Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Max Verstappen refusing to rule out title challenge

Formula One Grand Prix Friday free practise sessions Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W08 EQ Energy The F1 season returns to Austria and the Red Bull Ring Credit ACTION PLUS
Cassandra Gardner | 05 July, 2018, 01:36

"It is a dream result at the Red Bull Ring, a Red Bull vehicle and Max driving an unbelievable race - and it was absolutely nailed in the first lap".

"[Ricciardo's] race was just more aggressive because he was having to fight hard against the Ferraris, which then just used the rear a little bit more". This left Hamilton 7.7 seconds ahead of Verstappen when a Virtual Safety Car was deployed to allow for Bottas' car to be removed. "It has been a Red Bull day around".

Mr. Hamilton leads the 2018 Drivers' Championship with his total of 145 points, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is 2nd with 131 points and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is 3rd with 96 points.

Ricciardo is still in the process of trying to determine his future, his current contract with Red Bull Racing running out at the end of the current year. I can understand we have some rumours in the press but it's nothing to do with the reality. "It can be very, very cruel and I think we had all the cruelty go against us today".

"From my side I felt in control, I was driving to the best I could with the auto I had and at the end we were struggling a little more than Ferrari with the tyre blistering but we managed to stay ahead". Raikkonen grabbed second, but then ran off at Turn Two giving fellow-Finn Bottas a chance to recover second on the straight in a frantic opening lap.

As his rivals struggled in the warmer than expected conditions, with the likes of his team mate Ricciardo and Hamilton forced to pit because of blistering tyres, Verstappen appeared to have no such problems and was able to manage his beautifully to make a one-stop work.

Belgium beats England for top spot in battle of reserves
We should now be the most positive we've ever been. "I hope we are going to get to the final - we have to". "We created openings to get something from the game, but we have to keep improving".


"Max did a very mature job in managing the tires, particularly through Turns 8 and 9, the last two, the fast-right handers". On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

"He was very much in control", Horner said. "After that, the vehicle came good, but we just ran out of laps".

He had the Ferrari of Raikkonen chasing him down in the closing stages but had enough in reserve to score a win at the home of Red Bull.

The race high attrition rate became obvious from the start. "I was in the lead, I tried to do my own pace". "So positive day, but could have been better".

The Dutchman endured a torrid start to the season littered with errors and mistakes.

Sauber had a double points finish through Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc while the McLaren of Fernando Alonso finished eighth after starting from pit lane.

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