Max Verstappen lost the Hungarian GP despite a strong performance. In the end, Mercedes had a better strategy, a stronger car and a world champion behind the wheel. That’s what the Dutchman had to say:
When both started on the same strategy with the same hard tires Hamilton wasn’t able to pass the leading Dutchman, who sent him into the run-off zone after a failed attack.
When Hamilton did another pitstop in lap 48 to put on medium-soft tires raise, Red Bull should have countered, considering their pit crew is amazingly fast. But they didn’t.
Max Verstappen had to survive 45 long laps on hard tires and in the heat of Hungary. Hamilton, on the other hand, had only 22 laps to go on his fresher medium tires for catching up on Verstappen. He did that by breaking one lap record after another – it was, indeed, an astounding performance by the British driver.
In the end, Verstappen was defeated and he was open about it:
“It wouldn’t have made any sense to pit, too, because then I would have come out behind him. When you finish second, you have more room to gamble with the strategy. My tires just wore off and I couldn’t keep Lewis’ pace. Therefore, it wasn’t a big disappointment when he approached.”
Verstappen’s team and entourage, on the other hand, were visibly disappointed. Father Jos to ABMS and F1-Insider.com: “Mercedes just had the better strategy today.”
Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko quickly disappeared from the scene: “No comments today!.”
Both know what Verstappen junior already confirmed: “If Lewis had stayed on a one-stop strategy, I could have controlled him. I defended as well as I could. But you can also see how much margin they have left when they have to push. And Lewis was also on fire today.”
Sure, the five-time world champion wanted to show who still dominates Formula 1. But Red Bull is catching up. Verstappen:
“We still have a few updates in the quiver that bring will bring us closer.”
And we are all sure, that at the Belgium GP, he himself will be “on fire” because for the Belgian born Dutchman it will be like a second home race …
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.