Verstappen boost after Sainz grid drop

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz PA

Carlos Sainz PA

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz has been given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alex Albon during qualifying for the Canadian GP – promoting Max Verstappen up the order.

Albon came up to the back Sainz during Q1, and with the Spaniard holding the racing line, the Toro Rosso racer was forced to abort his lap.

The stewards ruled that Sainz has been informed of Albon’s approach too late by McLaren and hit him with the grid drop.

Sainz would go on to make Q3, though he was unhappy with his display in the final qualifying session.

“Obviously I’m very unhappy with my Q3 mistake,” he told reporters in Montreal.

“I knew I had an 11.5 on the table because it’s what I did in Q2. And I knew I needed to do an 11.4, 11.3 to get within the Renault reach.

“I got too greedy into turn eight, locked up the wheels, and I didn’t even set a lap in Q3 so I’m disappointed for that. I wanted that 11.3, 11.4 and in the end I have a 13.6.”

The man who benefits from this is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – the Dutchman is now up to P9 for Sunday’s race with a free choice of tyres.

Kevin Magnussen’s Q2 crash brought out the red flags and caused Verstappen to be eliminated, but with the Danish driver now starting from the pit lane and Sainz’s penalty thrown into the mix, Red Bull’s main man has received a welcome boost.

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