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Max Verstappen

Verstappen grateful for safety car payback: 'It's 1-1 now this year'

After what happened in Miami, this was retribution for Max Verstappen in Canada.

Verstappen race Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen believes the safety car calls have now balanced themselves out this season after being on the receiving end of one that went in his favour that helped him win the Canadian Grand Prix.

A month ago in Miami, Verstappen was in the box seat to claim the win. Starting from fifth position, and running long in the first stint in the hope a safety car would come to his aid, Lando Norris' prayers were answered when Logan Sargeant and Kevin Magnussen collided.

Leading at the time, as the four ahead of him had already pitted for fresh tyres, Norris was able to pit and rejoin in the lead ahead of Verstappen. The Briton then went on to win his maiden grand prix at the 110th attempt.

In Canada, with Norris comfortably leading and pulling away as he made the wearing intermediates on his McLaren work superbly, Sargeant again sparked a safety car with a crash on lap 25, with the call made just as Norris was passing the pit entry.

Behind him, Verstappen pitted. Although it appeared as if Norris had enough of a margin to pit next time around and retain his lead, he unfortunately picked up the safety car which cost him precious time, eventually taking to the track behind the Red Bull driver.

Suggested to Verstappen the timing of that safety car helped him secure his 60th F1 win, and third in a row around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and that this was payback for Miami, he replied: "Of course, it sometimes works for you and sometimes it works against you.

"This time, it worked for us, so I guess in that sense, it's 1-1 now this year. But that's racing. It's a part of it."

Verstappen's triumph was in trying circumstances given the inclement weather that resulted in a mix of intermediates and slicks being used at differing stages of the 70-lap race.

To that end, Verstappen described the result as "very rewarding", notably applauding his teams for 'making the right calls', not that he would want every race weekend to be as chaotic, even if he again claimed the right result.

"It's never an easy race," said Verstappen. "It's easy to make mistakes, especially on the inters when they were almost becoming slicks. It was very easy to go off because the track was drying in most places.

"But in some corners, it was still a bit too wet to go to slick tyres. That made it just very, very difficult. You are very focused, but you try to remain as calm as you can be.

"But it's a lot of fun to drive these kind of races now and then. You don't want it all the time because that's too stressful, but I had a lot of fun out there."

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