Verstappen: VSC denied me a chance at podium

Date published: April 28 2019

Max Verstappen believes the VSC cost him a chance to fight Sebastian Vettel for P3 in Baku.

Max Verstappen has said that the Virtual Safety Car cost him the chance to fight for a podium at the Azerbaijan GP.

The Dutchman was running P4, closely behind Vettel, with the fresher tyres when the VSC was deployed after his team-mate Pierre Gasly ground to a halt. He subsequently lost temperature in his tyres, and pace with it.

Verstappen was left ruing his failure to switch the tyres back on quickly after the restart – firmly believing it cost him any chance of fighting Vettel for the last podium spot.

“I was catching up seven/eight seconds over that stint, so that was all good, but as soon as we got to the virtual safety car, I lost a lot of temperature,” he told Motorsport.com.

“It seems like our car is a maybe a bit more sensitive to that, or we’re just not on top of the tyres. I don’t know – otherwise, we would’ve of course fixed that.

“It was a lot more difficult after that, I was just sliding a lot, and around here if you don’t have the grip, you can’t take the risk into the corner and you lose a lot of lap time.”

The Red Bull man doesn’t have any major concerns going forward though, thinking it is likely something specific to the street circuit.

He added: “I think it’s just something on this track where it’s already very slippery, it seems like we are just not on top of it yet.”

Despite failing to get a podium, Verstappen is still ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship and only one point behind Vettel heading to Barcelona.

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