. External factors often decided the race head-on. In Barcelona and Baku, there were problems with the engine of Charles Leclerc’s car. The strategy failed in Monte Carlo. And in Montreal the consequences were engine misery. Leclerc couldn’t win from the last row. But he could have done it if he had started where he has started six times this season. from front.

For the first time this season, Max Verstappen also had to fear the other Ferraris. Sainz was in the fastest car on Sunday. The Spaniard estimated his advantage by three tenths. He would need six-tenths to get past. At full speed both cars were within 0.7 km/h that day. Satisfaction with Ferrari: Sergio Perez’s gearbox failure has proven reliability to be a concern for both championship rivals.

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Verstappen narrowly took victory over Sainz.

Ferrari is better at racing trim

After the race, both teams looked for reasons to reverse the legalities in Montreal. Usually the balance of power is reversed. Ferrari a little better on the lap, Red Bull on the distance. None of the parties involved were able to provide a definitive answer. Notes only. Verstappen had more grain up front on the medium tires and lost grip faster on the rear than the Ferrari in the rearview mirror. But he had the grade needed to make up for the deficit.

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The race track speaks of better tire management at Ferrari. This could have several reasons. Red Bull had to make some changes to the setup after their third training session on Saturday. Red Bull did not heat their rain tires and it was expected to rain in qualifying as well. Verstappen’s pole position impressively showed that the engineers had come up with a solution. But was that also good for a dry race on a green track? The tires seem to have suffered more in the completely different conditions.

On the other hand, Leclerc managed to dedicate one hundred percent to getting ready for the race on Friday. He knew shortly after Baku that Ferrari would take a penalty with the engine. So there was no point in chasing times for him. “It’s frustrating for a driver when he knows he has to start from the back. But Charles handled it very well,” said team principal Mattia Binotto. Leclerc’s trials from Friday also helped Sainz in the race.

VSC stages used

The Spaniard in the squad showed his best performance of the season in Montreal. For the first time he had complete confidence in his Ferrari F1-75, whose strength lies in the great grip on the front axle, sometimes making the rear a bit unstable. “I felt more comfortable in the car than before and I was able to push the limit from the first lap to the last lap for the first time,” Sainz confirmed.

Verstappen hasn’t had a second rest in the last 16 laps. “Carlos was always in the DRS zone. Whenever I looked in the mirror as she came out of the curve, the Ferrari was right there, filling in shape. But he never really had a chance to overtake.” Team Principal Christian Horner praised his star pilot: “Max showed a fantastic performance. He didn’t make the slightest mistake under all the pressure.”

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In a race with a two-stage VSC and a real safety car, strategists were also in demand. In the first stage of the VSC, Red Bull attacked. “We wanted to get rid of our average tires quickly because of the grain,” Horner explained. Ferrari left Sainz on the track hoping the Grand Prix would deliver more gifts. In round 20 it’s time. Sainz caught it.

Max Verstappen - Canadian Grand Prix 2022

red bull

With six successes this year, Verstappen is definitely leading the World Cup.

Medium tires are better for Sainz

Soon the 11-lap tire delta for Ferrari started to appear. Sainz closed the gap in small steps. From 9.4 to 5.9 seconds. The more Verstappen complained about tire sagging, the clearer he would need a second stop. And Sainz? He had to risk staying on track when Verstappen picked up the second set of hard tires on lap 43 and came back 10.8secs. To his surprise even behind Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes was quickly overtaken. The gap with Sainz narrowed to 7.7 seconds when Yuki Tsunoda launched the safety car stage. Ferrari took possession of it, even if Sainz lost the lead. Strategists kept asking themselves whether it was medium or hard, but then turned to the conservative alternative. “Later, we might have to try the medium tire,” Sainz objected. “We weren’t expecting the Safety Car to be out for long and the remaining distance to shrink at the race pace. Over 16 laps, the average was probably the better tire and would have given me a better chance of attacking Max.”

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The safety car stage came uncomfortably for Verstappen, even if it meant he reclaimed pole position without a fight. “He turned me from a striker into a defender with a little bit older tyres. I prefer attacking.” Horner dared answer the question of who would have won without the Safety Car with the word “we”. The simulation said Sainz could have picked up ten laps before the finish.

Binotto wasn’t too sure. “It was definitely going to be tight, as happened with Max. We would also have looked at the second leg to protect ourselves from Hamilton even without a safety car.”

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