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Verstappen's Rally Secures Second in Tense Race

Verstappen Clinches Second Amidst ‘Mediocre’ Run

08/07/2024

Despite a ‘mediocre afternoon’, Max Verstappen fought back to clinch a commendable second place, showcasing resilience and tactical prowess on the track.

Struggling in the early laps of the British Grand Prix, where he couldn’t keep up with the Mercedes F1s before being overtaken by the McLarens, Max Verstappen once again put on a spectacular performance to reverse the trend and finish second in the race, making perfect use of strategic opportunities presented by the rain and then a drying track.

The Red Bull driver, who overtook Lando Norris towards the end of the race before finishing in the wake of Lewis Hamilton, also increased his lead in the world championship and was naturally pleased with this fine second place.

“The start of the race wasn’t very good. I tried to keep up, but I ran out of tires, they overheated and I struggled to find grip. Then Lando passed me. Then Oscar. It started to rain. I had no grip either. I didn’t want to take too many risks because I wasn’t feeling comfortable. So I decided to just stay there and try to survive. And that’s what I did. And at one point, even Carlos joined in. So I thought, ‘Man, this is really a bad afternoon.'”

“But then, yes, we stayed on the track, we made the right choices switching from slicks to intermediates at the right time, and then from intermediates back to slicks, which kept me in contention, really. I mean, by making the right decisions, we were there at the right time. And at the end, with the hard tire, it was the right decision for us, no doubt. We could push on the tire, because the Medium was already not good enough for us. So in the end, pushing hard on the hard tire was the best we could do and we finished second. At one point, we could only aim for a fifth or sixth place. So yes, in a mediocre afternoon, I would say that in terms of performance, being second is something.”

Regarding the difficult start to the race, “I simply didn’t have the pace. I couldn’t keep up with what they were doing in front of me. A lot of graining. And that’s something, of course, that we need to look into.”

And about the good strategic decisions made by Verstappen and Red Bull, the three-time reigning world champion naturally mentions his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase.

“It’s a constant discussion I have with Gianpiero, you know, with the radar, he gives me the information he has, as well as he can. And then, as a driver, of course, at some point, if you don’t feel you can continue on slicks and think it’s time to switch to intermediates, you have to shout on the radio that you’re coming in. That’s what we did. And then, it’s the same thing switching from intermediates back to slicks. Of course, the team can sometimes help you a bit more by seeing what other drivers are doing on the track. But in the end, the sun was coming back, the track was drying quickly as it had during the previous days, and I took a risk.”

A “Race Pace” Deficit “to Understand”

Silverstone has generally favored Red Bull in recent years, but this time the Austrian team found at least two teams outperforming them in terms of pure speed. Does this pose a concern for Verstappen for the remainder of the season despite still holding a comfortable lead in the championship?

“On a single lap, it didn’t seem too bad. I think it was mainly the race pace. We just didn’t have the pace. I couldn’t keep up with the others. And that’s something, of course, that we need to understand.”

Thus, England, thanks to Hamilton, claimed victory at Silverstone, but our friends across the Channel will have a chance for revenge against the Netherlands Wednesday evening in the second semi-final of the Euro football tournament. As a fervent supporter of the Oranje, Verstappen will naturally be backing his team from his television.

“I’ll be watching the match. I always send messages to Virgil (Van Dijk, captain and defender of the Dutch team) before or after a game. Honestly, I don’t need to tell them anything. I think they know much better what they need to prepare and how they need to work themselves and with, of course, all the people involved in the team, right? So, of course, I hope the Netherlands will win. I mean, it’s simple, but I hope it will be a great match. And of course, it would be great to be in the final.”

Verstappen's Rally Secures Second in Tense Race

Verstappen’s Rally Secures Second in Tense Race Verstappen’s Rally Secures Second in Tense Race

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