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Verstappen: I had no good feeling under braking

Verstappen: I had no good feeling under braking

Verstappen: I had no good feeling under braking

Max Verstappen had to nurse a brake problem on his RB19 during the 2023 United States Grand Prix on his way to his 50th Formula 1 career win.

The Dutchman did not enjoy the advantage he usually had over his rivals so far his season on the day he achieved another milestone in his stellar F1 career – half a century of wins.

He lost his best qualifying lap for exceeding track limits on Friday, which meant he had to start the race from sixth on the grid.

The RB19 was not in its best form around the bumpy Circuit of the Americas as well, while Mercedes’ upgraded W14 – in Lewis Hamilton’s hands that is – gave the 2023 F1 Champions a run for their money, as Verstappen’s win would’ve been under threat had Hamilton not run out of laps to launch an attack, something which is irrelevant in retrospect given the seven-time F1 Champion’s disqualification.

Verstappen reflected on his brake problems in Austin, he revealed to Sky Sports F1: “We changed the brakes after yesterday and it was not good. I had no good feeling under braking and I couldn’t really get on top of it for the whole race, so this is something we need to understand.

“Of course, around here when you are not very confident under braking, you just don’t have the nice feeling under braking when you come off it. It can cost you quite a bit of lap time and it was a bit more difficult than I expected it to be.

“I normally never really struggle with braking so far in my F1 career, but it was definitely a bit of a problem,” the triple F1 Champion maintained.

Verstappen: Starting in P6 was interesting

Strategy was one of the factors that denied Hamilton a crack at winning, Verstappen commented: “For sure, they [Mercedes] could have won today if they did a better strategy after the first stop. The whole weekend they were very quick.

“Today from our side, with the brake issues it was hampering my pace but in general they were very strong this weekend,” he pointed out.

Later in Red Bull’s post-Austin brief, Verstappen added: “It feels incredible to win my 50th Grand Prix here in Austin, I’m very proud of course but I want to keep pushing for more.

“Starting in P6 today was interesting, I worked my way slowly through to the front. We didn’t have a massive pace advantage today and I was struggling with my brakes. I didn’t have the same feeling in the car as I did yesterday so that made the race much tougher than anticipated.

“You could see it was very close at the end and there too. We had to rely on the strategy today and the Team did a great job with that,” the Red Bull ace concluded.

Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull, finished the race fifth, and was promoted to fourth after Hamilton’s disqualification, but the Mexican was hoping for a better result.

Perez: I wanted more

“I wanted more for today, obviously,” he said after the race in his team report. “At times we had really good pace, but we are still lacking that consistency. It was a hard race, the Ferrari seemed to have improved, but I also think we made a good step from yesterday.

“It was quite difficult to overtake, especially because the exit of turn 11 was quite tricky as it was very windy and rough over there. We had a few occasions where we could have undercut people, so I think we need to review that as a Team,” Perez explained.

“I think we know what we did wrong across the weekend, so we are really optimistic going into future races. We need to make sure we learn from this weekend as there are some good understandings to make for Mexico.

“There is a bit more pace in there and I am massively looking forward to my home Grand Prix,” the 33-year-old concluded.

While the initial race result meant Hamilton closed the gap to Perez in the 2023 F1 Driver Standings, the latter eventually leaves Austin second, his advantage over the Mercedes driver at 39 points.