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Max Verstappen

Verstappen hails Red Bull calls that rescued British GP podium

Max Verstappen finished second in a thrilling dry-wet-dry British Grand Prix.

Verstappen wet race Silverstone
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has hailed Red Bull's decision to switch on the hard tyres at his final British Grand Prix pit-stop, as he finished second to Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull driver started fourth and ran third early on behind the leading Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton but was passed by Lando Norris as rain began to fall at Silverstone around Lap 20. 

Verstappen appeared to be on course for a fifth-place finish owing to the pace of the Mercedes and McLaren machines, with Red Bull electing to pull Verstappen in early for the switch to intermediates. 

This allowed him to leapfrog Russell into third place with Norris and Hamilton leading before the switch back to slicks, where Red Bull opted for the hards compared to the softs on Norris and Hamilton.

The Red Bull caught and passed Norris, but was unable to catch Hamilton, who recorded a first win in 945 days since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP, as Verstappen banked second place and extended his championship lead over Norris.

"We just didn't have the pace today, I was slowly dropping back when it mattered in the beginning," Verstappen explained.

"It didn't look great, and at some point, I was thinking: 'are we going to finish fifth or sixth, but we made the right calls going from slicks to the inters and also from the inters to the slicks.

"It was definitely the right call from the team to be on the hard tyre instead of the soft that was definitely helping me out, that is why we finished second.

"It could have been a lot worse, but we still got on the podium and I am very happy."

"When it started to rain for the first time, I was already dropping back, I was struggling for grip."

Biding your time

Managing the tyres was key for Verstappen, who, having seen the pace of the other leading cars, elected to take things easy and conserve his tyres, which paid dividends late on. 

"I didn't want to take too many risks and saw the guys ahead of me they were really going for it, so I just tried to hang in there not go off the track, and that was quite tricky," he added.

"But then it really started to come down and then it was quite obvious that you had to go to the inter then you had to make the tyre last as long as you could. 

"Then the sun came out and the track really started to dry up quickly, but I still felt quite comfortable on the inter, but at some point, you just have to gamble to go onto the slick and luckily it worked out well."

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