Max Verstappen claimed his sixth win of the 2022 season at the Canadian Grand Prix, holding off a challenge from Carlos Sainz en route. The Dutchman further extended his lead at the top of the World Championship standings, while Sainz and teammate Charles Leclerc – who had started the race from the back of the grid due to engine penalties – ended the day in second and fifth respectively. This outcome has led to plenty of reaction amongst various international media outlets.
Praise for "untouchable" Verstappen
Verstappen's drive to victory has attracted plenty of praise. In the French media, L'Equipe hailed the 2021 World Champion's "untouchable" performance as he resisted a late-race challenge from Sainz. "Constantly under pressure, the Red Bull driver did not make the slightest mistake, leaving the Spaniard far enough behind to attempt an attack," they wrote. Meanwhile, Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport was similarly complimentary towards Verstappen, and suggested that a second championship is looking increasingly likely for the 24-year-old. "The title is on its way," the publication stated. "Indeed, this one seems to be going more and more towards Verstappen, who managed to add 50 points in two races this week." They also acknowledged the performances of Sainz and Leclerc in Montreal. "Ferrari, you did everything you could," the Gazzetta dello Sport added. "Sainz and Leclerc should be proud lions. They are back on their feet, with Sainz managing to give Verstappen anxiety. "Given his second place finish and Leclerc's strong performance, Ferrari can still leave the track in Canada with optimism."
Questions over Ferrari
There were slightly less positive words for the Scuderia from Spanish outlet Marca , though, who raised questions over the team's choice of strategy in terms of the decision to fit Hard tyres rather than the Soft at Sainz's final pit-stop. "Why does Ferrari always choose the most conservative option in strategy and tyres?" they asked. "They expected Carlos to take risks, but did not give him all the tools to do so." Marca also labelled Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto's approach to Sainz as a "carrot and stick" process. "Mattia Binotto repeatedly points out the Spaniard's mistakes, but hopes he can win his first race with the Scuderia soon," the publication said. Elsewhere, in the British media, the BBC suggested that Mercedes' relative closeness to Ferrari in the standings is "more a reflection of a dire run by Ferrari than anything else". In light of Verstappen's "untouchable" performance, the outlet asked whether Ferrari's title challenge is still feasible. "Right now, Ferrari don't look like a team that can mount a consistent challenge to Verstappen and Red Bull, and the onus is on them to prove that impression wrong," they wrote.
Hope for Mercedes but with a note of caution
The BBC also reflected on the fortunes of Mercedes after the Canadian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton scoring his first podium since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Whilst they acknowledged the hopefulness of this for the Silver Arrows, the publication stated that the race had been "neutralised" by the late Safety Car, and that, as such, "Canada did not mark a significant step forwards for Mercedes on performance". They added: "[Mercedes] made progress in Canada by raising the car and running the suspension softer, but what succeeded in improving the car's ride did not improve its performance. "This is a vicious circle that Mercedes do not yet know how to find a way out of. They expect to be more competitive at the next race, the British Grand Prix, because the long, fast corners and smooth track surface will suit their car."