Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had an extremely strong Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Sunday. The Dutch teenager who took victory at the Spanish Grand Prix just two races ago started the race from fifth place and came in fourth place just ahead of championship leader Nico Rosberg. Speaking following the race Verstappen commented by saying:
We did what we could today and that was a great job. We wanted to finish on the podium in front of the Williams but soon realised we were suffering with a bit too much tyre degradation. I think a little bit of rain could have helped us today. At the beginning I saved my tyres and fuel as I knew I could not stay with the front two. When Daniel got close behind I then decided it was time to push. I am very satisfied with my performance but also with the new power unit, you could see it was hard for the Mercedes to try and pass on the long straight so we are making good progress. The last ten laps I really enjoyed, I would actually say they were the hardest ten laps of my life. I was in fourth for a very long time so didn’t want to give up that position. It was a very hard battle at the end of the race, his [Rosberg] pace was very strong but we managed to keep ahead and then the last lap was pretty spectacular. After Monaco it’s nice to leave this race with a big smile on my face. Now looking ahead to Baku it’s a new experience for everyone so we have to wait and see how the grip levels are but today was definitely positive for us.
Daniel Ricciardo who finished the Monaco Grand Prix last time out on the podium in second place started the Canadian Grand Prix from fourth place and came home in seventh place and speaking following the race the Australian commented by saying:
The start initially was okay, the Mercedes were really slow so there wasn’t really anywhere to go and then out of Turn 2 with Rosberg coming back on, I had to go on the inside, Max was on the outside and then I lost a position there. Then we were a bit quicker than Max on the first stint with the ultra softs and I said I could be quicker if I had clean air, but after my first pit stop I locked the softs and ruined that set of tyres. I came in again and had traffic to Kimi, we were able to stay with him but damaging the tyres too much to really make an impact and pass. I think we didn’t have the best race today, fortunately in seven days we’ll get another chance. We definitely need to make it a better Sunday in Baku. I’m always excited to go to a new track. It’s a street circuit as well so it should be fun.
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner commented by saying:
I think the cool conditions in today’s race were a key factor. Max drove a strong race, defending vigorously at the end against Rosberg to claim fourth place. Unfortunately we just didn’t quite have the range on the tyres today to be able to do a one-stop, so the two-stop was the strategy that we had to adopt. Daniel dropped a place at the start and then was running in tandem with Max before the virtual safety car. After the restart he pitted for the soft tyre being one of the first to pit. Unfortunately a big lock-up a few laps later flat-spotted that tyre, necessitating another stop dropping him behind Kimi and unfortunately we couldn’t find a way past in the remaining laps. Overall a respectable performance at this kind of circuit and I look forward to the new track in one week’s time.