In finishing second to Max Verstappen in the Canadian Grand Prix, less than a second behind the Red Bull driver, Sainz came the closest he has ever been to winning a Formula 1 race. With his second-place result, he moved into third position among all F1 drivers with the most podium finishes without a victory and into seventh place with the most starts without a P1. Sainz is still searching for that elusive first victory, but the Spaniard also hopes to one day claim the World Championship.
The ex Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg who won the 2016 World Championship with Mercedes believes it will always remain a pipe dream for the Ferrari driver. “Sainz has got it in him to be a good, decent driver within Ferrari. “But at the moment he has not got it in him to be a World Champion. Because on performance, [Charles] Leclerc has been outdriving him every single race this year. So there he still needs to find quite a bit of progress to be on level terms with Leclerc, he is still somewhat away from there.”
With the Spaniard devoting the final 15 laps pursuing Verstappen for the lead, Sunday’s race was perhaps Sainz’s finest of this season. After a tardy Safety Car, Verstappen was in the lead with Sainz’s rubber being five circuits older and having stopped for new tyres. Verstappen persevered under duress to earn his sixth victory of the year. Verstappen has a 46-point advantage over Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship as he leads, with Leclerc behind by three points. Sainz trails the current World Champion by P5, 73.
Rosberg further exclaimed that Max is pretty impressive on the track. “It has been a couple of super-impressive races from Max,” Rosberg said. “He is so confident and driving at such an impressive level. Inside the car it is a horrible feeling. You have done everything perfectly and then because of the Safety Car you suddenly have the Ferrari behind you in a triple DRS zone putting so much pressure on. If you make the slightest of mistakes, he is through but Max managed that so perfectly.”