Max Verstappen has insisted it was “important” to move ahead of Lando Norris into the first corner at Interlagos en route to victory in the São Paulo Grand Prix Sprint.
Verstappen got the better run into the first corner after starting second on the grid and immediately overtook Norris for the lead.
The race was then about tyre management with most of the field opting to run the 24 laps on the Soft compound.
Verstappen was heard chatting with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase over tyre management as he controlled the race out front.
With degradation being a key factor in the race, Verstappen asserted it was crucial that he got ahead of Norris early in the race before going into a management phase.
“It was important to try and get ahead at the start,” he said. “The initial launch wasn’t amazing but the second part of the start was very good.
“We got alongside and then it was all about management. Here at this track, there's a lot of degradation, our tyres were wearing a lot.
“24 laps on one tyre set is very long. So we just trying to maintain a constant lap time and I think we managed the race quite well.”
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Verstappen encouraged by Red Bull form
Red Bull suffered a rare defeat last year in Brazil, with Mercedes prevailing through George Russell.
However, the Brackley-based squad struggled with its tyres during the sprint, suggesting a difficult Grand Prix awaits it.
Verstappen, meanwhile, is encouraged by Red Bull's tyre management ahead of Sunday's race.
“Last year was very difficult for us around here, [this year] was much better, but you can't push flat out,” said the Dutchman.
“It's all about keeping the tyres under control. We did that well.
“It's a great start. I think we learned a lot during that race and hopefully we can do something similar tomorrow.”