After the Sprint Shootout, Max Verstappen was still disappointed with his lap that gave him the second starting spot, but the world champion did not need long to regain the lead. After the first corner, Verstappen was back in first place, after which he was never seriously attacked by his pursuers again.
The Dutchman himself was very happy with his good start. ‘Yes, the start was crucial. That ensures that you stay out of trouble in the first two or three laps,” says the Red Bull Racing driver at F1TV. After his good start, Verstappen benefited from the fact that he was on the inside of the first corner. Lando Norris was then also surprised by George Russell, and needed a while to regain second place.
‘After that it was all about managing the tyres. “I had to take good care of the tires, because here you always have a lot of trouble with tire wear, and you slide around a lot on the tires,” said the Dutchman. ‘Things were close between Lando (Norris, ed.) and me for a long time. We were doing pretty similar lap times for much of the race, and in the last few laps I felt a little more comfortable.” Ultimately the lead increased to just under five seconds.
Verstappen is looking forward to it
Verstappen also looked back on the 2022 edition, where Red Bull missed the mark in terms of setup. However, he wonders whether it will be as easy in the Grand Prix as in the sprint race. ‘Everyone will learn a lot from the sprint race and apply that during the Grand Prix. I’m very happy, because compared to last year this was ten times better for us and I’m already looking forward to the Grand Prix.’
He does not dare to say much about the conditions during the Grand Prix, where lower temperatures are expected. ‘That is difficult to predict. We then drive with a lot of fuel on board at the start and have lower track temperatures. I think we still have to manage the tires a lot. Maybe it will work better for some others, but I have no idea what it will be like for me.’
Verstappen can take his seventeenth win of the season this weekend in Brazil. Also betting on F1? Register now at JACKS and receive 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+