Max Verstappen ends the Qatar Grand Prix weekend with a smile. The clawed second place in Losail is the perfect result that allows him to minimize the damage, considering the easy victory obtained by Lewis Hamilton.
And to say that things had gotten pretty bad a few hours before the departure. The race marshals had penalized him by 5 positions to be served on the grid for not respecting the double yellow flag displayed in Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying.
Max, however, did not panic and, on the contrary, the situation made him unleash a determination that we have often seen in him in previous years. Thanks to a start at the limit of perfection and a pace second only to Hamilton, it took the Dutch driver a few kilometers to recover the second position.
At that point the long-distance fight with Hamilton began. Lewis, however, has been unattainable this weekend. This is why Max willingly accepted second place and got the additional point by signing the fastest lap in the race. Thus he managed to minimize the amount of points lost by Hamilton. His advantage over the Mercedes driver is now 8 points when there are 2 races left to finish the World Championship.
“It didn’t go badly.” Verstappen told Jenson Button after the race. “Our starting position compromised the race a bit but we started very well. We managed to get back to second place very quickly and the fastest lap was definitely a positive thing. I know it will be difficult until the end, but it will be exciting.” .
The Losail track hosted a Formula 1 grand prix for the first time just this weekend. Verstappen promoted the track with flying colors and also provided an excellent assist to Pirelli, as regards the tire degradation seen during the race.
“This track is a lot of fun for a rider. Even in terms of tire degradation, I think it went very well. It was very good. There are 2 races left and I feel good. Between me and Lewis it will be a tight battle until the end.”
Verstappen was much harsher on Sky Sport’s microphones, talking about the penalty that the race commissioners imposed on him just before the start of the third to last round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship: “I knew they would give me the penalty, I don’t receive never gifts from the commissioners. I don’t know what he did wrong, maybe my face. I tried to keep my concentration and do my best anyway. In the end after the comeback Lewis was too far away, but even for them not everything went for the right way, because I did the fastest lap … “.
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