Given that he didn’t expect to race at all after his pre-race crash, Max Verstappen says that P2 feels like a victory.
The Dutchman’s Sunday got off to the worst possible start when, heading to the grid before the race, he lost control of his car and went into the wall.
He managed to nurse the Red Bull to the grid but had no front-wing and damaged suspension.
The team’s mechanics immediately got to work and managed to get the car back in good condition and ready to go before the start of the race.
Verstappen thanked them over the team radio on his formation lap before making an excellent start and moving up to P2, where he finished.
“It was not how I wanted it in the beginning, of course, ending up in the barriers the lap to the grid,” he said after the race.
“The mechanics did an amazing job to fix the car. I don’t know how they did it but incredible. So to pay them back with second place, I’m very pleased for that.”
“The first lap was very crucial, and from there on we had the right calls and we had good pace so we just kept doing our own thing. And of course, to be able to split the two Mercedes cars is good for us.”
“It [the repairs] was just in time but everything was working like normal.”
Max out before the start? That front left took a big whack. pic.twitter.com/7l1MaaUPWo
— Grand Prix Diary (@GrandPrixDiary) July 19, 2020
Verstappen lost P2 to Valtteri Bottas in Austria last week, with the Finn passing him late on on fresher tyres.
History almost repeated itself today as Bottas pitted and began to rapidly catch the Red Bull. He couldn’t quite get the move done, and Verstappen crossed the line feeling like a winner.
“I was just trying to do my own pace. Of course, I could see he was catching [by] like a second a lap,” the Dutchman added.
“But of course following here is quite tricky so as soon as he was within one-and-a-half seconds it was a bit more difficult for him.
“Then in the last lap we had also traffic in front which didn’t make it easier for me on those old tyres but we managed to hang on and [I’m] very happy with second.
“I thought I was not going to race so to be second is like a victory today.”