Max: It’s more satisfying fighting Hamilton

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen isn't at Lewis Hamilton's level yet.

Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen isn't at Lewis Hamilton's level yet.

Racing against Lewis Hamilton at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen twice overtook the reigning World Champion out on track to set up the victory.

And that, he says, is “more satisfying” than racing any other driver.

Verstappen started the Interlagos race from pole position with the Red Bull driver and Hamilton covering one another’s strategies for the first 51 laps.

That changed when the Safety Car came out for Valtteri Bottas’ retirement with Red Bull pitting Verstappen while Hamilton stayed out.

As such the Dutchman was forced to pass Hamilton for the second time on Sunday, having already done so after his first pit stop.

That set Verstappen up for the victory, his third of this campaign.

“It was good,” Verstappen said of the fight.

“If you can battle against the World Champion it’s always more satisfying than battling someone for P10 or whatever.

“I think it was a good battle and we gave each other enough room. Just enough. But I think it was cool.”

He added: “I think we were quite closely matched and I think if there wouldn’t be a Safety Car it would have been a good fight towards the end of the race.

“But of course then the Safety Car came out and I think there the team did a really good job calling me in again for soft tyres.

“At the time I was a bit like, ‘is there going to work, I’m not sure’.

“But immediately in the re-start I had a good tow off Lewis and went around the outside.

“We had a good battle in Turn 1 and again in Turn 4.

“You could see that the tyre advantage really helped me of course and we could stay in first and control the race.”

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