Verstappen takes solace in Mercedes battle, dismisses lost point

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Verstappen takes solace in Mercedes battle, dismisses lost point

Formula 1

Verstappen takes solace in Mercedes battle, dismisses lost point

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Max Verstappen was left satisfied with his work in finishing second at the Portuguese Grand Prix despite two small errors that cost him a position and a point.

The Red Bull driver jumped Lewis Hamilton to run second after an early safety car period, but got out of shape at Turn 14, allowing Hamilton a run at him to regain the spot. After fighting past Valtteri Bottas to stay second, Verstappen went after the fastest lap on the final lap of the race but exceeded track limits at Turn 14 and saw the time deleted, with Bottas picking up the extra point as a result.

“I’m pleased — I tried everything I could, really,” Verstappen said. “I had a good restart; the actual start I just missed out a bit. We didn’t have a particularly great launch so I couldn’t really do anything there.

“It was a good fight with Lewis into Turn 1; managed to keep it on the curb so didn’t have to give the position back like in Bahrain. From there it was just super close between the three of us and I tried to attack Valtteri but all the time I could not get close enough in those last two corners and the run into the straight.

“By pushing, I had a little wobble — I didn’t really lose out a lot from that but Lewis was already super close behind and he got me into Turn 1. Then of course Lewis was putting the pressure on Valtteri and I just couldn’t stay close to Lewis for that, to also pick up the DRS. But it was close.

“I just tried to put the pressure on. Lewis cleared Valtteri, then I don’t know how many laps I was in Valtteri’s DRS — it was incredible! But it was good, it felt a bit more like… not flat-out racing, but at least a bit more than just continuously tire-saving. So it was nice.”

When he was informed that he had lost the fastest lap, Verstappen admitted he knew he was off track but thought it was at a corner that wasn’t being monitored.

“That’s a bit odd because they weren’t checking track limits at 14, but whatever.”

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