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Max Verstappen

Verstappen explains why Red Bull didn't copy Ferrari's towing

Charles Leclerc's pole position at Paul Ricard was achieved in large part thanks to a tow from teammate Carlos Sainz. Why didn't Red Bull try a similar tactic?

Verstappen Perez France
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen said he wouldn't have been able to overhaul Charles Leclerc and take pole position for Sunday's French Grand Prix even if Red Bull had adopted a similar slipstreaming tactic to Ferrari.

After both drivers had completed their first push laps in Q3, Leclerc led Verstappen by just 0.008s.

However, aided by a tow from Carlos Sainz – who was out of contention for pole after taking a grid penalty for excessive component usage – Leclerc improved considerably on his final run to take top spot with a time 0.374s faster than Verstappen.

While Red Bull elected not to use Sergio Perez to tow Verstappen in a similar manner, the Dutchman said such a tactic would not have given him enough extra pace to steal pole away from Leclerc.

"No, because Ferrari gained [only] two to two-and-a-half tenths with the slipstream, Charles said to me. It was also very logical that they do it," Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.com.

Verstappen: Red Bull didn't discuss Perez tow

After his first run in Q3, Perez was seemingly safe in P3 and looking unlikely to challenge the top two, but still Red Bull did not order him to sacrifice his final run to give Verstappen a tow.

Although it cost him the chance of a shot at pole, Verstappen said he did not dispute the decision not to use the tow, adding that such a tactic would have been illogical as neither Red Bull was facing a grid penalty, unlike Sainz.

"Obviously we both want to be in the best position possible," said Verstappen.

"That's why I don't think we're doing that sort of thing (sacrificing Perez's final push lap) now. We both didn't have a grid penalty either.

"It also seems logical to me. We are both still fighting for the title, so it is difficult to explain.

"It is up to Ferrari if they want to do that, but within our team we haven't talked about it."

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F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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