“We don’t have the speed to win”. Max Verstappen had already said this yesterday, at the end of a qualifying session closed with the third time behind the two Mercedes and the Dutchman’s forecast turned out to be correct.
In a weekend that started uphill, with balance problems already emerging on Friday due to the grip levels of the asphalt that misled the Red Bull technicians, the second step of the podium obtained in the race is a result to be welcomed almost like a win.
Max achieved the best possible result and was supported by the team when he chose the perfect timing to make the stop to mount new intermediate tires which allowed him to maintain second position behind Valtteri Bottas.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
At the end of the race Verstappen appeared satisfied with this placement, also thanks to the fifth place obtained by Lewis Hamilton, and explained how the 58 laps of the race were quite demanding due to the asphalt conditions.
“Today was not easy. The track was very slippery and we had to manage the tires throughout the race without ever having the opportunity to push ”.
From the start Max understood that today he could not undermine a Bottas in a state of grace. The Finn never gave up the first position and immediately imposed an unrivaled pace for the Dutchman of Red Bull.
“It seemed to me that Valtteri had a better pace and was able to manage the tires better, but I’m equally happy with my second place because in these conditions it’s easy to make a mistake”.
At the end of the Istanbul round Verstappen regained the top of the drivers’ standings again. After reducing the gap to 2 points in Sochi, Max in Turkey has overtaken Hamilton again and now he can boast a 6-point margin over the Englishman.
The next appointment will be in Austin and also on the Texas track the two main protagonists of this exciting duel will mark each other on sight.
“It’s been a very close battle all year with Mercedes and I’m sure it will be in Austin too. We have to keep pushing and try to keep improving. It has been a very positive season so far ”.