Unlike last year, when he had an easier victory, Max Verstappen had to work to please his audience and return 25 points from the coast of the North Sea.
The Red Bull driver was probably the fastest at the Dutch F1 Grand Prix this weekend, but he had to overtake Lewis Hamilton late in the race to win!
“Yes, it’s not a simple race, you know. So it’s more rewarding to win the race. »
“We couldn’t really use our desired strategy until the end and that made the race more difficult for us, until the last safety car, because we were more competitive with the tires. »
“But then, of course, with that last safety car, we were able to go back to our favorite tire, the soft tires, and we regained the lead. »
Like George Russell with Mercedes, does Max Verstappen seek to influence the strategy chosen for him in the race?
“It was difficult. I gave my opinion on what I wanted with the tires. For example, I said, don’t use hard tires. But we have to, because of the virtual safe car. It’s a bit unfortunate. And we obviously lacks a little speed on hard tires compared to the Mercedes on medium ones. »
“The gap was still too big to manage it to the end. But they were certainly closer than the 11 and a half seconds that were on time. [sans voiture de sécurité virtuelle]. Then the Safety Car came out and there was no way to stay on the hard tires in these conditions. So we had to go back to the holes in the end, but I didn’t ask for it. »
“You also have to trust your team to make the right decisions and they did. So they brought me home. »
Can Max Verstappen talk about his overtaking finish on Lewis Hamilton, after the safety car?
“Surprisingly, we had a very good start and then, with the higher speed we had compared to Mercedes, I overtook at Turn 1.
Is Verstappen worried about Mercedes?
As in the Hungaroring, Mercedes has a strong rhythm and seems capable if not beaten, at least worry Red Bull and Max Verstappen on a regular basis.
Did the race pace of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell stress Max Verstappen?
“I’m just surprised that they are so strong on the hardest compounds. I have to say that these tires are very hard, you know, C1 and C2. And they don’t seem to come to the right operating window for to us they were the same. I think that made things more complicated for us. But then, when we got back to the soft ones, we were able to fight them. »
“I probably expected them, Mercedes, to be a little slower. And I expected the Ferrari to be faster. »
“I have to say that when I changed the mediums, of course I caught them, which is normal because I have new tires, they are still doing well, I have to say. When they are hard, it is interesting to see their progress, because I really don’t want to make it difficult for myself. »
“But yeah, when I heard the Mercedes lap times, I was like … ‘wow, that’s fast.’ And I tried to push a little bit. But they were a few tenths faster. So yes, it’s amazing that they made this tire work here. They were obviously fast in the race. »
The two Mercedes separated their strategies during the last season of car safety: George Russell returned for the tenders, Lewis Hamilton did not … and quickly regretted it …
Like Lewis, does Max Verstappen think, with hindsight, that the correct strategy is to put new soft tyres?
“It’s always easy to say after the fact, but the decision George made was the right one in the end. Because of our speed on the soft tires, I can pass them both [si les Mercedes ne s’étaient pas arrêtées] because the difference in grip is quite large – it turns out that. »