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Max Verstappen

Verstappen explains Red Bull concern during Austrian sprint win

Max Verstappen took victory during the Austrian F1 sprint race on Saturday - but faced challenges along the way.

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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has explained the car concern he voiced over team radio en route to the sprint race victory in Austria.

Verstappen won ahead of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris but faced a challenge from the McLaren drivers in the early phase of the race.

During the battle, Verstappen stated his car was “clipping” towards the end of the straights, reducing his straight-line speed.

However, the Dutchman detailed the issue was magnified by the fact the McLaren drivers were able to utilise the drag reduction system (DRS) to keep up.

“It's just because they're in the DRS so they use a bit less energy because naturally, they spent less time on the straight just catching up to me,” Verstappen said.

“And I think once they were out, I could go back to my normal management and then everything was fine.”

Verstappen 'had to work' for sprint win

Red Bull has faced an increased challenge from McLaren at recent races, with Norris narrowly missing out on victories at the last two grands prix.

As the Woking-based squad continues its pursuit of the reigning world champions, Verstappen confirmed he was forced to “work for it” during the Austrian sprint race.

“A good first lap, I would say but then once the DRS opens it’s very hard to get out of it. It took a few laps, a few exciting battles as well,” he said.

“But I think once we cleared the DRS then I could do a bit more my own race and then it looked a bit better.

“You could see the two cars pushing flat out trying to make it difficult for me, we had to work for it in that race.

“A few things to think about and what we can do better for [Sunday] especially.

[“Sunday] is going to be a longer race and harder on the tyres. So it's going to be quite interesting to see how that will evolve.”

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