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Max Verstappen

Verstappen stunned by jaw-dropping Norris pace: 'Quite insane'

Max Verstappen revealed after losing the Miami Grand Prix to Lando Norris that he was never able to match the McLaren driver's staggering pace.

Verstappen Norris Miami
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Max Verstappen conceded after losing the Miami Grand Prix to Lando Norris that the McLaren driver's pace was "quite insane", to the extent that he would not have been able to match it.

Luck and immense pace were on the side of Norris, who was the last of the lead drivers to pit. He nursed his medium tyres during his first stint perfectly, before receiving a cheap pit-stop during the race's only safety car period.

Norris moved into the lead prior to the safety car as every other driver pitted, including Verstappen, who led the opening stages of the race.

Whilst the three-time world champion pressurised Norris at the restart, the Dutchman fell almost eight seconds behind the British driver and was forced to settle for second.

Even though Norris was not battling Verstappen in the early laps, Red Bull were informing the 26-year-old of the McLaren star's stunning pace, which was the strongest at the Miami International Autodrome.

"Well, I mean, I didn't really see him in the beginning because I was more focused on Oscar behind and the Ferraris," explained Verstappen.

"But then I boxed and I heard the pace that he was doing on the used Mediums. I was like, ‘I mean, that's quite insane’. I mean, I would have never been able to do so.

"So I knew even if there wouldn't have been a Safety Car that when he would come out on fresh tyres that I would have had to push on quite a lot to be able to keep him behind."

'Settled' for second

The safety car which allowed Norris to make a cheap pit-stop was deployed on Lap 29, after Kevin Magnussen collided with Logan Sargeant on the lap prior.

Norris was simply lucky to have not pitted before the safety car was triggered, with Verstappen openly accepting that it was simply one of those things.

"Then actually, I mean, the Safety Car came. Yeah, I mean... It's racing," added Verstappen.

"Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you. And even with that Safety Car, we still had all the opportunities to win today, but we're clearly not quick enough after that Safety Car.

"And once I realised that, I just settled in and tried to come home in second."

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