Spanish GP-Verstappen: “It was quite close”

Spanish GP-Verstappen: “It was quite close”

Find the reactions of the drivers at the end of the Spanish Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen (PBS/Red Bull
Racing) – Vainqueur

“What made my race was the beginning. I took the lead on the third lap, and then I was able to build up a cushion. In this first stint, I was able to widen the gap a little and afterwards, I had to do a defensive race against Lando Norris and McLaren. They were very fast today (Sunday), and in the last laps they were very fast, but we did everything well. We took a pretty aggressive strategy, but luckily everything worked out well in the end. It was quite close, but I’m very happy to win. I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, I had to ride on the grass a bit, which made me lose a bit of momentum, and then of course we braked quite late in Turn 1. But once I was in the lead, I was able to manage my tires better, and that really made my race easier. They get really hot with all the fast corners, so you slide around a lot and it’s just a management race. »

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) –
2eme

“It’s not that I could win this race, I had to win it. I got off to a bad start, it’s as simple as that. The car was incredible today (Sunday), we were definitely the fastest. I lose it at the start. I’m disappointed but there are a lot of positives to come from it. The only negative point ruined everything. I am aware that I have to work on this for the next race. We take a lot of points, I thank the team because the car was incredible. I’m not sure what happened initially. I’ll have to study this. I was very close to Max Verstappen but I lost. It’s a new mission accomplished for them but it’s a shame that we lost this race. »

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) –
3eme

“This weekend was solid. I have to say a big thank you to the team because they trained so hard on pit stops and strategy and it paid off. Unfortunately, like Lando Norris, I didn’t get a good start and lost ground to the Ferraris. So it was quite a fight to come back. However, even with a good start, I don’t know if we would have been able to hold off the two drivers who finished in front of me, but I don’t think I would have gone that far. Putting on the hard tires was never an option, so I did a race with the softs, the mediums then the softs. All the overtaking was very close and that’s how it should always happen. With Carlos Sainz Jr, there was contact but it was respectful. I left some space and he was at the limit. »

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) –
4eme

“I was dreaming about it yesterday (Saturday) evening. But I didn’t really think it would come true the way it did initially. I knew I could brake deep and late into the first corner and I think that caught the guys a little off guard. It was quite satisfying. I brought out my internal Fernando Alonso from 2012, an iconic departure as usual! I knew we had a strong headwind and that I could brake very late. But several things worked against us today (Sunday). The slow pit stop put me a little behind in the middle of the stint, then I was forced to come in a little early at the end. That hard tire really sucked. We knew that third or fourth was the maximum and that we had to protect that result. I was a little disappointed not to be on the podium, but Lewis Hamilton did a great job. »

Charles Leclerc (MCO/Ferrari) –
5eme

“We were of course waiting for the race to judge if it was a little better. It wasn’t much better, honestly, so we’ll have to watch because it’s a weekend where we expected better than that. I hope it’s a race without but hey, quite honestly, it’s been two races since Canada where we’re having a little trouble so we’ll have to look. I think it was for different problems, but over the length of a season, we always have to be there and we clearly weren’t there the last two Grands Prix. Of course we can turn the situation around, I think Monaco was better than our real level, because there are other factors that come into play. But there, that’s two races where we’re struggling and we’re going to have to let’s look at that, like I said. »

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) – 9th

“We can be very satisfied, it was a very good weekend! We had a good qualifying session with both cars in the Top 10 and today (Sunday) we managed to have a good race, scoring points with both cars. We managed to fight with a McLaren and a Red Bull Racing at certain times. It’s a shame for eighth place but we’re making progress, that’s the most important thing. We had a little more trouble with the hard tires at the end. We had to manage a lot during the race, it was very hot. Overall, we had a good race. There are things to improve like the first pit stop where we lose a little time. I wasn’t super comfortable in the car but we managed to perform well by being in the points three times in the last three races. You have to continue and try to get a little more each time. »

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine) –
10eme

“It’s positive because we finished in the points but perhaps not very positive because it’s only nine and ten and it’s not a lot of points. We think we had a flat bottom problem, damage from something at the start of the race that we caught on the front of the floor so for us the race was very difficult. The car didn’t handle well at all. The engineers have just told us that there was a problem at the front of the car and we need to understand what it was exactly and why we had this problem. We still limit the problems by finishing in the points but it was hot and it normally shouldn’t have been so hot. The car was behaving very strangely. There was a lot of oversteer going into corners, the car was sliding a lot and we were overheating the tires. We finished in the points, it’s positive with all that, hoping for fewer problems next week. »

Sources: official Formula 1 interviews, Canal+, Sky Sports

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