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Verstappen: McLaren pace a little bit concerning

Verstappen: McLaren pace a little bit concerning

Verstappen: McLaren pace a little bit concerning

Max Verstappen is worried about the performance of McLaren as a Championship battle with the British outfit continues to ramp up.

Red Bull’s early season dominance has undoubtedly come to an end, with four different teams having a realistic chance of winning a Grand Prix in the last couple of months.

Over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, McLaren looked to be the pick of the bunch as the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s nearest competitor. After Lando Norris snatched pole position from Verstappen in Qualifying to the tune of two hundredths of a second, a fair few expected the Briton to maintain P1 and win his second race of 2024.

However, Norris faltered at the race start and allowed Verstappen through into the first corner. Mercedes’ George Russell swept around the outside of the pair of them and held the lead for two laps, only for Verstappen to ease past the Silver Arrows with the aid of DRS along the main straight.

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The Dutchman never looked back from that point on, as he maintained control at the head of the field and won his 61st Grand Prix despite a charge from Norris in the closing stages.

Much like at the Canadian Grand Prix Verstappen won despite not having the quickest car on track, as evidenced by teammate Sergio Perez ambling to a P8 finish. The triple World Champion stresses that changes need to be made to his Red Bull RB20 if he is to stay in the lead of the Driver’s Championship.

I want more performance

Verstappen: McLaren pace a little bit concerning

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the 66-lap event, Verstappen was content with his driving: “I am very happy. Getting the lead on lap two made my race. That is basically where we won.

“McLaren were faster today, which is a little bit concerning. That is not what you like to see. I want more performance as we are not the quickest at the moment… but we operated well and maximised everything we had.

“You cannot rely on that all the time. To win races you have to be normally the outright fastest, which has been lacking,” added Verstappen.

Perez echoed Verstappen’s statements regarding McLaren. The Mexican driver was unable to close in on the other McLaren of Oscar Piastri but climbed three positions from his grid slot by utilising a three-stop strategy.

He stated: “The main problem was the starting position. It was a really difficult first stint which compromised the race. In the end, we reverted to three stops.

“McLaren is looking the strongest team so hopefully we can be more competitive on different tracks.”

Red Bull will be hoping to regain the upper hand at the Austrian Grand Prix, a spiritual home race due to it taking place at the Red Bull Ring. The race will commence at 14:00 BST (15:00 local time) on Sunday 30 June.