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Max Verstappen

Verstappen: FIA decree blunted major Red Bull strength

Max Verstappen overcame the hindrance to win at Lusail for his 14th win from 17 races in 2023.

Verstappen Qatar win
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen believes the mandated three-stop strategy in the Qatar Grand Prix hindered one of Red Bull's major strengths.

In response to tyre concerns, the FIA, along with Pirelli imposed an effective three-stopper at Lusail with stint lengths on all tyre compounds limited to 18 laps.

This turned the race into three flat-out blasts, with Verstappen recording a Grand Chelem on the weekend he became a three-time World Champion, winning by 4.8s from Oscar Piastri with Lando Norris completing the podium.

However, despite the win, Verstappen felt the RB19's tyre preservation strengths were nullfied by the decree.

Verstappen explains Qatar problem

"What really made my race was that first stint, where I think we were quite strong and good on the tyres," Verstappen explained to media including RacingNews365.

"After that, because we had a bit of a tyre offset, compared to the McLaren, I could drive a bit longer on most of the sets, which maybe in some places, then cost me a bit on the out-lap and stuff, so then sometimes the gap looked a bit closer than it should have been.

"On the Hard tyre, I lost quite a bit of time, I think, in the last two, three laps, because I had to get through some traffic, and then I had a slow stop as well at the end.

"McLare has been really quick all weekend, especially with the fuel coming out, it looked like they were again picking up more and more pace, compared to me.

"The three stop that was mandatory was not ideal for us, personally, because our car is good on tyres, as you need to do longer stints because that's the fastest way around here.

"It was the same for everyone at the end that we had to do those stops. We had to deal with that, and it made it probably a bit harder to drive.

"We had to push quite hard out there, and as you could see, after the race, a lot of people are quite tired."

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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