Charles Leclerc reignited his Formula One world championship ambitions with victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

Throughout qualifying and Saturday's sprint, all signs pointed to defending world champion Max Verstappen continuing his run of dominance in Spielberg and extending his lead in the drivers' standings.

However, in cooler conditions on Sunday, the Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had a clear edge over the Red Bull of Verstappen, who had a clean getaway to stay in the lead into the first corner.

The Scuderia also made the perfect strategy calls to get themselves in position for a one-two, only for Sainz to be denied by an engine failure on lap 58.

Despite a worried Leclerc experiencing problems with his throttle, he held on to clinch a third victory of the season, although Verstappen's advantage in the standings remains 38 points.

Sainz had to go off the track at turn one to protect against a fast-starting George Russell, who was soon given a five-second time penalty for causing a collision after he made contact with Sergio Perez at turn four, with the Mexican sent into the gravel and eventually forced to retire because of the damage.

Leclerc got past Verstappen with a brilliant overtake down the inside of turn four on lap 12, and Perez's exit from the equation put Ferrari in full control of the race and in the rare position of seeing their strategy working to a tee.

Following his second stop, Leclerc got ahead of Verstappen for good on lap 53 at turn three, and Sainz appeared set to repeat the feat five laps later on turn four, only for smoke to begin billowing from the back of his car.

Sainz's fiery exit, which led to a virtual safety car under which Leclerc and Verstappen both pitted, understandably caused nerves for his team-mate.

Leclerc, who saw victories in Barcelona and Baku taken away from him by an engine failure, was soon reporting issues with the throttle, and Verstappen began to loom in his mirrors.

But his car held together to allow him to weave across the finish line in delight, with Lewis Hamilton profiting from Sainz's misfortune to take third behind Verstappen and ahead of Mercedes team-mate Russell. Esteban Ocon was fifth for Alpine.

Charles Leclerc does not want a repeat of the tussle he experienced with team-mate Carlos Sainz in the sprint race as he targets victory in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Ferrari drivers saw Max Verstappen race away from them in the sprint, the championship leader benefiting from the duel between Leclerc and Sainz to take the maximum eight points.

Verstappen eventually claimed triumph by 1.6 seconds from Leclerc, who insisted the Scuderia drivers must not risk losing time and wearing down their tyres by fighting with each other again at the Red Bull Ring.

He said: "I think tomorrow is going to be a long race and tyre management will be quite a bit more important compared to today, so probably tomorrow we cannot afford to do what we did today.

"We lost a little bit of time, but again when Max had the gap he also managed his pace, so we'll never know… but I felt like we were strong towards the end – probably stronger than at the beginning. Whether it [would have been] enough I really don't know."

Verstappen now leads the drivers' championship by 38 points, with Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who climbed from 13th to fifth in the sprint, his closest challenger. Leclerc is a further six points back.

The Dutchman has won five of the last seven races and has an outstanding record at his team's home circuit.

He has won three of the last four Austrian Grands Prix and also prevailed at the Red Bull Ring in last season's Styrian Grand Prix.

However, Verstappen labelled his tyres "tricky" and is not anticipating a routine success across the 71-lap feature race.

"We had good pace at the beginning and after that we were very closely matched, it was as a sprint should go, it was quite flat out," said Verstappen.

"I do expect tomorrow is going to be a very interesting battle again."

George Russell will start fourth in a Mercedes that appears to lack the straight-line speed to mount a serious challenge for victory in Spielberg.

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton will start eighth having claimed the final points place in the sprint.

The seven-time world champion has experienced an eventful weekend, crashing in qualifying on Friday and being involved in a first-lap collision with Pierre Gasly before fighting back from 11th to eventually get past Mick Schuamcher's Haas for eighth spot.

"I'm grateful I managed to survive out there today," Hamilton said. "The team did such a great job to get the car back together last night and this morning. A big thank you to them, and I'm glad I brought it back mostly in one piece.

"We are slower on the straights, so I had to wait until I was out of the DRS train to overtake the cars in front. That's why it took a few laps to get ahead of Mick. Hopefully we can race stronger tomorrow – fingers crossed!"

There are six world titles split between the two drivers starting 18th and 19th. Sebastian Vettel, who was handed a suspended €25,000 fine for walking out of Friday's drivers' briefing, finished 19th in the sprint following a collision with Alex Albon that sent Vettel's Aston Martin into the gravel.

Fernando Alonso's Alpine failed to start the sprint due to an electrical issue. Valtteri Bottas, a two-time winner of this race, is the only man behind Alonso on the grid after the Alfa Romeo driver incurred a penalty because of his latest engine change.

Max Verstappen continued his excellent record in Formula One sprint races as he cruised to victory at the Red Bull Ring to secure pole position for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

The reigning champion began the sprint in first place and rarely looked likely to relinquish his lead as he added to his success at Imola earlier this season in the shortened format.

At their home grand prix, Red Bull will be hoping for a successful weekend and Verstappen's victory provides them with a dream start and eight points, extending his overall lead for the season to 38.

The race itself was delayed twice as Fernando Alonso – who was subsequently unable to start – and Zhou Guanyu – consigned to a pit-lane launch – had car trouble.

When it eventually began, with the length reduced to 23 laps, Verstappen held off the two Ferraris at the start and managed to build up a handsome lead as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz began to tussle with each other.

The top four ultimately ended as they started, with Leclerc beating Sainz to second and George Russell finishing fourth, but undoubtedly the most impressive performance on the grid came courtesy of Sergio Perez.

The Mexican felt his nine-place punishment for exceeding track limits in qualifying was excessively harsh, but he came out with a vengeance in the sprint, taking fifth despite starting way down in 13th.

Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton closed out the top eight as the other drivers who took points.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.675
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +5.644s
4. George Russell (Mercedes) +13.429s
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +18.302s
6. Alexander Ocon (Alpine) +31.032s
7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +34.539s
8. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +35.447s
9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +37.557s
10. Lando Norris (McLaren) +38.580s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 189
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 151
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 145
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 133
5. George Russell (Mercedes) 116

Lewis Hamilton is "incredibly disappointed" in himself after both he and Mercedes team-mate George Russell crashed out of qualifying ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The precursor for Saturday's sprint race in Spielberg proved a dramatic one, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen taking pole ahead of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Hamilton has yet to win a race this season after 10 rounds but looked good value to compete for pole until losing control into Turn 7, causing him to skid into the barriers.

That crash in Q3 ruined his chance of starting high up the grid on Saturday, with the seven-time world champion instead down in 10th.

Russell did not fare much better as he caused another red flag after spinning into the barriers at the final corner on a day to forget for Mercedes.

Team boss Toto Wolff told the duo they "should not beat themselves up", adding: "I'd rather have a fast car and a qualifying like this than not having the pace to be in the top four."

But Hamilton, who had been fastest at the start of Q2, was upset that he could not see out the job at Red Bull Ring.

"It was a big hit but I'm okay," he told Sky Sports. "I'm incredibly disappointed in myself ultimately and so sorry to the team who worked so hard to put this car together.

"I lost the back end into Turn 7 and that was that. I'm encouraged. I'm encouraged of course to see our performance. We weren't expecting for it to be as close as that today.

"That is a huge positive from the team but I am really quite far back [for the sprint] so I don't know what is possible from there. Hopefully I can make up for some lost time."

 

Following Hamilton and Russell's crashes, there was time for one final lap for the remaining eight drivers.

Leclerc and Sainz looked set to claim a Ferrari one-two, only for Verstappen – who has now taken the last three pole positions on this track – to post a time of 1:04.984

That was 29 thousandths of a second quicker than Leclerc and leaves Verstappen well positioned to surpass Alain Prost for the most victories at the Austrian GP (three apiece).

"It was a very long wait of course between the two runs," the Dutchman said. "That is never great as once you are in the rhythm you want to keep going.

"Also the track temperature dropping, the wind changing a little bit, but in the end it was a very tight qualifying and it is a really challenging track to get everything right.

"There aren't many corners but the ones you have are quite tricky and easy to make a mistake. I'm quite happy with pole but also tomorrow and Sunday you can get the points. 

"It's incredible to see the crowd here and see so much orange. It puts a smile on my face and hopefully we can make it a great weekend."

Verstappen leads team-mate Sergio Perez by 34 points heading into the weekend's action, while Leclerc is 43 points behind after failing to build on a bright start to the season.

After pushing Verstappen all the way in qualifying for the 24-lap sprint, which establishes the grid for the main grand prix, Leclerc is hoping to do likewise over the next two days.

"I just want to have a clean race," he said. "It's been five races where I've had a bit of a disaster on my side. 

"I just hope that everything will go clean in the weekend and we can finally score the points that we deserve."


PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:04.984
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.029
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.082
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.420
5. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.447
6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.742
7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +0.895
8. Mick Schumacher (Haas) +1.027
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.119
10. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +8.167

Charles Leclerc has dismissed suggestions of tensions within the Ferrari camp after enduring a frustrating outing as team-mate Carlos Sainz won the British Grand Prix last week.

But the 24-year-old maintains his team could have made better decisions after he fell out of contention to finish fourth at Silverstone.

Leclerc sits third in the drivers' championship standings going into Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, trailing Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after several underwhelming results.

The Ferrari driver has struggled since winning two of the first three races of the 2022 campaign, failing to secure a podium finish in any of his last five outings after doing so in four of his first five this season.

Leclerc had led at Silverstone before Ferrari chose not to pit him for fresh tyres during a late safety car period, allowing Sainz to clinch the first victory of his Formula One career.

Italian press reports claimed some of Leclerc's engineers subsequently refused to take part in a group photo to celebrate Sainz's win, but the Monegasque driver has told Sky Sports F1 there are no divisions within the team.

"It is a shame to see all of this type of things," Leclerc said in Austria.

"It is definitely not what is happening inside the team. We are a very united team, we've always been, and it's not these difficult races that will make it change.

"Were we disappointed after last weekend? I think we were because we were one-two, and we finished one-four, so part of the team were disappointed. But this was definitely not the reason whatsoever for not everybody being on the picture.

"Everyone was very happy for Carlos, and this is the feeling that there is inside the team.

"One of the strong points we have as team-mates and as drivers [is] a team spirit that we have in Ferrari and these things are always under control."

But Leclerc was still not entirely happy with the team's strategy last time out, adding: "There are things we could have done better.

"But we know where we did the mistakes and I hope we can grow from that.

"Me personally, there's nothing I could have done differently in a way. As a team, we have changed a few things already, just in the way of communication throughout the race, to be ready in that particular moment.

"Once a safety car is out, you need to take a decision there, and if you are not ready for that, it's tricky."

Ferrari have slipped to a distant second in the constructors' standings after Red Bull recorded three one-twos in the last seven races, Verstappen claiming six victories in that time.

After recent issues with reliability putting a dent in their championship hopes, Ferrari were able to marginally recover at the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz's maiden Formula One race win.

It was a bittersweet Sunday for the Scuderia at Silverstone, however, with tactics scuppering a potential one-two finish with Charles Leclerc, who fell away to finish fourth on older hard tyres following a late safety car.

Ferrari capitalised to some extent, but were not able to take full advantage of Max Verstappen's damaged floor putting him out of contention for the race win.

Now heading into Red Bull's home race at the Austrian Grand Prix, the championship challengers simply must recover more ground if they are to mount a real threat in the standings.

Reigning world champion Verstappen has won the last two races and claimed the last two pole positions at Spielberg, however, making a repeat of Sunday's run to the chequered flag for Ferrari unlikely.

Red Bull have won three of the past four Austrian GPs, with Verstappen taking all three for the team.

The Red Bull Ring has been a happy hunting ground for the 24-year-old, reaching the podium six times, with two fastest laps as well as his four wins and two pole positions, with all being the most out of any circuit in his career.

A Ferrari win would prove an important historical moment for the team, though, as well as what it means in context of this season.

The Scuderia need only 23 points to be the first team in F1 to reach 9,000 points, while both they and Mercedes are one win away from equalling McLaren's record six wins in Austria.

Meanwhile, they are one clearout of the front row away from surpassing Mercedes for the most one-two qualifying finishes in F1, with both on 82.

Can Sainz push on after breaking through?

Carlos Sainz finally broke through at Silverstone, even declining team orders to collect the race win upon the resumption after the safety car.

Despite a tricky start to the season, Sainz has slowly developed confidence in the car, with six podiums this season

One more would see him surpass his total over the previous seven seasons in F1, and could be the first Spaniard since Fernando Alonso in 2010 to record back-to-back wins.

Austria does not follow 'El Plan'

Alonso's longevity and focus has been nothing short of extraordinary since returning to F1, but Austria has not been the most forthcoming of places for him.

Despite encouraging recent form, including a second place in qualifying in Canada and a fifth-place finish at Silverstone, the 40-year-old will be looking to change that.

The two-time world champion has appeared nine times at Spielberg, the circuit with his lowest aggregate of race wins, pole positions, fastest laps and podiums in his career.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 181
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 147
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 138
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 127
5. George Russell (Mercedes) 111

Constructors

1. Red Bull 328
2. Ferrari 265
3. Mercedes 204
4. McLaren 73
5. Alpine 67

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insists there is nothing to fix internally with Charles Leclerc, after he dropped from first to fourth while team-mate Carlos Sainz won Sunday's British Grand Prix.

At the race's conclusion, Binotto briefly addressed a visibly disappointed Leclerc in parc ferme, whose pace dropped off on degrading hard tyres following a safety car with 14 laps remaining.

Leading the race at that point, Leclerc noted over the radio that it would be "hard" to keep the chasing pack on soft tyres behind him, but Ferrari opted to keep him out while bringing Sainz in for a set of soft tyres.

Asked about the exchange, Binotto sought to clarify the exchange was more to congratulate Leclerc on his drive and overall pace given the circumstances.

"There is nothing to sort out internally," he told Sky Sports. "I think it was simply to tell him 'I understand your disappointment but you did a fantastic race today.' Fighting at the start, fighting later on when he was on the hards and the others were on softs.

"I think the way he was driving there to take positions was amazing, so being happy is difficult, but staying calm and being positive is important.

"For us it was clear not stopping Charles, keeping track position and stopping Carlos because he was the only one who could have stopped. We were hoping for more tyre degradation on the softs, and that didn't happen."

Despite Leclerc besting him for pace in the earlier stages of the race as Red Bull's Max Verstappen surrendered the lead, Sainz capitalised with his soft tyres after the restart for his maiden race win in Formula One.

After taking pole position in similarly volatile circumstances on Saturday at Silverstone, Binotto complimented the 27-year-old for his consistency and ability to be in position to take advantage.

"I think that's the strength of Carlos, no?" he said. "Always trying to be there and get the opportunity. Yesterday, in qualifying maybe the other two made small mistakes but he did a consistent lap and made the pole.

"That's his strength, to be consistent to the end, to the chequered flag and get the opportunity when the opportunity is coming. For him, I'm really very happy because it's his first victory.

"I think, one, that was important for him and with Ferrari it's even more important. So, I'm very pleased and I think he deserved it."

Charles Leclerc has made it clear he intends to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, while suggesting he expects Ferrari to issue team orders.

The Scuderia driver has seen his title bid take a significant hit in the past few race weekends, sustaining a power unit failure in Baku and taking a penalty in Canada that saw him start at the back of the grid.

That has left Leclerc with a huge disadvantage in the championship chase – now 49 points behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen – and his attempts to improve this weekend come amid increased competition.

Mercedes appear to have bounced back after their troubles in the earlier stages of the season, while Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz also seems to have found his rhythm – pushing Verstappen all the way in Montreal before securing a first pole position for Sunday's race at Silverstone.

While Leclerc is delighted for Sainz and made it clear the team come first, he hinted he expects Ferrari to make a strategic call for the race win if the opportunity materialises.

"If I'm happy to help Carlos to win his first race tomorrow? I think of course, I will be very happy if Carlos wins the race tomorrow, but I'm not going to hide that I want to win, too," Leclerc told a news conference.

"But I think what is most important is that we finished one-two, whatever way around it is, and if we can play strategic moves in between the cars, I'm pretty sure that we will. 

"So, let's see how it goes tomorrow. But again, I feel confident with the car. So, let's wait and see."

Dry running was restricted in the build-up to Sunday's race, with qualifying a washout, but better weather is anticipated for the race, and Leclerc added he is confident with the car's set-up.

"Much happier this morning, compared to yesterday. Yesterday, it was very, very difficult to put a lap together," he said.

"But this morning, I felt quite confident with the car. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Carlos Sainz expressed his surprise after he secured the first pole position of his Formula One career for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver pipped championship leader Max Verstappen and team-mate Charles Leclerc to first on the grid, putting him at the front for what will be the 150th start of his career.

A wet session at Silverstone left everything to play for heading into the final minute of qualifying, but none were able to better Sainz's time of 1:40.983, finishing less than a hundredth of a second ahead of Red Bull's Verstappen.

While it was enough to secure a landmark result for the Spaniard, he did not believe his lap would be top of the pile.

"It was a good lap, I was struggling a lot with the standing water with the intermediates. It was very easy to get snaps and lose the lap, also very easy to lose the tyres," he said.

"In the end, I put in a lap that I thought was nothing special, I just put it on the board and see how it is and it was pole position, which cannot be a bad surprise."

Sainz will now be seeking the maiden win of his career and, having shown improvements in Canada with a second-placed finish behind Verstappen, believes he has the potential to do exactly that.

"The base has been there all weekend. We had some issues that we think we have corrected. If I base myself on my FP2 pace, I think we will be in a good position. I'm sure Max and Charles will put on a lot of pressure but I will try my best of course."

Verstappen had consistently set the fastest laps in qualifying, but with the weather playing a part, he ultimately could not do enough to get the job done.

Nevertheless, he feels he is in a good position as he looks for a third consecutive win.

"It was quite a tricky qualifying with the rain, you have to be on the track at the right time, but overall the car was working really well. In Q3, it's a bit of a lottery sometimes when you have to put in the best lap," he said.

"To be on the front row, it's very good for us and we have a good race car I think both in the dry and in the wet."

Leclerc, on the back of some difficult race weekends, starts on the second row after spinning on his final flying lap – though he still believes he is in a position to mount a challenge.

"I spun on the last lap, I knew it was the lap where I had to put everything together, but I didn't as the driver, so I didn't deserve to be on pole," he said.

"It's a good position to start in for tomorrow's race and hopefully we can put everything together and come back.

"I think the pace is there, if we have a clean race and everything goes well, a good start and tyre management, the strategy will be a bit mixed between one or two stops so it will be interesting to see. Hopefully we make the right choice and come back to where we want to be."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1:40.983
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.072
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.315
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.633
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.012
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.101
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.133
8. George Russell (Mercedes) +1.178
9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) +1.736
10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) +22.112

Charles Leclerc is confident Ferrari will be fighting for the win at Silverstone – as long as the team can avoid any further reliability woes.

Power unit issues have led to recent retirements in Spain and Azerbaijan, the last of which resulted in a back-of-the-grid start for the Canadian Grand Prix after taking a third unit of the season.

Those troubles, accompanied by a wrong strategy call in Monaco, have seen Max Verstappen and Red Bull take a commanding lead in both championships – with the defending champion winning four of the past five races.

Ferrari's potential is undeniable, with six pole positions out of nine, but only two have resulted in race wins and the last came in Australia almost three months ago.

In his career overall, Leclerc's 15 poles have returned just four wins for a 27 per cent winning percentage – the second lowest in F1 history among drivers who have won at least one race, behind only Jarno Trulli (25 per cent, one win from four pole positions). 

Despite a 49-point deficit in the driver's championship, third-placed Leclerc remains upbeat and believes reliability will be an issue for all teams to contend with this season.

"No, I'm not worried. I mean, it's a big gap but, but I'm just focusing on the job, and I'm confident that we can take that back," he told Motorsport.

"I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season. And yeah, if we fix our reliability, the performance is there to come back. So already from Silverstone we'll try to get a few points back.

"I really like Silverstone. And hopefully we will be competitive enough to be starting on pole and finally win from pole."

Mercedes' hunting ground

Eight of the past nine British GPs have been won by Mercedes, with the only exception being Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari in 2018, and improvements shown in Canada will provide encouragement for the Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton's second podium finish of the season in third was the highlight in Montreal, but George Russell's consistency continues to stand out, with the British driver finishing in the top five in all nine races in 2022.

A win for Hamilton would be the ninth of his career at Silverstone, setting a new record for the most wins in a single GP – overtaking his eight victories in Hungary and Michael Schumacher's eight wins in France.

Driver market

Away from the track itself, the F1 driver market is starting to heat up as teams outline their plans for the 2023 season, and there are a number on the grid who could be under threat of losing their seats.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are both out of contract at the end of the season – although each could still extend – while Daniel Ricciardo has work to do to impress McLaren to retain his seat despite being tied down for a further year.

Nicholas Latifi at Williams and Mick Schumacher at Haas are also under pressure, with F2 champion and Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri expected to get a chance in 2023. Antonio Giovinazzi has been touted for a return to the grid, too.

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 175
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 126
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 111
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 102

Constructors

1. Red Bull 304
2. Ferrari 228
3. Mercedes 188
4. McLaren 65
5. Alpine 57

Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has issued a blunt verdict on Charles Leclerc's title hopes and has declared those backing Ferrari this season will "get nothing".

Red Bull's defending champion Max Verstappen has won six of the nine races so far this season to establish a dominant 49-point advantage over Leclerc – who is also three points adrift of Sergio Perez – in the drivers' championship.

That deficit has come amid a huge swing in the standings, with Leclerc previously holding a 46-point advantage over Verstappen following the opening three rounds of the season as the Dutch driver was forced to retire from two of those races.

However, Leclerc's most recent victory came in Australia in April and Verstappen has won five of the six races since, with Ecclestone stating he now has it "easy".

"Errors are creeping in again. The reliability we are seeing is often reminiscent of the old days and the drivers themselves are not always confident on the track," he told Blick.

"It means Max is having an easy time in the Red Bull with six wins already."

Ecclestone added that he had wanted to see Ferrari perform better in the 2022 season but early showings have ultimately led him to write off the team's chances.

"Like many people, I had hoped that Ferrari would succeed again after more than 14 years," he said.

"Unfortunately, I have to say that anyone who continues to put their money on Ferrari or Leclerc will get nothing."

Ferrari have not won the constructors' championship since 2008 and, from 1999 to 2008, had clinched the title in eight of the ten seasons.

Kimi Raikkonen was the last Ferrari driver to win the drivers' championship with his triumph in 2007, and is the only driver to win with Ferrari since Michael Schumacher's last success in 2004.

Max Verstappen showed dogged resistance to secure victory in the Canadian Grand Prix after holding off Carlos Sainz, as Lewis Hamilton returned to the podium.

After the ninth leg of the 22-race season, Verstappen's lead in the Formula One drivers' championship stands at 46 points, and that is because his Red Bull team-mate and closest rival in the championship Sergio Perez was an early casualty in Montreal.

Sainz, in the Ferrari, clung tight behind Verstappen over the closing laps after a lengthy safety car delay but could not quite forge an overtaking opportunity.

That meant Verstappen's 150th grand prix was a triumphant one, as Sainz was kept waiting for his first F1 victory.

Hamilton had not finished on the podium since the season-opening race in Bahrain, a wait of seven races, so the Briton was delighted to get third, ahead of Mercedes team-mate George Russell. Hamilton said it was "quite overwhelming".

Perez, who crashed out in Q2 on Saturday, pulled over to the side of the track and abandoned the race on lap nine, seeming to lose power and complaining of being stuck in gear.

It was clear that Fernando Alonso, in the Alpine, would not be able to convert second place on the grid into a top-three finish as the two-time champion gradually drifted down the field.

Alonso did not pit until lap 29 and came back out on hard tyres in seventh place, behind team-mate Esteban Ocon and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc first went to the pits on the 42nd lap, but it was a painfully sluggish stop and left the man from Monte Carlo down in 12th place. It was a credit to him and his team that he was able to surge through the field and close in to just three points behind Perez in the championship.

Yuki Tsunoda crashed out on lap 49 and that forced the drivers to proceed behind the safety car for five laps, drawing the field tightly together.

Leclerc, who started on the back row of the grid after his car was fitted with an all-new power unit, jumped ahead of the Alpines of Alonso and Ocon to go fifth, while at the front, Verstappen fittingly showed the defence of a champion to fend off Sainz.

Max Verstappen clinched pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix and Fernando Alonso secured an unlikely spot on the front row in Montreal.

Alonso, who set the pace in the final practice session, claimed second place in tricky, wet conditions in Saturday's qualifying session.

That hands the 40-year-old Spaniard his first front-row start in Formula One since he won from pole position at the German Grand Prix just under 10 years ago.

The two-time world champion, racing for Alpine, was the recipient of a huge ovation from the crowd as he celebrated his supreme qualifying performance, clocking up a time of 1:21.944 behind championship leader Verstappen's 1:21.299.

"It feels great. It was an unbelievable weekend for us so far, we’ve been competitive in free practice – which we normally are on Friday but on Saturday we seem to lose a little bit of pace – but in wet conditions today the car was mega, I was so comfortable driving this car and I think the fans gave me a push," a jubilant Alonso said.

When asked what his approach will be on Sunday, Alonso quipped: "Let's see, I think I will attack Max on the first corner."

Verstappen's pole ended the day on a high note for Red Bull, with team-mate and fellow title contender Sergio Perez set to start in 13th place after crashing out in Q2.

In difficult conditions, the reigning world champion – who will be further buoyed by title rival Charles Leclerc having to start at the back on Sunday due to Ferrari changing his entire power unit – was delighted with the composure shown by his team.

"Of course I still expect it not to be a straightforward race, today with tricky conditions, we stayed calm and we made the right calls in Q3 so of course, super happy with that to get pole position here and to be back in Montreal and great to see all the fans," he said.

"You really get that go-karting sensation back on this track with proper curves. We always enjoy driving here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Carlos Sainz looked poised to push Verstappen, but a mistake on the final corner cost the Ferrari driver, who will start third on the grid. An incident involving the Spaniard and Esteban Ocon was investigated, but the stewards decided no further action was required.

Sainz said: "I was feeling quite okay with the car, especially in the full wet. In that lap I knew I had lost a bit too much, I tried to do a very quick last corner but it didn't pay off and it cost me half a second. I ended up with three for that mistake. I think it's going to be a good fight with Max up front and Fernando has been fast all weekend."

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton – who did not hide his frustration with his car after struggling in practice on Friday – was lifted by claiming fourth.

Mercedes team-mate George Russell had to settle for eighth, however, after a decision to go on slicks in Q3 failed to pay off.

Charles Leclerc's Formula One world championship hopes have been dealt a blow after it was confirmed he will start at the back of the grid in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

The title-chasing driver was already handed a 10-place grid penalty on Friday for changing his electronics control unit, following two power unit failures in the last two races that have dealt a significant blow in his push for the championship.

Leclerc's task in Montreal will now be one of damage limitation and Ferrari have elected to give him an entirely new power unit – a new internal combustion engine, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K.

Drivers are only allowed to use three of each component over the course of a season but Leclerc will now use his fourth in Canada, while the ECU change leads to his third unit of the campaign when only two are allowed.

Leclerc's bad luck has led to an 80-point swing in the drivers' standings in favour of Red Bull's defending champion Max Verstappen, with his team-mate Sergio Perez also climbing above the Ferrari driver last weekend.

Two engine failures in back-to-back races have both come when Leclerc was leading the race, while he also lost the lead in Monaco after a team error in the pit lane saw him slip to fourth.

Leclerc had won two of the opening three races of the season to hold a 46-point lead over Verstappen, who had to retire in both of the events where the Monaco driver was victorious.

Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari have made "the best decision" by accepting a 10-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Leclerc will start towards the back of the grid in Montreal after taking a new control electronic – his third used this season.

The Monegasque had little choice given the state of his power unit after the Azerbaijan GP, although it could have been the source of some frustration after he finished just 0.081 seconds behind Max Verstappen in FP2.

"Well, obviously I'm starting a little bit more in the back," Leclerc said. "But I think it was the best decision to make, so let's see how it goes.

"The overtaking was a little bit more difficult than I expected today, but the pace is there, so hopefully we can come back to where we want to be."

Indeed, despite championship leader Verstappen topping the charts in both Friday practice sessions, Leclerc added: "It is pretty close.

"The race pace we need to work on – I mean it's a bit difficult to have a clear picture, because I was on a different compound all the time – but overall, it didn't look too bad, so that's good."

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