Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
41 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
54 days
09 May
Next event in
58 days
23 May
Race in
76 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
89 days
13 Jun
Race in
97 days
27 Jun
Race in
111 days
04 Jul
Next event in
114 days
18 Jul
Race in
132 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
146 days
29 Aug
Race in
174 days
05 Sep
Race in
181 days
12 Sep
Race in
188 days
26 Sep
Race in
201 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
205 days
10 Oct
Race in
215 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
230 days
31 Oct
Race in
237 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
257 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
272 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
279 days

Verstappen feared Imola tyre failure repeat while leading

Max Verstappen feared a repeat of his Imola tyre failure after reporting vibrations en route to victory in the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 season finale on Sunday.

Verstappen feared Imola tyre failure repeat while leading

Verstappen went lights-to-flag to take his second victory of the season for Red Bull, ending Mercedes' streak of victories in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that dated back to 2014.

Verstappen never came under any real pressure at the front of the pack, quickly building a lead in the opening stages before the safety car period brought forward the planned pitstop window.

He eventually crossed the line more than 15 seconds clear of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, marking a strong end of the year for Red Bull.

"It was an enjoyable race," Verstappen said. "We had a decent start, and from there onwards, I could manage the gap and could look after my tyres.

"The safety car came out at a little bit of an unfortunate time I think because we then had to do a very long stint of course on the hard. Luckily the tyre coped with it, but you still have to manage it a bit more.

"The car was really good today, and just a good balance so then you can look after your tyres and I could just build a gap all the way through the race."

Read Also:

Verstappen was heard on team radio reporting a vibration with 11 laps remaining in the race, asking his engineer: "Did you see that, out of the corner how much vibrations and oscillation?"

The Dutchman revealed after the race that it left him fearing a repeat of the tyre failure that saw him spin out of second place at Imola earlier this year.

"I was thinking back, a little bit at Spa, but of course Imola," Verstappen said.

"I was keeping an eye on it on every straight. But luckily it was all good. The pace was still there, the tyres were still performing."

The result left Verstappen just nine points shy of second place in the final drivers' championship standings after recording four podium finishes in the last five races he finished.

Verstappen admitted he was surprised that Red Bull was able to outpace Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, but that it proved the need to start seasons stronger if it wanted to mount a title challenge.

"I didn't expect before I got here to win the race and be on pole," Verstappen said.

"I also read that they had to turn the engines down a bit, so of course that's not helping for them.

"In general, I think the car performed very strong, and I think better than expected, so of course very happy with that. It's a great way to finish the season, a good boost for everyone in the team.

"I just hope that we lean from the previous years that we have to be stronger in the beginning of the season to be able to give them a little bit of a harder time."

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren retains third after Sainz escapes Abu Dhabi penalty

Previous article

McLaren retains third after Sainz escapes Abu Dhabi penalty

Next article

Kvyat: No decision from AlphaTauri on F1 future "a shame"

Kvyat: No decision from AlphaTauri on F1 future "a shame"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Drivers Max Verstappen
Author Luke Smith
The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Prime

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? Andrew Benson takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel and attitude that sets only a select few apart from the rest.

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return Prime

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021