Max Verstappen has pointed to the Red Bull's straight-line speed in helping him to defend against Carlos Sainz in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Following a Safety Car 21 laps from the end of the event, Sainz was able to pit and close the gap to Verstappen in the lead, resulting in a close fight between the two when the race was restarted.
Verstappen ultimately held onto P1, resisting the pressure from the Ferrari driver, but he admits that it wasn't always easy.
"The Safety Car didn't help," Verstappen told Sky Sports F1 after the race.
"I think overall they were very quick in the race, so it would have been really tough for me to close that gap to the end, even on fresher tyres.
"But yeah, it was really exciting at the end. I was giving it everything I had. Of course, Carlos was doing the same.
"Following is tricky around here, but I could see he was pushing, charging, pushing. Of course, naturally when you have the DRS (Drag Reduction System) it's a bit easier to charge.
"The last few laps were a lot of fun."
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Verstappen grateful for straight-line speed
When asked if he was grateful for the Red Bull's straight-line speed in Montreal, Verstappen acknowledged: "Yeah, luckily this year we seemed really quick on the straights, so that helps a lot."
The 2021 World Champion was also quizzed on whether he was concerned about catching up after the two-stop strategy.
"Overall, I think they were very strong in the race," he explained.
"So yes, it would have been tricky to catch up, but then, of course, the Safety Car came out, so they had fresher tyres.
"Then I was like, 'Well, I think I would have preferred attacking instead of defending', but luckily it worked out."
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