Carlos Sainz is convinced he was the fastest driver in the 2022 Canadian GP despite coming up just short to Max Verstappen.
The Ferrari driver started the race third on the grid, but after quickly passing Fernando Alonso, he found himself in a race-long battle with the Red Bull star.
After Yuki Tsunoda‘s crash brought out the Safety Car, Sainz spent the final 20 laps chasing the Verstappen as he searched for an elusive first victory.
In the end, Sainz crossed the line less than a second behind Verstappen, but he had no doubts as to who the fastest driver was at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“I didn’t leave anything on the table out there,” Sainz told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “I want my first win as much as you guys, if not more. You can imagine how much I was pushing for it.
“I was quick all race. I think I was the fastest guy on track today and I was giving it everything out there. We had a lot of pace, but probably just not enough pace delta to pass the Red Bull.
“Overtaking out there today wasn’t easy with the tailwind on the main straight. It was very difficult to mount any overtake on the Red Bull.
“I was close a couple of times, but I know I gave it my maximum [effort].”
Late restart didn’t help Sainz
Although Tsunoda‘s late crash allowed Sainz to make his second pit stop under Safety Car conditions, he believes it actually hurt his chances of taking victory.
“The problem is that it came when I only had a five-lap tyre delta on the hard tyre, which is just not enough to create enough pace delta to pass Max,” Sainz said.
“Apart from that, I think without the Safety Car I could have hung out there. I think I was quite quick, and Max was catching me, but not at a pace that was gonna easily pass me at the end of the race.
“It’s just that there was a Safety Car and we had to take it [pit stop], if not we would have been dead meat. We tried our best and I think, as a team, we executed a good race.”