Verstappen: "Very surprising" Mercedes could make one-stop work in Dutch GP

Max Verstappen was surprised by Mercedes’ pace and that it could make a one-stop strategy work to challenge for victory in the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen: "Very surprising" Mercedes could make one-stop work in Dutch GP

Verstappen scored his 10th victory of the season at Zandvoort on Sunday after overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the final safety car restart using fresh tyres.

Mercedes managed to get Hamilton and team-mate George Russell into contention after opting for a one-stop strategy and displaying good pace on both the medium and the hard tyre.

Had it not been for a Virtual Safety Car period, Verstappen would have sat third after his final pitstop and needed to pass both Mercedes cars to win the race, only for the VSC to force Hamilton and Russell into extra stops.

“I was just surprised that they were that quick on the harder compounds,” Verstappen said of Mercedes.

“I have to say these tyres are very stiff, the C1 and C2. And they just didn't seem to really switch on for us as good as they did for them.

“That's I think what made it a little bit more complicated for us. But then once we were able to switch back to the soft, we could counter it.

“But yeah, I expected probably [Mercedes] to be a little bit slower. And I expected Ferrari to be a little bit faster.”

PLUS: How Mercedes overcame Ferrari to become Verstappen’s 2022 Dutch GP win challengers

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Zandvoort marked a big turnaround for Mercedes after it struggled to challenge either Red Bull or Ferrari at Spa just one week earlier, where the team struggled with the high-speed nature of the circuit.

Russell eventually finished second at Zandvoort, marking his best result of the season so far, while Hamilton dropped from first to fourth in the final stint after Mercedes opted to keep him out under the final safety car.

Verstappen realised Mercedes was becoming a growing threat in the race when he made the switch from softs to mediums, only to see the silver cars were “still doing good lap times.”

“As soon as they swapped to the hard, I was quite interested to see their pace, because I never really wanted to go to a hard tyre,” Verstappen said.

“But yeah, when I heard the lap times, I was like, ‘that's quite quick’. And I was trying to push up a bit. But they were still a few tenths faster.

Read Also:

“[It’s] very surprising that they made it work, that tyre around here. But then I knew, of course, it might get close to the end of the race, with the way our strategies were playing out.

“The gap after the VSC was still getting big enough to manage. But clearly they were quick in the race.”

shares
comments
Binotto hits back at Rosberg's F2/F3 jibe over Ferrari pitstops
Previous article

Binotto hits back at Rosberg's F2/F3 jibe over Ferrari pitstops

Next article

Could Mercedes have beaten Verstappen to Dutch GP victory?

Could Mercedes have beaten Verstappen to Dutch GP victory?
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023