Verstappen ready for rain at Styrian Grand Prix

Date published: July 9 2020

Max Verstappen PA

Rain meister Max Verstappen is excited by the prospect of a wet Styrian Grand Prix with the hope of avenging his initial disappointment in Austria.

Verstappen started second on the grid for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix and was running in the same position, behind pole-sitter and eventual winner Valtteri Bottas, when forced to retire on lap six when his Red Bull lost power.

Triumphant at the Spielberg circuit in 2018 and 2019, the 22-year-old Dutchman has also earned himself a reputation for being superb in the rain – as demonstrated by his victory in Germany last year and the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix in which he surged from 14th position with 16 laps remaining to finish third.

The forecast is for wet weather to hit the Red Bull Ring this weekend and Verstappen would not mind that one jot as he bids to claim his first points of the campaign and reignite his World Championship hopes.

Quoted by Crash.net, Verstappen said: “I’m looking forward to racing on the same track again this weekend and it’s a good opportunity to get a better understanding of the car.

“Whatever we found wasn’t perfect last weekend we can improve this week. On the same track I always think it’s quite nice to do a direct comparison, depending on the weather, and hopefully we can do better this time.

“It looks like it could rain this week and I’m not sure anyone knows how competitive they are in the wet with these new cars, so that could be interesting.

“I always enjoy driving in the wet, I don’t mind it, but to be quick you need both the car and driver to be 100%.”

Verstappen is now playing catch-up in the World Championship to Mercedes duo Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, as well as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was second in Austria. But he was satisfied with how competitive his car had been until the fault that caused it to lose drive.

He said after the race: “Quite early on I could see Valtteri was quick, so fighting for the win was always going to be a big challenge.

“But I think it would have been an easy podium and third would have been a decent start to the season, but what can you do? This is racing and it is what it is, you can’t change the result now.”

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