Skip to content
Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead


“I thought they couldn’t do this to us anymore,” says Christian Horner of Mercedes’ turnaround at Red Bull in Barcelona last month; Max Verstappen takes title lead over Lewis Hamilton to 12 points

Last updated: 06/20/21 10:53 PM



Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead







5:13

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflect on incredible battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the French GP

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflect on incredible battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the French GP

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the determination not to endure a repeat of how Mercedes beat them in the Spanish GP in May led them to a two-stop winning strategy with Max Verstappen on Sunday at Paul Ricard.

Verstappen had regained the lead he had originally lost with an error at the start of the race against Lewis Hamilton by undermining the Mercedes in the early pit stops, but the team then ceded that position on the track by pitting the Dutchman for the second time in the 32nd round.

Verstappen dropped to fourth and, with Mercedes not responding with saves for any of their cars and taking first and second place, the championship leader was forced to switch back on cooler tires.

Having easily passed a conforming Sergio Perez in sister Red Bull three laps later, Verstappen passed Bottas on lap 44 before stumbling steadily in Hamilton. He caught up to and passed the seven-time world champion halfway through the penultimate round to claim his 13th career victory.

Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead

Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead 1:48
Max Verstappen was delighted to belatedly overtake title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead atop the drivers’ standings

Max Verstappen was delighted to belatedly overtake title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead atop the drivers’ standings

The comeback was almost a role reversal from what happened in Barcelona three races ago, when Mercedes opted for a second pit stop with Hamilton, then second, and the world champion managed to overhaul Verstappen for the win with cooler tires.

Talk to Sky Sports F1 After the race, Horner admitted, “I thought they couldn’t do this to us anymore. That’s why we made the stop and then it’s up to Max to catch up on the track.”

Once he passed Bottas, Verstappen followed Hamilton by five seconds and, although he completed several more laps before genuinely taking the lead’s advantage, he came back behind the lead Mercedes with time to spare. .

“We could see Lewis was pretty much in the tire tread so there was nothing left on that tire,” Horner added.

“Max had five, six laps to do it after clearing Valtteri. He put his head down and, I have to say, Lewis was very fair with the pass.

“He didn’t defend hard or aggressively; it was a very clean move.”

Red Bull has now won three consecutive races for the first time in the era of Mercedes-dominated turbo-hybrid engines and has strengthened its lead in both world championships in preparation for a one-two at its home Austrian circuit over the past few years. next fortnight.

“It was a great race,” said Horner. “You can see how tight it is. It’s a big win for us here, but you just have to look at how tight it is.”

Verstappen: Earn no return on investment

Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead

Red Bull explains Max Verstappen’s strategy and French GP victory as challengers bolster Mercedes lead 1:48
Max Verstappen was delighted to belatedly overtake title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead atop the drivers’ standings

Max Verstappen was delighted to belatedly overtake title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead atop the drivers’ standings

For Verstappen, a third race win of the season and an extended championship lead of 12 points offset to some extent the disappointment that he lost an almost certain victory a fortnight ago in Baku before his rear tire burst. .

Asked about it, also representing a turnaround from another potential Barcelona win, the Dutchman said he was simply focused on the future rather than the comeback.

“There is no return on investment because things have happened in the past, you cannot change,” the race winner told Sky F1. “It’s about trying to do things better.

“Again, it was very tight. It was not very easy with the wind and the track conditions. But being able to win this race is extremely satisfying.”

Asked about his late pursuit of Hamilton, Verstappen added: “You never know. I’m just doing my laps but you also have to see what they can do. I could of course see Lewis managing his pace a bit but then they ran on the front lines so they couldn’t really defend. ”

Horner had said after Verstappen’s pole position on Sunday that Red Bull could be sure to win on any type of circuit if they managed to beat Mercedes at Paul Ricard, a track that features several different types of turns.

“I hope so,” Verstappen said when his team boss’s remarks were addressed to him. “I hope Christian is right!”

.



Source link