10:00 06 Aug 2019
Max Verstappen has praised the drive of rival Lewis Hamilton following this past weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Hungary.
The Dutch Red Bull driver led most of the race from pole position and initially held off Mercedes’ Hamilton following the first pit-stops in which both changed to the hard compound tyres.
However, the ‘Silver Arrows’ made a tactical master stroke by changing to a two-stop strategy and putting Hamilton on medium compound for the final third of the race.
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The Brit was able to close down Verstappen and execute an easy pass, with the Dutchman unable to defend on worn rubber.
It was a superb effort by both drivers and Verstappen was gracious in defeat afterwards, saying Hamilton was “on fire” during the GP.
“I think then you can see how much margin they have when they really need to push,” the Red Bull pilot said of Mercedes.
“I think Lewis today was on fire as well, but then you see, once he really has to go for it you can see that that car is still the dominant car, it’s as simple as that. Whereas in some races it’s not as necessary.”
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Verstappen has won two out of the last four races, in Austria and Germany, but he thinks a factor in this is because Mercedes were not able to race “flat out” at those venues.
“Of course they had their issues in Austria with overheating so you can’t push. Of course in Hockenheim it was tricky conditions as well so you can’t really drive to the limit of the car,” he added.
“But here today I think he had to go for it flat out, because I was also pushing flat out and then you can see what they are capable of as a team.”