Max Verstappen talks about F1 Italian GP win, as Christian Horner says Red Bull had it under control all-through the grand prix.
For Red Bull’s Verstappen, a fifth win in a row, from seventh place in the grid. Amusingly, it doesn’t seem to matter where he starts as he always seems to come up trumps. A clever drive and not withstanding he got through the field very quickly making up several places on the opening lap, coupled too and helped by the sluggish getaway by Lando Norris.
Not just that but the wing level utilised by the Dutchman assisted him better on race day than quali. “I think so, yeah,” started Verstappen. “I mean, it was very hot and we could really look after our tyres. Of course, it helped a lot that I had a great first lap, and I could clear most of the cars before they got into, let’s say, a DRS train”.
“And, yeah, from there onwards, basically, both tyres sets felt great and I could extend the first one a bit. And even on the Mediums, everything worked out really well. As for the start, I mean, you never know what is going to happen before Turn 1, right. But yeah, it worked out really well for me,” summed up Verstappen.
Late on owing to a VSC, several drivers pitted including chief protagonist Charles Leclerc but Red Bull took a gamble of sorts and it paid off. “Yeah, they told me opposite Charles, so it could have gone either way, I guess,” stated Verstappen.
With six races to run, he is in a massively commanding place to win his second title and Singapore is the first grand prix where he can secure that. Team boss Christian Horner was too a very happy man. He gave an in-depth analysis of the race and where Red Bull are in terms of their race performance and where they are at overall.
“We’ve honed the car,” said Horner to media. “We’ve managed to understand the car pretty well. And ironically, the car was very efficient in the high speed lower drag circuits. So Spa was very strong for us here the car was strong, we compromised a little bit qualifying, knowing that we were going to take the penalty, and that paid off well, I think we had tremendous pace”.
“And Max had already made it to P3 by the end of the first lap. Then a couple of laps later, he was second. And then he was just easing the gap down to Charles. And then it was the dilemma of the first VSC. The tyres were in good shape and we felt that, one stop was entirely possible for us. So that’s what we committed to. Max was just able to again have versus Charles on a medium his pace on the used soft was still very impressive”.
“Then we pitted circa lap 23, or whatever it was, I think. And it was then a question of bringing in the mediums. You know, not killing them in the early laps. And the gap in the Delta was coming down to Charles who then converted onto a two stop. But even on the soft tyre, Charles’s pace compared to Max on medium wasn’t sufficient to catch,” summed up Horner.
A team who right now are brimming with confidence. Getting to the sharp end in the race quickly. That in no doubt contributed to their controlling of the race. “We certainly had the race under control,” said Horner. “And then the incident with Daniel came, so we pitted it, we had a new set of tyres that we’d saved from Saturday as well”.
“And we were fully expecting to get racing again, under what looks to be a fairly trivial incident. But the race didn’t restart, which was disappointing not to win under racing conditions, because it sort of goes against everything that we’ve talked about over the last years. But great to get that victory and it puts Max in a great position,” summed up Horner.
A great position being the understatement of the weekend but notwithstanding that Ferrari gave up track position. “No, we understood why they did that,” said Horner. “I think we just had a faster car today. I think strategically they made a fine call. I think we just had a quicker package today. So I think we would have won the race, irrelevant to that.”
Here’s Charles Leclerc defending Ferrari strategy