F1 boss Stefano Domenicali advised ex-Ferrari to fight back and challenge Red Bull for ‘close’ fight

Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his victory for the season to six, triple those of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

But F1 chief Domenicali said he expected to battle Ferrari from the next round, the British Grand Prix, within two weeks, and predicted Mercedes would also return to pole position.

Tell Standard Sport: “If you remember after three races of the season, Max Verstappen’s comment was that the match was over and Ferrari was ahead by 40 points or so. Now, the opposite is true, because Max leads the championship by 46 points.

“I would say we need to be careful. The tournament is very long and there will be a lot of ups and downs. It’s too early to say the championship is over, and I’m saying that not because I hope so but I believe in it.

“We’re only a third of the season. There are a lot of races and I’m sure the championship will be tight.”

In Montreal, Leclerc had to start from the back row of the grid after a complete change of his power unit for the race, but was able to climb back up to fifth overall.

Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was 0.2-0.3 seconds faster per lap than Red Bull Verstappen and the Spaniard came close to overtaking the Dutchman on moribund race laps, thanks in part to the safety car deployed after Yuki Tsunoda’s crash. I got out of the waiting lane.

“[Leclerc] “In good shape and Ferrari are very close,” Domenicali added. “I’m also seeing signs that Mercedes is getting faster, so the championship scenario will be soon.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc follows Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the F1 title race

/ Getty Images

“It all depends on how the cars adapt to the circuits and how, with this budget cap, the teams carry over the upgrades to the car. That is the beauty of the situation we are in.

“For sure, Mercedes will be closer, because they are a great team and all titles have been won in the past – eight in a row.

They will be there – they will not give up. This will help the situation to be more mixed.”

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