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Sainz proud to be 'fastest on track for first time this year' despite missing out on first victory in Canada

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Carlos Sainz was taking the positives of being “for the first time this year the fastest man on track” after he came agonisingly close to securing his first Formula 1 Grand Prix victory at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard briefly led the race before a late stop under the Safety Car dropped him behind championship leasder Max Verstappen. He then piled the pressure on the Red Bull driver, showing impressive pace on hard tyres that were six laps younger than his rival, but couldn’t find a way past.

READ MORE: Verstappen survives late Safety Car to beat Sainz to Canadian GP victory

“It’s mixed feelings,” said Sainz. “P1 was very close today and I was certainly for the first time this year the fastest man on track and pushing to the absolute limit to try and put some pressure on Max and maybe force him into a mistake.

“We were two, three-tenths quicker the whole race, but those two, three-tenths are not enough to pass around here; you need a bit more pace delta to try and pass.

2022 Canadian Grand Prix: Verstappen holds off Sainz to take victory in Montreal

“It was close a couple of times. It’s a shame but at the same time I will take the positive and know that today the pace was there, and I was feeling at home and able to push Max to the limit.”

This was an impressive response from Sainz after his retirement in Baku, with second place his fifth podium of the season and moving him to within 24 points of Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc. And while he missed out on a first win, he was able to take the positives.

READ MORE: FACTS AND STATS: Verstappen’s Montreal triumph moves Red Bull above Lotus in wins list

“The positive is that this weekend, the pace has been there all weekend,” he said. “I was quicker in the race and managed well my tyres. Even without that Safety Car [when he pitted for fresh tyres] I think I could have hung it out for the race win, with Max coming from behind, so that gives me hope.”

He added: “I was pushing flat-out, close to the walls, all over the place with the kerbs and everything. I was really, really pushing!

“This gives me confidence for the future. It’s a shame that where I had the best pace, the win didn’t come but it was still very good.”

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