Verstappen admits Renault failures had him "worried"

Mexican Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen says he was worried about finishing the race when he saw other Renault-powered cars retiring while he was leading comfortably.

Verstappen admits Renault failures had him "worried"
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 retires from the race with engine failure
Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, battle hard at the start of the race
Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

The Red Bull driver took a commanding win after grabbing the lead from Sebastian Vettel at the start, before the German collided with Lewis Hamilton, dropping both title rivals out of victory contention.

Verstappen then pulled away from the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to win, but retirements for four of the six Renault-powered cars made for a nervy race as Red Bull turned the engine down and asked the Dutchman to back off to protect his car.

“I could see a lot of cars blowing up and retiring so I was definitely a bit worried,” said Verstappen, who claimed the third F1 win of his career.

“We looked after our engine and everything seemed to work pretty well. I saw on the TV screen [teammate Daniel Ricciardo] had retired and I saw a Toro Rosso on fire.

“I thought ‘oh God, don’t make this happen to me’ – we turned the engine down. I have a new engine so maybe that helped, but Daniel had a new one too.

“I had my bad luck at the beginning of the year so I am very happy that this time nothing happened to me.”

Verstappen said he was keen to bounce back from the disappointment and controversy of his United States Grand Prix penalty a week ago, and he praised the performance of his Red Bull RB13.

“I knew the car was good but I didn’t know it was going to be this good,” he said, adding that he felt a “light brush” with Vettel at the start.

“After last week I was fired up and motivated to do well, and after yesterday I was giving it everything.

“I missed out on pole but I was determined to win this race, I gave it my all at the start and Turn 1.

“I had a great slipstream and was able to get alongside [Vettel] on the outside, we had a little touch, but from then onwards I could do my own race.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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