He climbed out of the auto and walked into the stands - much to the delight of the crowd, which swarmed around him.
Verstappen's lightning start held the promise of an unpredictable race, coming in to disrupt the rhythm of the Mercs and the Ferraris, but all the bravado involved in taking him from fifth to second by the first turn was nullified when he retired on the eleventh lap.
The Mercedes driver controlled the race from the start to finish.
The victory put Lewis Hamilton in the same category as his hero, Ayrton Senna, as he hit the 65 poles mark in the race.
"I think for us, we really solidified our strength, we've got a better understanding of the auto and hope we can put it in the same spot in the following races", he told Sky Sports television.
"We came out last, and I knew we could recover because the vehicle is quick, so we were much quicker than the cars ahead, but you have to fight your way through the field, which is a lot of work, not easy, the tires are also suffering at that point", Vettel said.
"It is kind of insane to think I had my first pole position and grand prix win here 10 years ago", Hamilton added.
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"The race actually felt very reminiscent of 2007, in terms of how it unfolded".
"I think experiencing it with Valtteri is definitely different", said Hamilton, who was paired with Nico Rosberg for the previous four years. It is a long race, particularly when you are out there on your own. "If you give Lewis a auto that he likes he is just stellar", he said.
But Mercedes, and in particular Hamilton, will be delighted with their recovery after a weekend to forget at the previous round in Monaco a fortnight ago. With him winning the Canadian championship for the sixth time, Hamilton edged closer to legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, who conquered the Canadian circuit a record seven times.
Hamilton blew Vettel away in qualifying with the fastest lap ever seen in Montreal before leading from start to finish at the seventh round of this see-saw championship battle. "We've understood the tyres, utilised the tyres a lot better this weekend, but I think there's still things we've understood but that you can't just fix in two weeks". There was no stone left unturned: aero, mechanical balance, set-up work, the tyres themselves, the way the drivers drove the vehicle. Sainz, the instigator in the melee, ended up sliding out of control until he slammed into the Williams of innocent bystander Felipe Massa.
The safety auto was deployed to deal with Sainz's stricken Toro Rosso, with Hamilton leading from Verstappen and Bottas. Verstappen made a sensational start, scything from fifth to second into the first corner. But the Dutchman was soon out of the race when his vehicle ground to a halt at the exit of Turn Two. Red Bull is a distant third with 112 points. Verstappen's pain was Hamilton's gain as it made his task all that much easier.
"We came out last", Vettel said. Fernando Alonso would be the next victim for Vettel to leave him in seventh place.
With Ocon's tyres being 13-laps fresher than those for Perez, Force India wanted Perez to let Ocon pass in order to gun for a podium position.
With two laps to go, Vettel, a man inspired, passed Perez at the final chicane to snatch fourth. Ninth place gave him two points, placing him 16th among 21 drivers. "We've scored a big load of solid points and it's well deserved".