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Max Verstappen

Verstappen explains 'focus' needed with Norris threat

The Dutchman did not take the chequered flag by his usual win margin, but believes the Brazilian Grand Prix required a unique level of concentration.

Verstappen Norris Brazil
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen explained how he needed to "focus" with the threat of Lando Norris bearing down on him throughout the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The Dutchman won the race with a margin of only 8.2 seconds, one of his closest yet in a year with 17 victories, and counting.

Tyre degradation was one of the biggest factors throughout the weekend, with Verstappen admitting that it was a key factor for Red Bull throughout the two-stop race.

"Maybe it looks fully easy from the outside, but I think for most of every stint, Lando was matching my lap-times," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.

"It was always like the last five to ten laps when it seemed like then we had better tyre deg."

Verstappen: It's not like you can relax

Norris had one attempt at overtaking Verstappen seven laps into the restart, following a brief red flag period for a first corner incident.

Verstappen managed to defend from the McLaren driver, who later conceded that attempting another overtake would put him at risk to Fernando Alonso.

This did not ease the pressure on Verstappen however, who believes any mistake would have put him in the clutches of Norris for the lead.

"The beginning of every stint, I definitely had to focus a lot and I couldn’t afford to make mistakes," he added.

"Around here with the high [tyre] deg as well, it’s not the easiest to drive.

"It’s not like you can just relax and let the car just roll into the corners without any consequence.

"You had to be really on it Luckily everything we did, also strategy-wise, pit stops, were good."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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