Max Verstappen logged his third podium of the season at Silverstone after a superb drive to second place – following Nico Rosberg’s penalty – finishing just 8.2 seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen passed Nico Rosberg for second just before the mass switch from intermediate to slick tires, and held off the German for many laps, before finally losing out on lap 38. However, he got the position back when Rosberg was assessed a 10-second time penalty following the race.
“I think in general, first of all, on the intermediates we had good pace,” he said. “But in the beginning I was struggling to have visibility because of the spray, especially in the first sector. I couldn’t really keep up because I couldn’t see where I was going! But once that cleared a bit I could push. I got past Nico around the outside, the car had a lot of grip so you can make that move and from there on the pace was good.
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“You don’t want to switch too early on a slick tire. I had one guy in front of me, got blue flags, but I could clearly see the slick tire was faster now. I pitted, maybe one lap too late but you just take it a bit safe, and from there on the pace was pretty good. Lewis was not pulling away too much and from there on Nico was pushing hard, giving me a hard time, and we had some good fights into Stowe.
“At one point we were struggling a bit of course on the straights, but he pulled off a great move around the outside, and from there on I was just doing my own race. I had no pressure from behind, it was a very big gap. Soon I heard Nico had a problem. I tried to get past and tried to close the gap but once you get in the dirty air it’s difficult to get even closer on this track. I think in general we can be happy. We finished only eight seconds behind or something. I think in general the car was working really well the whole weekend, so I have to say thank you to the team for giving me such a great car the whole weekend.”
Once again, Verstappen showed a deft touch in the wet.
“In general, I have always enjoyed tricky conditions, especially in the rain. We have a lot of rain in Holland as well so in go-karting, yes, you had a lot of time to practice that. If you have a great car you can make the difference and I think we definitely did today, I was definitely enjoying myself and even when we went onto the slick tires I definitely had some fun. The pace was good and it was of course very tricky in turn one as you could see but that’s all part of it and at the end, great fun.”
However, along with most other drivers – even winner Hamilton – Verstappen had some off track adventures at Turn One, where it remained damp long after drivers went to slicks.
“It’s very difficult because I think when everybody touched the water sometimes the spray goes to the left, so you just approach it exactly the same way but suddenly you pick up a little bit of water on the tire and you just slide off. I think Lewis went off and I went off on the same lap, so I think because of the spray it comes onto the normal racing line. and then you have a bit of a moment when you have to go off.”
Asked if good results were becoming normal he said: “I haven’t really thought about that. I just try to do the best I can every race and now it’s again on the podium so two races in a row and I think that’s very good and if only we can keep going like this and we can close the gap to Mercedes. I think that’s our main target and first of all we still have to overtake Ferrari as well in the Constructors’ championship. I think those are our first targets, to overtake them and then close the gap.”