Max Verstappen looks back with satisfaction at the United States Grand Prix. It didn’t matter much, but due to a flawless performance and a good strategy of his team, the Dutchman crossed the line first.
“It was certainly not easy,” he tells Ziggo Sport afterwards. “It looked good on the medium tires, but they really had some speed on the hard tires.” Verstappen is referring to Lewis Hamilton, who was only nine tenths behind him with two laps to go. “Of course we were aggressive with the strategy and that’s why we came for it, only at the end of the stints I always had very few tires left. It worked out just well enough.”
Good start for Hamilton
Immediately in the first corner, Verstappen lost the lead to the seven-time world champion, but according to the Limburger there was no question of a bad start: “I thought I had a reasonable start, only he had [Hamilton] a very good start. Then you have to give up, but you saw very quickly in the race that the speed was good on that medium band.”
Red Bull Racing took Verstappen in first twice, in order to start the undercut. Something that has worked out very well, but is never without risk. “We had to, because Lewis was within three seconds. When they drove in they were in front of me, so that was a logical decision. Then you have to keep it up, that was difficult.”
Verstappen didn’t feel pressure: “I can’t change it anyway. I just had to watch myself and not make mistakes. If I came out of turn one well and didn’t lose too much time in those fast corners, it was fine, only with two laps to go I got that Haas in front of me,” he refers to Mick Schumacher. “In the end it worked out well, but that made that last lap a bit more exciting.”