Verstappen impresses Brawn: 'Delivered a masterclass'

27-09-2021 12:15 | Updated: 27-09-2021 15:13
Verstappen impresses Brawn: 'Delivered a masterclass'

Mercedes were no doubt hoping that Lewis Hamilton's lead over Max Verstappen in the world championship would be a little bigger after the weekend in Russia. Ross Brawn sees Red Bull Racing's team keeping the pressure on, thanks in part to a fine second place at the Sochi Autodrom.

Red Bull puts pressure

"They had years where it was Nico or Lewis as there was no one to pick up the pieces if they didn’t deliver. Mercedes had that cushion if they messed up," Brawn refers to in his column for Formula 1's official website, noting that the German formation has always been miles ahead in the world championship in recent years. "Now there is no cushion. Max is putting up a massive challenge for the championship, he was fantastic on Sunday."

The difference between Hamilton and Verstappen is just two points with seven Grands Prix to go. According to Brawn, the Dutchman owes that mostly to himself, and a little to the weather. "He delivered a masterclass in damage limitation to recover to second from last and while he lost the championship lead, he’s only two points behind Lewis now."

Experience the key

Verstappen could fall back on his experience in Russia. "We saw this last year in Turkey, where conditions were tricky, that experience counted and the same was the case in Russia. The likes of Lewis and Max came through and bagged the top places and Lando’s inexperience showed a bit. But he will make a better decision next time he’s in that scenario. The others had been in that situation, and they could call on that experience."

In the view of Liberty Media's sporting director, it is therefore not surprising that the two oldest drivers on the grid finished in the top-ten. "Fernando [Alonso] was at his brilliant best again – and Kimi showed that he can still make his experience count and get the job done," Brawn concluded.

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