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Max Verstappen

Verstappen forced to go 'aggressive' to repel Norris in Spanish victory

Max Verstappen recorded a third straight Spanish Grand Prix victory in Barcelona, defeating Lando Norris after a late charge.

Verstappen post race Spain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen feels he was forced to go "aggressive" to defend against Lando Norris during his victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. 

After both fell behind the fast-starting George Russell on the run to Turn 1, Verstappen quickly passed the Mercedes as Norris went off-strategy to try and get back at the Red Bull.

Once both drivers had completed their final pit-stops, Norris rejoined in second place with 18 laps to go, nine seconds behind Verstappen with only back-marker traffic between them. 

Norris whittled the gap down to two seconds by the flag, and felt he should have won, but the Red Bull driver recorded a 61st grand prix victory, seventh of the season and third straight in Barcelona - and felt he was made to work for it. 

"What made the race was the beginning, I took the lead on Lap 3, and then I had a buffer," Verstappen explained.

"That in that first stint, I could eke out the gap a little bit and after that, I had to drive a defensive race against Lando and McLaren. 

"They were very quick today, and in the last few laps, they were very fast, but we did everything well. 

"We drove quite an aggressive strategy, but luckily it played out in the end. It was quite close, but I am very happy to win."

At lights out, Norris moved across to defend against Verstappen, who had a slightly better start, with the right-hand wheels of the RB20 forced onto the grass - as Verstappen explained he went "rallying."

"I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, I had to take to the grass a little bit, which lost me a bit of momentum, and then of course, we're braking quite late into Turn 1.

"But once I was in the led, I could look after my tyres a bit better, and that definitely made my race. 

"They get very hot with all the high-speed corners, so you are sliding around quite a lot and it is just a management race."

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