MONTREAL - Formula One season leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull held off Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to win the Montreal Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen earned his 26th career victory and sixth this season.

The 24-year-old Dutchman led the final 20 laps of the 70-lap course, 0.993 seconds ahead of Sainz.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was third for just his second podium this season.

Canada's Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi finished 10th and 16th respectively.

Mercedes driver George Russell placed fourth. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started from the back of the grid due to a penalty for changing his engine, was fifth.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso, who started on the front row for the first time in 10 years, finished seventh.

A day after Red Bull's Sergio Perez crashed in qualifying, the Mexican driver's day ended on Lap 9 when he lost power.

That was a blow to his championship chances. He'd started the day just 21 points behind Verstappen atop the season leaderboard.

"I've lost the engine," Perez said. "I'm stuck in gear."

Mick Schumacher of Haas retired on Lap 20, while the day ended for Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda on Lap 50.

The Formula One circuit made a triumphant return to Montreal after the race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

The race drew a sun-soaked crowd of about 100,000 fans.

With two new grandstands constructed since 2019, it was a record for the event.

F1's return to Montreal coincided with the 40th anniversary of the death of Gilles Villeneuve, for whom the track is named.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2022.