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Max Verstappen

Verstappen relieved to overcome 'hiccup' with Japan victory

Max Verstappen commanded the Japanese Grand Prix, leading the race from start to finish en route to his third win in four races.

Verstappen
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has insisted that the “hiccup” from the round in Australia is behind him after his victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen retired from the third round of the season due to a right rear brake issue, allowing Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to secure the win for Ferrari.

However, there were no such concerns for the three-time world champion in Japan as he commanded the race to take his 57th career win from pole position.

Verstappen detailed that ensuring he stayed ahead at the race start, as well as the restart following a brief red flag, was the most important factor in pursuit of victory.

“It was very nice,” Verstappen said. “I think the critical bit was the start, to stay ahead.

“And after that, actually the car just got better and better for me throughout the race.

“I don't know if it had to do with the clouds coming in but everything just went really well. The pitstops went well, strategy worked out well. So it couldn’t have been any better.

“It was a little hiccup [at] the last race, but I'm very happy that we're here back on top. Great [for] fans in front of Honda as well, it's great to win here.”

China set to be 'hectic'

The next round of the world championship will take place at the Shanghai International Circus as F1 returns to China for the first time since 2019.

The weekend will also see the first sprint round of the season, adding another element to what is set to be a challenging weekend for the drivers.

“It's going to be quite hectic anyway with the sprint weekend,” Verstappen previewed. “But then of course we haven't been there for a while.

“Only one practice session to really get into it again so I think it will be quite interesting.”

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