Looking back: ‘Pérez retirement shows that Verstappen is not yet certain of the title’ | NOW

Max Verstappen already recorded his sixth victory of the season in Canada on Sunday. Ho-Pin Tung, driver and analyst at NU.nl and Viaplay, looks back on the race in Montreal.

Carlos Sainz said yesterday that he was the fastest man on the track, but nevertheless he did not pass Verstappen. Do you also think Ferrari had the faster car?

“Sainz will have mainly meant by that at the end of the race. You also have to put it in perspective a bit. If you follow other cars, you get turbulence. That results in less grip and more tire wear and overheating of the tires. “

“In Montreal there were three DRS zones. What Sainz lost in the dirty air, he made up for in the DRS zones. Sainz’s tires were also six laps fresher – even though those six laps weigh in at the end of the race a little less heavy than at the start of the race, because the cars are running with an empty tank and also because the track has regained traction.”

“Because Sainz and Verstappen stopped on different laps from each other, you get a slightly distorted picture; both were relatively faster compared to each other at other times. Looking at the whole race, I think Verstappen was faster.”

Could Ferrari or Sainz have done things differently to overtake Verstappen?

“No, I think Ferrari has done well in terms of strategy. It’s a combination of many things. In Montreal you lose little time with a pit stop, especially because when you exit the pit lane you cut the first corner combination. They stopped at the virtual safety car and also with the regular safety car, so they lost even less time.”

Sainz didn’t have any new mediums left, but perhaps at the last pit stop he could have opted for a set of new soft tires instead of the hard compound. What did surprise me – and perhaps the teams too – was overtaking after all. was quite difficult. Also with DRS drivers had a lot of trouble getting past each other.”

Mercedes seemed more competitive than in past races and is coming with some big updates at the upcoming GP at Silverstone. Do you see Lewis Hamilton or George Russell winning another race this year?

“I’ve said it before: the last few tenths are always the hardest to find. What was striking was that Mercedes had little trouble with porpoising this weekend. That has to do with the circuit, but it may also have become less because they have adjusted the ride height or perhaps found something different in the set-up, and they continue to play with ways to give the floor more support around the edges.”

“As an outsider, it’s hard to say where Mercedes stands exactly. If they’ve adjusted the ride height to reduce porpoising, they’ve undoubtedly sacrificed performance as well. But if they’ve found a certain window where bounce has been reduced and they If they can play with the ride height, then they can really take steps.”

Finally, Verstappen is now 49 points ahead of Charles Leclerc and 46 points ahead of Sergio Pérez. Can that second world title actually still be in danger?

“We are now more than a third of the season. In those nine races, Verstappen has already been 46 points behind. He has completely turned that around to the lead he now has. If this can happen in just nine races, it can also plenty to do in the thirteen to come.”

“Look at what happened to Pérez this weekend. That can of course also happen to Verstappen. Assuming that your competitor wins, your lead has already been halved with one failure. Verstappen has also closed the gap to Leclerc.”

“But of course it looks good for Verstappen. Moreover, it is also inevitable that Leclerc will take even more penalties for engine components later this year. At Red Bull they have done that a lot better.”