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Verstappen Norris Would've Won Without Safety Car

Verstappen Concedes Norris Would Have Won Even Without Safety Car

06/05/2024

Max Verstappen acknowledges Lando Norris’s deserved victory in Miami, even if the safety car hadn’t intervened.

Max Verstappen was smiling after the Miami Grand Prix… even though, unusually for him, he was outperformed!

“We saw it coming for a long time, I’m happy to have been beaten by Lando,” shared the Red Bull driver yesterday, untroubled by the controversy surrounding the safety car.

For Max Verstappen, it’s clear: Lando Norris won fair and square.

“He truly deserved it. He was just faster – significantly so towards the end. So, yes, it’s fantastic. You know, winning your first race is always very moving. And, yes, it brings you back to all those days you worked for Formula 1, dreamed of being on the podium, of reaching the highest step.”

“So, I’m not really satisfied with my day, but we can appreciate and respect what Lando did, and I’m very happy for him.”

So, without a safety car, could Max Verstappen have won the race? The Red Bull driver responds… with some irony.

“I mean, it’s always if, if, if, isn’t it? If my mother had balls, she’d be my father. I mean, that’s how it goes in racing. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes not.”

Sure, McLaren F1 had a big package of updates this weekend, but to think that Lando Norris would have the pace to beat the Red Bulls… Was Max Verstappen surprised?

“I didn’t really notice at the beginning because I was more focused on Oscar and the Ferraris. But then I heard Lando’s pace on worn mediums. I thought it was really crazy. I mean, I would never have been able to do that.”

“So I knew that even if there hadn’t been a safety car, when he came out on new tires, I would have to push very hard to keep him behind. And then, actually, the safety car came out.”

“Yes, I mean… That’s racing. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes against you. And even with that safety car, we still had every chance to win, but we clearly weren’t fast enough after that safety car. Once I realized that, I settled into a rhythm and tried to bring the car home in second place.”

While McLaren F1 performed exceptionally well, Red Bull seemed to struggle with unstable balance… the Milton Keynes-based car was unrecognizable.

“It was quite disappointing during the race. But also, I never really felt comfortable throughout the weekend. I think on the medium tires, it was still okay, but on the hards, it was a real disaster. I mean, just low grip, just a very delicate balance at low speed. I couldn’t really rely on my rear tires, while in high-speed corners, I was understeering a lot. So when you have these two issues, you can’t balance the car either, because you’re chasing two different things. So yes, I was looking for grip… and I didn’t have much.”

The ‘torpedo’ Pérez nearly took out Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen’s race could have ended… at the first corner, since his teammate Sergio Pérez nearly hit him like a torpedo! Did the Dutchman realize how close Checo was to him?

“Yes, I was very aware. I mean, I took the turn and saw him lock the brakes. And I watched the video after the race. There was like a scratch on my diffuser. So there might have been some contact. But yes, it was close. It could have ended in disaster, of course, for the team as well. So yes, I was lucky.”

Another incident that affected Max Verstappen’s race was when he hit the cone at turn 15… Did it damage his front wing? Can he explain the incident? Max Verstappen responds with humor!

“I didn’t like that cone, so I decided to remove it and test the durability of the front wing. So, it was a crash test I did. Yes, there was no damage.”

Yet Christian Horner stated that damage had been reported to Max Verstappen’s underfloor…

“The feel in the car wasn’t different, so I don’t know. Maybe my underfloor was already damaged. I don’t know. I mean, I hit that thing and then my pace was the same, so I really didn’t know if there was any damage.”

Verstappen Norris Would've Won Without Safety Car

Verstappen Admits Norris’s Win Inevitable. Verstappen Admits Norris’s Win Inevitable

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