Max Verstappen has revealed the key to his Canadian Grand Prix victory that has allowed him to take a firm grip on this year's F1 title race.
The Red Bull driver came under late duress from Ferrari's Carlos Sainz after Yuki Tsunoda's crash in his AlphaTauri when exiting the pits that sparked a 15-lap dash to the line following the subsequent safety car period.
Sainz pushed as hard as he could with DRS assistance at three separate zones on the circuit, with his best chance at claiming a first F1 victory on the approach into the final chicane at the end of the long back straight.
But asked for the critical factor in defending his lead, reigning champion Verstappen explained: "Well, of course, you always have to make sure that you know the place where he had DRS, [and] you have a good exit the corner before.
"It was all about just really pushing to the limit and not making a mistake in general because I knew that even in sector one, if I would have made a tiny mistake, Carlos would gain a tenth on me.
"That might have been enough to then get closer in the first DRS zone, and then in the second...it was proper racing, proper pushing."
Verstappen's edgy moments with Sainz
Both drivers pushed to the maximum in order to clinch the victory, with both stopping a second time for fresh rubber.
Hinting at some close shaves, Verstappen added: "I had my moments where I had a bit of oversteer, and then I looked in the mirror and saw Carlos having the same amount of moments.
"So, it was really on the edge, but that’s good to see."
Following a fifth win in the last six grands prix, Verstappen heads into the next race in Britain with a 46-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez following the Mexican's early retirement, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc a further three points adrift.