Max Verstappen insisted his fifth consecutive Formula 1 triumph in 2023 at the British Grand Prix was far from being a straight forward race.
Indeed, Verstappen finished the race at Silverstone just over three seconds ahead of second-placed Lando Norris, who also gave him a bit of a challenge jumping him at the race start and leading the race for a few laps, that is before the #1 RB19 restored the order. However, in the end, the reigning F1 Champion took his first British Grand Prix win, and Red Bull Racing’s 11th consecutive
“We are having a great time but today was not the most straight forward race,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “I had a bad start with a lot of wheelspin, I had to pass Lando and then he came back into my DRS again because my tyres were a bit hot.
“But once we settled in I could eek out the gap and at one point it was nine seconds so we were looking quite strong again and then the Safety Car everyone was together to the end.
“We opted for the soft and McLaren was on the hard tyres so that helped me in the first few laps but actually then the last few laps my tyres were running a bit hot so I didn’t really have a lot of grip, that’s why I guess the gap wasn’t that bit. Overall it was a positive weekend for us,” the Red Bull ace explained.
“It shows where we are as a team at the moment,” he said of the result. “Everything is working really well. It’s always difficult to be perfect, maybe today was a tougher day for us but we still won.
“What is most important to the team is that we win the championships, both of them, and that is what we are working on,” the 25-year-old declared.
Later in Red Bull’s press release, Verstappen added: “I’m very happy that we’ve won here again, 11 wins in a row for the Team is pretty incredible, the whole Team can be proud of that.
“We had a bad start which made it more exciting for the fans, but we definitely need to look into that improve on it. Lando and Oscar were super quick at the start so it took a few laps to pass them and to start to pull a gap.
“The competitors behind us were pushing hard and closing the gap so we need to try and find a little bit more,” he warned.
“Overall though, a very nice Team win and hopefully we can carry the form to Budapest for a repeat performance of last year,” Verstappen concluded.
A different situation on the other side of the Red Bull garage, again…
Sergio Perez had an underwhelming race to sixth, having started 15th a place higher from his 16th qualifying grid position following a penalty for Valtteri Bottas, and pitting before the Safety Car not helping his charge up the grid.
Perez seemed to have improved at the previous race weekend in Austria, but could not sustain the same form this weekend at Silverstone.
“I gave it my all today but I was expecting a bit more,” he said. “We had a bad start and then I got stuck with Esteban Ocon, had to go wide and ended up losing a few positions at the start.
“From there on I made progress slowly and recovered a few places, but it took me longer to come through the field than I would have liked,” the Mexican admitted. “We also pitted a few laps before the safety car which was unfortunate.
“Tomorrow, I am going to be working with the Team in the simulator,” the under-pressure driver revealed. “We have some ideas on what we can improve on and I am confident that this will help us work through it.
“I have full support from the team, I’m mentally very strong and I know that I will overcome these issues and turn around my season.
“The pace is there and I can still get back to where I should be. I am looking forward to Hungary and getting back on good form,” Perez concluded.