Max fifth at the British Grand Prix: 'Should have been on the podium'

Published on 14 July 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen finished fifth fastest after a magnificent Grand Prix on Silverstone. Almost the whole race, Verstappen was entangled in skirmishes. During a fight for third, Sebastian Vettel collided with the Dutchman. Verstappen dropped back to fifth because of this, he also crossed the line in the same position. Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag at his home race, ahead of his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc rounded up the podium on behalf of Ferrari.

After the race, Max looks back on the incident involving him and Vettel: “He apologised and everything is okay again”, says Verstappen. “Wat else can you do? Sebastian braked later than I did. He outbraked himself and hit my rear. It’s a shame of course, because we should have been on the podium. In the end, I am happy that I was still able to continue on. I went over the kerbs and through the gravel trap. The seat came loose after the contact and also the power steering was not really working anymore. I also had quite some damage to the floor. Ultimately I am still happy that I finished fifth fastest, it’s only such a shame we didn’t get the result we really deserved.”

Max had several great on track battles with Leclerc. How did Verstappen experience those battles himself? “They were very hard and aggressive, so that was good. I think he was still a bit mad about Austria, so he really went for it of course. I didn’t want to risk too much because the race was still long and we were clearly faster. But it was good to see and good to be in it.”

During their first pitstop, Verstappen and Leclerc both came in together. Max managed to rejoin the pack ahead of Leclerc, but saw the Monegasque disappear immediately afterwards. Verstappen explains: “Out of the pits, I locked up a bit and he came by again. The team made a right call with the pitstop to put me on the hard tyres. So we had that advantage over Leclerc.”

Max continues: “It was all looking very good. We had good pace. I was catching Vettel while I was still managing the tyres. Then I went for it. I went on the outside and then defended in Turn Seventeen, but then got rear ended. All in all it was a nice race, it’s only a shame that someone runs into you.”

With still a few minutes remaining till the start of the race, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing mechanics are frantically busy with the rear wing of Max’ RB15. They manage to get the car ready before the formation lap. At the start, Max gets well off the line from fourth and retains his position. Both Haas drivers collide with each other and are forced to head back to the pits to have the damage repaired.

Pole sitter Bottas is in the lead and is closely followed by team mate Hamilton. The two Mercedes-drivers battle it out on lap four. Hamilton briefly manages to pass Bottas, but the Finn retaliates in Copse and is able to keep his lead.

Max is able slot in behind Leclerc who is running in third. On lap eleven, the Dutchman takes a shot at the Monegasque, but Max is not yet able to overtake the Ferrari. Behind him, Sebastian Vettle and Pierre Gasly are all withing striking distance. Gasly overtakes Vettel with a great maneuver in Turn Three, but then the Red Bull-driver pits one lap later for his first pit stop.

On lap fourteen, both Verstappen and Leclerc come in for their stop to swap their tyres for the mediums. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing crew are in ship shape as the enable Max to jump Leclerc. Leclerc immediately engages Verstappen and is able to overtake him. Verstappen then immediately starts mounting the pressure on Leclerc. A great battle unfolds during which Leclerc defends his position with everything he can throw at Verstappen.

Antonio Giovinazzi spins on lap 20. The Italian is stuck with his Alfa Romeo in the gravel trap which in turn brings out the safety car. This gives Max an opportunity to do his second stop. On a set of new hards, Verstappen rejoins the field in sixth. Hamilton does his first stop and takes over the lead from Bottas. Leclerc pits a lap later and loses out to Verstappen who is now ahead of him.

When the safety car heads back in on lap 24, Verstappen and Leclerc are at it again. The two drivers briefly touch, but the Dutchman defends his position successfully. Verstappen makes little work of team mate Gasly some laps later for fourth position.

On lap 37, Max overtakes Vettel in Stowe. The German immediately tries to retaliate, but hits the rear of the Dutchman’s car and both end up in the gravel trap. Both drivers are able to get out on their own and continue on. Max drops back to fifth, while Vettel is forced to do an additional stop for a new nose which puts him all the way to the back. The Ferrari-driver is also slapped with a ten-second time-penalty for causing a collision.

Verstappen is not able to close the gap to Gasly for the remainder of the race and crosses the line in fifth. Hamilton takes home the victory, followed by team mate Bottas. Leclerc is third fastest. Gasly takes home his best result so far this season finishing fourth. Carlos Sainz finishes ‘best of the rest’ in sixth. Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hulkenberg all round up the top-ten.

Results Grand Prix Great Britain:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes521:21:08.45226
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes52+24.928s18
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari52+30.117s15
4Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda52+34.692s12
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda52+39.458s10
6Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault52+53.639s8
7Daniel RicciardoRICRenault52+54.401s6
8Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari52+65.540s4
9Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda52+66.720s2
10Nico HulkenbergHULRenault52+72.733s1
11Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault52+74.281s0
12Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda52+75.617s0
13Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes52+81.086s0
14George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes51+1 lap0
15Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes51+1 lap0
16Sebastian VettelVETFerrari51+1 lap0
17Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes51+1 lap0
0Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari18DNF0
0Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari9DNF0
0Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari6DNF0