Verstappen felt like "sitting duck" against Hamilton in Spain

Max Verstappen says he felt like a “sitting duck” in the fight against Formula 1 rival Lewis Hamilton in Spain following the Mercedes driver’s second pit stop.

Verstappen felt like "sitting duck" against Hamilton in Spain
Listen to this article

Verstappen muscled past polesitter Hamilton on the long run down to Turn 1 on the opening lap, and was able to keep the British driver at bay through the opening stint.

But a decision by Mercedes to run a long first stint and then pit Hamilton for a second time with 24 laps to go put the seven-time world champion on course for victory in Spain.

Hamilton was able to make up the 22-second gap to Verstappen and overtake for the lead with seven laps remaining, with Red Bull only then bringing its driver in for a second time to go for the fastest lap bonus point.

Verstappen accepted after the race that there was little he could have done to beat Hamilton following Mercedes’ decision to pit him a second time, knowing how big the tyre delta was.

“In a way I could see it coming,” Verstappen said.

“Already at the end of the softs, he was faster, then when we put on the mediums he clearly had a lot more pace, he could just stay within one second.

“So, there was not much we could have done. They went for another stop and then I knew it was over because I was already struggling with the tyres, and you could see it every lap he was just getting closer and closer.

“[I was a] bit of a sitting duck.”

Read Also:

Verstappen was heard during the second stint of the race calling Hamilton’s grip advantage “insane”, having seen a lead of 5.5 seconds get wiped away to less than half a second.

“When you're in the lead with the cars in traffic and stuff, you don't want to pit in traffic, but of course it makes it a lot easier when you just have a clear advantage,” Verstappen said.

“Of course if we would have jumped for another stop, I'm not sure if we would have caught up again, just really lacking pace. But nevertheless, I tried everything I could.”

The result continued Mercedes’ remarkable record at the Spanish Grand Prix, the team having won the race in seven of the last eight years.

But Verstappen did not take much heart from the fact Red Bull had pushed Mercedes so close, saying it proves the team still has a deficit to recover.

“It shows that we are not yet where we want to be,” Verstappen said.

“We still have to push hard and and catch up, because at the moment we are a little bit slower.

“But still, compared to last year I think it has been a big jump for us.”

shares
comments

Related video

Spanish GP: Hamilton outfoxes Verstappen to win
Previous article

Spanish GP: Hamilton outfoxes Verstappen to win

Next article

Grand Prix race results: Hamilton beats Verstappen in Spain

Grand Prix race results: Hamilton beats Verstappen in Spain
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Prime

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career draws to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022