After climbing from 20th to second place in the tumultuous Russian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen credits a “crucial call.”
Max Verstappen finished second in the Russian Grand Prix after a valiant attempt.
Max Verstappen credited his race engineers for perfecting the timing of switching to intermediate tyres in the latter stages of a tumultuous Russian Grand Prix. After colliding with Lewis Hamilton in Monza, the Red Bull driver was already facing a grid penalty this weekend.
On Friday, the decision was made to change the engine in Verstappen’s vehicle, sending him to the bottom of the field for Sunday’s race.
Red Bull surprised by bringing Verstappen out in qualifying on Saturday, but he boxed before setting a time since he knew it wouldn’t affect the race.
Verstappen was up against a significant battle to reclaim some positions from Hamilton, who started the race in fourth place.
The seven-time world champion, though, had a bad start to the race, finishing sixth.
Verstappen, on the other hand, was quickly moving through the pack and was soon inside the top ten after the first round of pit stops.
However, Hamilton had gained distance on his opponents further down the field, and the race was soon reduced to a duel between him and Lando Norris at the front.
Then, in the final few laps of the race, the heavens opened, causing havoc.
Norris and Hamilton appeared to be debating whether or not to move to intermediates.
On lap 50, Hamilton took the risk, with Norris now fully committed to staying on slicks.
Around the same time, Verstappen arrived for inters and quickly rose to the top of the podium.
Because of the torrential rain, more drivers used the pits, and Verstappen took full advantage to finish second.
“Making the decision to switch to inters was a little tricky on the in lap,” Verstappen added.
“I believe we chose the appropriate time to pit. Coming from last to second place is a fantastic achievement.
“The race itself was not easy since passing was tricky and it was simple to destroy your tyres if you got locked. The rain aided us in making the final leap.
“With the penalty we were given, losing only one spot isn’t all that horrible. I certainly did not expect this outcome when I awoke this morning.
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