Horner reveals who made Verstappen’s alternative strategy call

Max Verstappen started on the hard tyres, before switching to the mediums as he beat Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in Miami

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed Max Verstappen chose to start on the hard tyres at the Miami Grand Prix.

Race simulations showed the medium-hard strategy, used by most drivers including Sergio Perez, was the fastest way to the chequered flag but Verstappen‘s alternative strategy paid off as he secured his 38th Formula 1 victory.

Max was keen to run the alternative strategy,” Horner told the media. “Starting on the hard which certainly, in the simulation worlds, wasn’t quite as quick but it benefited if there was a safety car in the latter part of the race.”

Verstappen’s tyre management masterclass

Verstappen started ninth after a mistake on his first run in qualifying, then was unable to set a lap when Charles Leclerc caused a red flag at the end of Q3

For Horner, it was not the alternative strategy that won the Dutchman the race though, it was his tyre management in the middle part of the Grand Prix, before he switched to the medium tyres.

“The real crux of the race was when Checo pitted on lap 20,” said Horner. “The next 22 laps of Max on the hard tyre was basically a race against the stopwatch.

“On 20 lap older tyres, that’s where he was truly impressive, to match the lap time, sometimes better the lap time, of what Checo was able to do. That’s where he won the race.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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