Mercedes were able to carry out their strategy to perfection at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen vocal that wouldn't have been the case had Sergio Perez been near the front of the grid.
Lewis Hamilton took his third victory of the season in style after the Silver Arrows got the better of Red Bull by making a second pit stop. Mercedes had no issues pulling off the move as Valtteri Bottas was so far ahead of the pack that they didn't fear losing track position, something Red Bull didn't have the luxury of as Perez was further back, settling for fifth in the end.
"I am always alone in the fight, so they can easily make another stop because there is a gap behind them," Verstappen told Ziggo Sport. "That doesn't help either, of course.
"Then at least they can't make that second stop and it's all about who has the best tyres left at the end of the race."
Verstappen got the better of Hamilton at the start, passing the Brit heading into Turn 1. While track position is key in Spain given how difficult it is to pass, the Dutchman believes Red Bull just didn't have the pace to keep Mercedes at bay.
"The start was just good and whoever brakes last at the first corner comes out first," Verstappen explained. "I went for that because I knew it would be difficult to stay in front otherwise.
"When we were in front I did everything I could to stay in front, but today we were just too slow. It was a calculated risk at the start. I just went into the corner hard, so you have to give up when you are on the outside. After that I tried to drive my race as well as I could and control the tyre wear."