Without any discussion, it was Mercedes who had the best car this weekend in Istanbul; and the victory of Valtteri Bottas did not suffer from contestation even on the part of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. The Finn was thus able to calmly manage the race and his intermediate tires …
In truth after the event, even Valtteri Bottas was surprised at the performance gap with Red Bull… is this worrying for Milton Keynes?
“I would say that at the start of the race, in the first few laps, Max was definitely trying to follow me and put the pressure on, but he also realized he had to manage the tires. If I’m honest, at the end of the race, in the second stint, I was surprised by the difference in pace. I could really focus on my own thing, trying to avoid mistakes. “
What will happen then on the COTA in Austin, a typical Mercedes circuit? Can Valtteri Bottas aim for the pass of two?
“I don’t have a crystal ball but I think on paper it should be one of the good circuits for us, hopefully. That’s what we’re hoping for – but we’ll be working hard over the next couple of weeks to make sure we’re in a position to fight for the win again. “
Max Verstappen sees the damage but remains confident
On the side of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, the gap, whether in terms of performance or in the championship, does not make the Dutchman particularly optimistic for the second half of the season: to be titled, he will have to fight …
“In the wet they seem to have a bit of an advantage too. “
“Of course we’ll have to analyze why we weren’t competitive here, and I think they’ve probably stepped up their efforts. “
“Even with the points ahead, it’s not going to be easy. “
Even with this bad news, Max Verstappen confirms his approach: not to put too much pressure on himself to obtain his first title …
“I said it before I even started the weekend, so far we’ve had a really good year. It won’t change much for me if I finish first or second at the end. But I will always give the best of myself. “
“We’ll see in Austin again how it goes. We won’t give up, we will always try to do our best. I hope that in the end, for the championship, it will be enough. But if I don’t, I won’t sleep worse. “
As for the Austin circuit, does Max Verstappen expect him to smile more at Red Bull than the Istanbul circuit?
“A lot of sections go full speed too, tire wear is pretty high too, so there are a few things to look at. On other circuits we could be a little better, but it will never be very easy. “
“The whole year has already been pretty tight, of course. Sometimes it seemed like we were a bit better, but sometimes they were pretty quick too. I just hope that for the remaining races there will be a few circuits, of course, or more than half, which are better for us, but we’ll see. “