Verstappen on his win: "I didn't see it coming"

Max Verstappen was surprised to beat both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers to victory in Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, saying he "didn't see it coming".

Verstappen on his win: "I didn't see it coming"

Verstappen was able to give his rivals a lesson in tyre management by stretching out his first stint on the hard compound Pirellis, pulling out a gap on Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after their early stops.

Verstappen emerged from the pits after his first stop just behind Bottas, but quickly passed the Mercedes driver before moving off the medium tyre just six laps later, moving back to hards.

A final push to cover off a possible one-stop strategy for Hamilton was ultimately not required as Mercedes called the world champion in for a second time, returning the lead to Verstappen.

Having downplayed Red Bull's chances throughout the weekend, Verstappen conceded after the race that he did not expect to beat the Mercedes drivers to victory.

Read Also:

"I didn't see it coming," Verstappen said. "But after the first stint, it seemed like we were really good on tyres. Of course that is a question mark, how Mercedes is going to go on the hard tyre.

"We had a lot of pace in the car, I didn't really have a lot of tyre issues at all. We just kept pushing, and [it's] an incredible result of course to win here.

"We had a great day. I think everything worked out well we had the right strategy. Everything was running smoothly. I was incredibly happy to win."

Verstappen was able to make a good start from fourth place on the grid before putting pressure on both Mercedes drivers in the early stages of the race.

Red Bull warned Verstappen that he needed to look after his tyres and to drop box, only for the Dutchman to quip back: "This the only chance of being close to the Mercedes, I'm not just sitting behind like a grandma!"

Verstappen explained after the race that he sensed an early opportunity to catch the Mercedes, and didn't want to let it slip through his fingers.

"We so far [this season] didn't really have an opportunity in all the races to push them, and I could see we were pushing them," Verstappen said.

"So I tried to put the pressure on. They had to pit, and from then onwards, I could do my own pace, and basically built that that advantage to the end."

The result lifts Verstappen to second place in the drivers' championship ahead of Bottas, who finished the race in third, and leaves him just 30 points behind leader Hamilton.

Asked if he had a Mercedes-beating car for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next weekend, Verstappen replied: "I don't know, I think we do need to use soft tyres, that seems to suit our car.

"But we'll see again in Barcelona. I think at the moment, we are just very happy that we just won."

shares
comments

Related video

2020 F1 70th Anniversary GP race results
Previous article

2020 F1 70th Anniversary GP race results

Next article

Hamilton says new pressures making tyres like "balloons"

Hamilton says new pressures making tyres like "balloons"
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022