After finishing in P3 at the Belgian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen says that it wasn’t the most exciting race from his perspective.
As has so often been the case in 2020, the Dutchman was the quickest driver outside of a Mercedes car in Saturday’s qualifying to ensure he started the race on the second row.
With Daniel Ricciardo in a Renault with excellent straight-line speed starting alongside him, there were fears that the Aussie would pass the Red Bull early on. However, despite his best efforts, Ricciardo couldn’t find a way past, and Verstappen soon began to pull away from him.
He couldn’t keep up with the Mercedes drivers ahead though and soon ended up in something of a No Man’s Land. A lonely race followed, and Verstappen didn’t exactly enjoy it.
“To be honest, it was pretty boring. There wasn’t much to do,” he told Martin Brundle after the race.
“I couldn’t keep up with them [Mercedes] when they started pushing. I ran out of tyres at the end of the race, so in the last eight laps we mainly saved the front tyres.”
‘It was not really enjoyable out there. On the medium, I didn’t really have a lot of grip and on the hard tyre, yeah, initially I was trying to put a bit of pressure on Valtteri (Bottas) but they told him to speed up and I couldn’t keep up. So, yeah bit lonely.”
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After the first round of pit-stops, triggered by a Safety Car, Mercedes was concerned that Verstappen would try to do a two-stop race. However, he never built a big enough gap to Ricciardo to be able to come in and out again ahead of his former team-mate and didn’t fancy trying to pass him.
He, therefore, stayed out and says he wasn’t too far away from picking up a puncture at the end.
“I wasn’t sure if it was easy to overtake him [Ricciardo]at their top speed, so I wanted to stay out,” he added.
“I think I was very close to a puncture but more was not possible today. It was not the most satisfying P3 but it is better than nothing.
“We had no tyres left and I was not taking any risks. We maximised what we could.”