Verstappen hits back at Russell’s damning allegations on Red Bull’s true pace
In the midst of heated controversy, Verstappen has clapped back at Russell’s damning accusations of Red Bull’s true pace. According to Russell, Red Bull has intentionally held back their full potential, fearing that the sport might attempt to quell their domination in the future.
Verstappen responds to Russell’s comments about Red Bull’s real pace, stating “I am not deliberately underdriving my F1 car.” George Russell has suggested that Red Bull has a significant advantage in terms of pace over the rest of the field, and that they have intentionally held back from showing their full potential in case the sport seeks to curb their dominance in the future.
Max Verstappen has admitted that Red Bull was managing its pace in relation to tire wear issues during the Australian Grand Prix, as it was “unnecessary” to destroy the hard tires and risk having to make an additional pit stop at the end of the race. However, he stated that this was the only management he imposed on his car.
Verstappen stated that Mercedes is powerless to compete against them, and they are focused on optimizing their car development just like their competitors. Furthermore, Verstappen indicated that Mercedes does not possess an F1 car that can defeat them in a fair competition.
“So, yes, to respond to George, I wasn’t taking too many risks, but it was just because of the tires. I’m not deliberately underdriving my F1 car,” stated Verstappen.
Verstappen explained that managing pace is crucial in a Formula 1 race because there was uncertainty about how long the hard tire would endure, and he believes that no one was entirely sure.
Verstappen added that in such a situation, their priority was to ensure the safe arrival of the car because they had a slight advantage in pace over their competitors. He believed that there was no point in pushing to gain half a second per lap and risking tire damage until the end since the tire’s durability was uncertain.
“A safety car can come out, red flags, like we had, so I was very happy to have preserved the life of my tires,” said Verstappen.
Christian Horner also responded to Russell’s comments, saying “That’s very generous of him! His team knows only too well about those kind of advantages. There’s always an element of management going on in any race. Because it was a one-stop race, and that stop had to be taken very early due to the safety car.”
“Of course, there was an element of tire management, and you could see that Checo [Perez] wasn’t hanging around. He wasn’t dragging his feet or holding back seven tenths per lap because he didn’t want to show it. The field was certainly a bit closer here,” added Horner.
Verstappen hits back Russell allegations on Red Bull’s true pace Verstappen hits back Russell allegations on Red Bull’s true pace Verstappen hits back Russell allegations on Red Bull’s true pace
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