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"The car was on rails," says amazed Verstappen

NEWS STORY
05/07/2021

Scoring his fourth win from five races, Max Verstappen admits to being "amazed" by the RBR16B's performance. "I didn't expect it to be like this," he insists.

Just in case France and Styria hadn't sent a message, a dominating lights-to-flag win for Max Verstappen was clear evidence that 'the King is dead, long live the King', as F1 enters a new era.

OK, that era might only last for one season due to the rules overhaul in 2022, but yesterday's performance was clear proof - as if any was needed - that Verstappen is a world champion in waiting.

As his title rival suffered car damage that jeopardised his podium place, Verstappen added insult to injury by stopping for fresh rubber and subsequently posting the fastest lap, thereby denying Lewis Hamilton even that.

Not content, the Dutch youngster subsequently asked his team if he could improve on that time - such was his confidence - but permission was denied.

Nonetheless, the win gives Verstappen a 32 point lead in the championship and his team a 44 point comfort cushion.

I just had to be awake at the start, that I had a little bit of a gap," he explained. "I knew that if I could go fast on lap one or the restart, I could do my own race.

"You always have to do that first, but today it's been incredible."

No one came close to matching the Red Bull's pace, with Verstappen even having enough time to make an extra pit stop to pick up fresh tyres allowing him to take the bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

The biggest, indeed only, threat the Dutchman faced all afternoon was at the start, from Norris, but the Red Bull driver had that covered.

"The car was on rails," he beamed at race end. "I mean on every tyre set that we put on, it was really enjoyable to drive. Pretty insane.

"I'm a bit amazed myself how today went," he admitted. "I didn't expect it to be like this… incredible job by everyone to deliver something like this.

"A great effort by the whole team and also by Honda. I think the whole package, these two weeks, especially here, has been incredible," he grinned.

"Of course when you go into the weekend everyone sees you as the favourite. But it's never easy to always deliver what we did today," he said. "Incredible to be honest."

However, he warned against complacency.

"I'm enjoying it," he said, "but I'm also focused on the rest of the season. It is still so long and there are still a lot of points you need to score.

"We need to make sure that every single weekend we are back up there and we basically use the whole potential of the car.

"We had a good car here in Austria especially, I think it was just very dominant, but we have to make sure that in Silverstone we are there again and that's what we will look into now again to make sure we are very competitive there."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tardis40, 05/07/2021 16:11

"Pole, win, fastest lap, led every lap.

A Shumacher-esque performance."

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