Norris F1 Brazil GP battle was a “cat and mouse” sport


Max Verstappen appeared to have little bother managing the pace at the front of the Interlagos race on Sunday, after pulling off a similar win in Saturday’s sprint event.

Nonetheless, Crimson Bull workforce principal Christian Horner says it was removed from easy because the workforce wanted to ask conflicting issues from its lead driver.

PLUS: The crucial lap that swung F1’s Brazilian GP from Norris to Verstappen

“I believe there was undoubtedly a race,” defined Horner. “Lando took his finest set of tyres in the beginning and his finest shot was most likely off the road.

“So, I used to be relieved to see Max preserve the lead on the finish of the primary lap.

“However then it turns into a sport of cat and mouse, as a result of it is about taking care of the tyres and never stressing them an excessive amount of. You’re telling the motive force take care of the tyres, however pull out a niche – and the tow right here is fairly highly effective.

“However similar to within the dash, Max managed it extremely effectively and was capable of begin to pull a niche. We then pitted on the identical lap as Lando, and we truly prolonged the lead by way of the pitstop to simply over 5 seconds.

“Then, on the medium [tyre], he had every part beneath management within the final stint. In the long run it was moderately easy, however McLaren undoubtedly have been, over the previous couple of races, our closest competitor.”

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing, 1st place, within the Press Convention

Verstappen agreed with Horner’s evaluation that, whereas every part seemed easy from the surface, there have been phases of the race the place Norris had him on his toes.

“Possibly it seems totally straightforward from the surface, however I believe for many of each stint, Lando was matching my lap occasions,” he mentioned.

“It was all the time just like the final 5 to 10 laps [of a stint) when it seemed like we had better tyre deg. But yeah, the beginning of every stint, I definitely had to focus a lot and I couldn’t afford to make mistakes.

“And around here with the high deg as well, it’s not the easiest to drive. It’s not like you can just relax and let the car just roll into the corners without any consequence. You had to be really on it. Luckily, everything we did today, also strategy-wise, pit stops, were good. So, very happy about that.”

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But while McLaren is now regarded as Red Bull’s most consistent challenger, Horner says it makes no difference to his squad who is behind it.

“It’s been different people at different times during the year,” he said. “I think we just keep focusing on ourselves, and whoever’s behind us on the timesheet is almost irrelevant. So long as we’re at the top of it, that’s what we focus on.”

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