December 2, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The last rounds are annoying? According to Max Verstappen, it was fun

25.10.2021 12:30

The US Formula 1 Monoposts Grand Prix had another great show. In a great strategic battle, the scales were tilted once to one side and once to the other, so that Max Verstappen emerged victorious in the end. He showed nerves of iron, and under great pressure from Lewis Hamilton, he did nothing wrong.

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The Dutchman started the race from first place but lost it in the first corner. In his Red Bull Racing team, they then realized that they would defeat their opponent only with an aggressive strategy and “jump” on him with two stops at the right time.

It was clear that after applying such a tactic, Lewis Hamilton would have the advantage of big tires at the end of the race (8 laps of newer rubber), but Max Verstappen’s position on the track was ultimately more important. Although the seven-time world champion pressed, in the end he couldn’t handle a single attack.

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Verstappen: We had to try differently

“I like the way we played strategically. It’s good to be aggressive sometimes,” Max Verstappen smiled in a good mood. “We lost our position at the start, so we had to try differently. But it was tough. We knew the tire wear was very high on this track. We were aggressive, but I didn’t know if it would work.”

In the last rounds, Max Verstappen behaved like a man without nerves. Few would have survived such pressure, and this was what many experts and observers realized. His fans couldn’t breathe, but he was paradoxically enjoying it: “The last few rounds have been fun. I’ve really gone to the side in the fast turns, but I’m so glad I kept it up.”

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“Congratulations to Max, who did a great job.” asked Lewis Hamilton. “It was a very tough race, it was a good start and I put everything into it. But in the end, they had the upper hand this weekend and actually we couldn’t achieve more.”

Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton

Source: Reuters

At Mercedes, they know what to do

Max Verstappen got into the pits in the 10th and 29th rounds out of a total of 56, so his last stint was pretty long. His team was doing it on purpose, but Lewis Hamilton could have capitalized on it in the end. Mercedes waited and called up its rider in rounds 13 and 37. It was clear that this way they would have a huge aerodynamic advantage in the end.

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ chief track engineer, commented on the situation. Looking back at the situation, it is clear to him that Lewis Hamilton needed to stand up even in front of Max Verstappen. About the eighth round I acknowledge. “At that moment, we felt it would ruin our race, but if we look at it now, we have to stop in time and get to the finish line.”

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This is Wolf: Of course we could have won

Tutt Wolff was also disappointed with the Mercedes boss. “Of course we could have won. After all, we drove and had a very good pace with the hard tyres,” Austrian said. “We have a lot of positive conversations about what we learned this weekend.”

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Wolf immediately praised Max Verstappen, who, according to him, showed high quality: “Recently, we could see that he learned from the second assignment. He didn’t spoil his tires and there was something at the end.”

“Lewis was driving fantastically, he was able to rev and at some stages we were much faster. It managed brilliantly, but eventually we couldn’t get any close. When you follow closely another car, you start to worry. We probably needed two more laps, Who knows. But what else, we won’t change it now. We have to congratulate Red Bull for their discontinuation,” Toto Wolff added.

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Max Verstappen currently has 287.5 points, and Lewis Hamilton 275.5 points. By the end of the season, there are still five Grand Prix to be held in Mexico, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.