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Max Verstappen

Verstappen reveals 'risk' after fight for 'survival'

Max Verstappen salvaged second in the British Grand Prix following a well-timed final pit-stop.

Verstappen Silverstone
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has revealed that he took a "risk" in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix in the timing of his return to slick tyres, following a stint on the intermediates. 

The reigning world champion had been as low as fifth during stages of the 12th round of this year's F1 season, but recovered brilliantly to salvage second. 

Verstappen struggled in the dry conditions and was left to "survive" when the rain started to fall, before coming to life in the final laps. 

"I didn't want to take too much risk as well because it didn't feel good," revealed Verstappen to select media including RacingNews365

"It didn't feel comfortable. So I was like, ‘I'll just sit here and try to survive’. And yeah, that's what I did."

However, once fitted with intermediate tyres, Verstappen started to push and take more risks. The biggest risk came on lap 39, when he followed Lewis Hamilton into the pits to return to slick tyres.

Verstappen was in constant communication with race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase (GP), discussing the weather and what tyres were required at specific moments in the race.

"It's a constant discussion that I have with GP, with the radar, he tells me the information he has as well as he can," said Verstappen.

"And then as a driver, of course, at one point if you don't feel like you can continue on a slick or you think now it's time to go to the Inter, you have to shout over the radio that you're coming in."

Crucial call

Verstappen made the call to return to slick tyres on the same lap as Hamilton as when the rain stopped, a dry line quickly formed at Silverstone. 

Unlike Hamilton and Lando Norris who opted for the soft tyre in the closing laps, Verstappen went for Pirelli's hard compound. 

This was a defining choice by the Dutchman, as he had the pace to overtake Norris for second. However, Hamilton was just out of reach.

Nevertheless, the timing of his final pit-stop was perfection by the world champion and Red Bull.

"But at the end of the day, the sun was coming out, the track was still drying up quite quickly from the last few days even and I took a bit of risk," added Verstappen.

"Not being 100% sure this is the right lap, but we went for it and it was the right lap at the end of the day."

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