Verstappen: Radio problems didn't make French GP win more complicated

Max Verstappen says his team radio problems late on in the French Grand Prix didn't make his Formula 1 victory at Paul Ricard more complicated, as they occurred after his final pitstop.

Verstappen: Radio problems didn't make French GP win more complicated

Verstappen executed an aggressive two-stop strategy to win the French GP ahead of one-stopping Mercedes driver and title rival Lewis Hamilton, with the circumstances of the race playing out along similar lines to the season opener in Bahrain and the Spanish GP. 

Hamilton won both of those events after Verstappen botched his late passing attempt in Bahrain and Hamilton was switched to a two-stopper at Barcelona that also involved giving up track position to his rival, as Red Bull chose to do on Sunday at Paul Ricard. 

But when Verstappen returned to the track to complete his third stint, charged with closing an 18-second gap and passing both Mercedes drivers, Red Bull was at times unable to hear his radio messages. 

The team instructed him to try and move the microphone embedded in his helmet, but this did not seem to make much of an impact as the race entered the closing stages, where Verstappen in any case successfully chased back to Hamilton to reclaim first – which he had initially lost with an off at the race’s first corners and then unexpectedly taken back by undercutting Hamilton at his first stop. 

When discussing Red Bull’s successful race-winning strategy in the post-race press conference, Verstappen explained that the team radio issues meant “even if I wouldn’t agree to it, I could have been talking on my radio but they would never understand me anyway!” 

He added: “I don’t know [what the problem was].  

“It was literally next to my mouth. I tried to change it and it was always in the same position as previous races and stuff. So, I don’t know happened.” 

When asked if the radio problem had made his third stint harder, Verstappen replied: “No. 

“I just couldn’t talk back to them. But they of course could feed me all the information and that’s the most important [thing] – because the stops were done.  

“So, I could talk to them [if the radio had been working], but what can you do?” 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Drew Gibson / Motorsport Images

Verstappen also said that victory in the French GP – previously a Mercedes stronghold where the Black Arrows had been undefeated since the race returned to the F1 calendar in 2018 – was “very promising”.  

Read Also:

“Clearly, in the race with how the conditions were in the beginning [cooler and windier compared to qualifying and with less rubber on the track surface after rain on Sunday morning], it was not easy for us,” he continued.  

“But then again towards the end I think the car started to come together again and we were very competitive.  

“Of course I’m very pleased for that and I hope that we can keep this up.”  

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz: Ferrari’s F1 tyre degradation twice as bad as rivals in France

Previous article

Sainz: Ferrari’s F1 tyre degradation twice as bad as rivals in France

Next article

Russell: 12th on merit my best drive for Williams

Russell: 12th on merit my best drive for Williams
Load comments
How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator Plus

How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator

As a young boy, Carlos Sainz was schooled by his father in the special folklore surrounding Ferrari in Formula 1. Now an established grand prix ace – and a Ferrari driver to boot – Sainz opens up to BEN ANDERSON about driving for the team of his childhood hero, and of his own boyhood dreams

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars Plus

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars

OPINION: The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix may not have been a thrill-a-minute overtaking fest, but it's a race that will live long in the memory as one of the best of the current era of Formula 1. And as F1 moves to regulations in 2022 aimed at boosting overtaking, Hungary showed the balance it must strike with its new machinery as not to deny similarly tense spectacles

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Plus

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2021
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021