Max Verstappen said his audacious overtaking maneuvers in the Brazilian Grand Prix were inspired by watching Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher’s battle in the 2012 Interlagos Formula 1 race (ABOVE).
The Toro Rosso rookie finished ninth in Brazil last weekend, following Felipe Massa’s exclusion, after a grand prix in which he overtook Sergio Perez’s Force India and Felipe Nasr’s Sauber around the outside at the Senna S (BELOW). Raikkonen, then driving for Lotus, pulled a similar pass on Schumacher’s Mercedes during the 2012 race.
“I saw it a few years ago,” said Verstappen. “I thought, ‘That looks nice,’ then when you have the opportunity to try it as well…
“It’s very difficult to go around the outside because you have a lot of marbles there. You have to pay a lot of attention. You have a bit of clear air and you try to brake very late on the outside, and then it’s all about feeling, when not to lock and which line you can take and it’s all about positioning as well, because he’s trying to push you wide.
“You just continue, continue. Then we had a little touch into Turn 2, but that was good for me, because then I could get the job done.”
Verstappen paid tribute to his rival’s fairness in battle, and said he would place the move on Perez in his personal top-five overtaking moments.
“You can do your best, but if the other one just doesn’t care and smashes you off the track… Luckily Checo was very fair so we had a great fight,” Verstappen added. “I think we can be very pleased [with the result]. It was the maximum we could do, especially with those long straights. It’s very hard to keep a Force India and a Lotus behind.”