Lewis Hamilton was too fast in Qatar, but Max Verstappen drove a very solid race despite that. He was given a five-place penalty not long before the race and started from P7. After four laps, however, he was already behind Hamilton in second place.
He already saw the punishment coming, he explains afterwards to Ziggo Sports when asked if he was disappointed shortly before the race. “To be honest not, because I knew what was coming. I never get presents.”
“I saw it coming, but in the end I find it difficult. They decide not to give a yellow flag, but a local marshall thinks a car is stationary, waves the yellow flag and you are penalized because of that. I think that is very crooked, but it is what it is.”
World start Verstappen
He then made a very good start and in no time he was on P2. “I was motivated of course”, he looks back with a smile. “They will never get me down anyway. The first lap was very important and after that I was very quickly second, but then we saw that we were just a bit short of speed.”
Nevertheless, he managed to put in a good race in the end and even snatch the extra point for the fastest lap from his competitor. “I thought, ‘I’ll try to keep the gap small, of course, so they couldn’t do an extra stop’. That worked out really well at the end, so I’m very happy that I managed to get the fastest lap. “
Verstappen still leads the World Cup
With two races to go, Verstappen now has an eight-point lead over Hamilton. It will not be easy to keep the Brit behind him, but the Dutchman will do everything in his power to do just that.
“Over the whole race we were still too slow of course, but I never give up. We won’t do that until the end of the season. Then we’ll see where we finish, but so far we’re still standing up.” head and we’re going to give everything. Hopefully we can hold on.”