The situation of Max Verstappen and Red Bull became dreadful when the Dutchman had to stop for a second time early in the race. Its solid tires lasted only 19 laps and were worn on canvas.
At that point there were still 27 laps left, knowing Verstappen would have to manage his tires very well. After all, Lewis Hamilton was on the road with the newer eight-lap tires.
Helmut Marko says in a conversation with ORF That Red Bull was thinking of three stops.
“We already knew it was going to be tight and we also counted on three pitstops. Mercedes told Hamilton when he was about to overtake, but I don’t think he saved his tires enough in his quest to attack at the end.”
According to Marko, the final stage was still exciting for the team, as he constantly asked several things: “Do we still have enough fuel? What about the battery? The one who was always aware, is Max.”
With his eighth win of the season, Verstappen is now 12 points ahead of rival Hamilton, with five races remaining. The next two races will take place at circuits where Red Bull has been very fast in the past, namely Mexico and Brazil.
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