Verstappen chose the best moment in the rain: 'Feeling of the driver'

27-09-2021 06:32
F1 News
Verstappen chose the best moment in the rain: 'Feeling of the driver'

For Max Verstappen the second place after the Russian Grand Prix felt like a victory. The Dutchman started the GP from the back and seemed to strand halfway through, but the rain gave the Dutchman another chance.

For Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, the Russian GP was always going to be a race where the damage had to be limited. With Verstappen's penalty still outstanding from Italy, that became even more the case, and the team eventually opted for a completely new engine as well. Verstappen came back from the back though.

Rain in Russia

''It definitely felt very good crossing the line, you know, we all know how hard it is to pass and especially with the midfield being so competitive this year, it is really hard to get by and also that was shown again today. I of course got by quite a few but then, yeah, at one point you just get stuck. Today also was very hard on the tyres. I think they were just graining and opening up very quickly, so then you just lose a lot of grip and it makes you stuck even more and you just can’t really attack any more,'' Verstappen told the press conference afterwards.

''We just stayed calm, stayed focused, just tried to follow them and basically yeah, when the rain came, I think at the end of the day we made the right call and the right lap to box – because the lap before probably, if we would have boxed, I would have destroyed the Inters in that one or two laps because of it still being a bit too dry for two-thirds of the track. So yeah, to basically go from seventh to second for us was, of course, today an amazing result.''

Choice of Verstappen

However, there were also many wrong decisions made in the rain. Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc stayed out too long and saw their chances of achieving a good result go up in smoke. Verstappen and his team chose the best moment, he explained afterwards.

''Naturally when you’re driving on slicks and it starts raining, it’s more of a driver-feel, so they kept on asking me. Communication is very important when it’s like that – so they kept on asking me, even though sometimes I couldn’t press the radio button because you’re trying to keep the car on the track. I was saying, the lap before, I think we still have to continue, because I was only losing like eight, nine seconds and then yeah, that lap, when we boxed, at one point it was so hard to keep the car on the track. I was like ‘we need to box’ but you’re not entirely sure. Then the team said ‘OK, we’ll box’, they called me in and it was the right call," Verstappen concluded.

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