Sergio Perez stole fastest lap from Lewis Hamilton at the end of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix to add the icing on the cake of Red Bull‘s 100th Formula 1 victory.
Starting 12th after a poor qualifying Perez was always going to be on the back foot and found himself locked in a race-long battle with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
While Verstappen cleared off up front, leading every single lap of the race, Perez was unable to find his way past Sainz either on track or in the pit stops, and finished sixth.
Verstappen wanted to go for the fastest lap at the end of the race but was unable to claim it, after he almost put his Red Bull in the wall in the closing stages under no pressure from either Hamilton or second-placed Fernando Alonso.
On the day he scored Red Bull‘s 100th F1 win and drew himself level with Ayrton Senna on 41 grand prix victories, Verstappen would’ve dearly loved to make it a grand slam but it wasn’t meant to be.
However, after Hamilton had held the fastest lap for a number of laps Perez was able to go quicker on the final lap of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to snatch the point away from Mercedes.
Perez clocked a time of 1:14.481, over a second quicker than Carlos Sainz‘s best effort in the 2022 Canadian GP of 1:15.749.
Hamilton had set his fastest lap early in his final stint of the race, on medium tyres. After Mercedes had used a set of hards in Friday practice then he only had one more set for the race and driven those in the second of three race stints.
That meant he finished the race on medium tyres, chasing Alonso down who was on hards.
He initially made inroads on the Spaniard including that fastest lap, getting as close as 1.5 seconds away but fell back as his tyres wore out while Alonso‘s lastest longer and allowed him to pull a gap back.
Driver of the Day
Meanwhile, Verstappen was also denied the Driver of the Day award by Alex Albon. The Williams driver scored points for the team after defending brilliantly at the end of the race.
His seventh place was his best finish for Williams and their first points at the Canadian GP since 2017.
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
With the F1 circus finished in Canada, the next race is the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix which will be held at the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian mountains over the weekend of June 30-July 2.