Verstappen charged to triumph on account of amazing tire management over his first stretch on the hard compound Pirellis which permitted him to pull out an advantage over Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after their first stops.
Settling on the elective technique by beginning the hard tires, Verstappen knew his initial spell and tire management would be vital and subsequent to seeing the Mercedes team battling he began to close the hole which prompted Red Bull cautioning him to drop back to care for his own tires.
Verstappen reacted over his group radio, “this the only chance of being close to the Mercedes, I’m not just sitting behind like a grandma” and appropriately kept the pressure on before the first pitstops.
After the race, the Dutch driver clarified he was content with his tire management and could see the Mercedes drivers were enduring so he wanted to amplify his chance.
“I was already managing [my tyres] but their tyres were completely gone, I could see the tyres opening up,” Verstappen said. “But it was also expected with these tyres especially on high fuel when the car is very heavy.
“But I didn’t want to just sit behind like I have been doing in previous races all the time so once I had the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on I want to do that so I tried.
“I had a big moment once when I was close to Lewis in Turn 13, because it is really hard to follow even when I had the grip advantage.
“Then it got to the point where it was impossible for them to continue so they boxed and that is where my race started.”
Verstappen additionally surrendered he was careful about destroying his own tires while following Bottas and Hamilton yet felt it wasn’t an issue that would compromise his race technique which was the reason he kept on pushing against Red Bull’s recommendation.
“I hate sitting back especially when you see the car is pretty decent,” he said. “Sometimes it can be a bit of suicide, killing your tyres and trying to hang on desperately but I don’t think that was the case today.”
Verstappen has climbed to second place in the Formula 1 world drivers’ championship, in front of Bottas, and is 30 points behind Hamilton at the head of the standings.