Verstappen hits out at "worthless" Grand Prix


As Fernando Alonso found his mirrors full of Max Verstappen for lap after lap after lap after lap, the Spaniard was advised that the last time a Red Bull had made a successful pass (Ricciardo) it was in Turn 13. It might have also been pointed out to the two-time world champion that it was one of the only passes of the entire race.

"I would have preferred for the last few laps not to have had him behind me, because he's always a threat," said the Spaniard at race end, "he's a very aggressive driver on overtaking moves. I knew I had to be very careful and make no mistakes. But it was fun!"

Fun for him maybe, but for the watching fans who had witnessed 50% less overtaking in 2017 than in the previous season it was pretty much a question of; same old, same old.

Despite the introduction of a third DRS zone - the sport's artificial attempt at circumventing one of its biggest turn-offs - the passes were few and far between.

At the end of a frustrating afternoon, Verstappen summed up the feelings of many when he described the race as worthless, admitting that if he'd been watching it on TV he would have switched off.

"It was very boring," said the hard-charging youngster. "You do your best to try something, and I was in DRS range all the time, but there is nothing you can do."

Asked how it must have been for fans watching on TV, he replied: "Completely worthless... I would have turned off the TV."

Focussing on everyone else bar Kevin Magnussen, the Red Bull driver lost out to the Dane at the start and thus began the first part of a very frustrating afternoon. In his determination to pass the Haas the youngster's enthusiasm finally got the better of him, a 360 spin at Turn dropping him further down the order behind Hulkenberg. Later in the race, the Dutchman suffered similar frustration as he trailed Alonso.

"You can't overtake," he insisted. "Look at Hamilton and Vettel, the same story with Alonso. They were also much slower, but you can't pass them. You try, but it doesn't make any difference. Even if you are one-and-a-half seconds faster, it's still not possible to overtake."

Asked whether it was the circuit itself which was the problem, the youngster echoed what almost all race fans have been saying for years.

"It is more down to the cars, because there used to be no problem with overtaking," he said.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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Published: 26/03/2018
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