Max Verstappen could have won the Grand Prix of Great Britain if he had not made a pit stop to drive the fastest race lap in a bizarre final phase, but the Dutchman was mainly satisfied afterwards that he was given second place as a gift.
“It was luck and bad luck in the final phase,” said Verstappen immediately after the race at Silverstone. “But I’m just very happy with my second place. That is a very good result for us, because Mercedes was way too fast in the race.”
The Red Bull Racing driver drove a lonely race, as he was far behind the Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and far ahead of number four Charles Leclerc (Ferrari).
In the last three laps a lot happened, because Bottas first got a flat tire and then race leader Hamilton. Verstappen took over second place from Bottas and then entered the pits for new tires to earn an extra World Cup point with the fastest race lap.
“My tires were not very good with ten laps to go, I already said that over the radio,” said Verstappen. “When Bottas had a flat tire, the team brought me in, but unfortunately Hamilton also had a flat tire afterwards.”
The flat front tire of Valtteri Bottas. (Photo: Pro Shots)
“I won a place”
Hamilton was thirty seconds ahead of Verstappen when he had to finish most of the final round on three tires. The World Cup leader eventually had more than five seconds left on Verstappen, who did not want to think about a scenario in which he had not made an extra pit stop.
“If Bottas does not get a flat tire, I will be third. So I was just lucky and won a place in the final phase,” the Dutchman told Ziggo Sport. “And I have one extra point for the fastest lap, which is also nice.”
Verstappen expects that next week, when there is another race at Silverstone, Mercedes will again be much too strong, despite the punctures on Sunday in the final phase. “If they have problems with the front tire again, they can just slow down half a second per lap. They’re just way too fast.”