Max Verstappen pointed out that jumping Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix was a crucial move for him to win the race.
The reigning Formula 1 Champion was clearly not happy to lose out to Hamilton who took pole by 0.003s in Qualifying, but he set things right at the start of the Grand Prix, taking the lead from the #44 Mercedes and never relinquishing it after that.
Verstappen insisted that first lap overtake was crucial for his race, he said in Red Bull‘s post race media brief: “The start was very important to me.
“I wanted to get a good first stint and it meant I was able to look after my tyres well and extend it compared to the others. The car felt really good today and the balance was right with the increase in temperature.
“We had the struggle over one lap all weekend in qualifying,” he added of his qualifying struggles, “but I think that means it was the right call for the race. If I had a choice between the two, I would pick my race performance every time but we will always make changes and keep trying to improve the car.
I was just smiling in the car
Verstappen’s seventh consecutive race win this year was Red Bull’s 12th, a record breaking achievement after McLaren held the honor since 1988.
The Dutchman reflected: “I think people forget a little bit that to win 12 races in a row is extremely hard but I hope it doesn’t stop there. We have to keep going and I will always try to challenge myself.
“I had a lot of fun out there today and I was just smiling in the car, it was one of those days where everything just goes perfect.
“Well, almost perfect, I think I will ask McLaren to pay for a new trophy for me! We need to review the footage, like VAR, to see who really broke it because I heard Lando is blaming me,” Verstappen joked in conclusion.
He was referring to the podium incident when Lando Norris knocked off his trophy while attempting to open the champagne bottle.
Verstappen now leads the 2023 F1 Drivers’ Championship by 110 points from teammate Sergio Perez.