Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

The Dutchman was disappointed with the performance of his Red Bull despite battling back to finish second at the British GP

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Max Verstappen conceded it was a “poor afternoon” for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix after he was beaten to victory by Lewis Hamilton.

The championship leader came home in second place after passing Lando Norris late in the race, but Verstappen was unable to catch Hamilton in the final laps as the Briton claimed a long-awaited victory in front of his home crowd.

Verstappen was under pressure for fifth position at one point from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, and fresh off criticising the team in Austria, the Dutchman couldn’t hide his disappointment with the RB20’s mystifying lack of performance.

“The beginning was not very good, I tried to keep up but I just ran out of tyres. Everything was running out and just struggled for grip,” Verstappen told the written press at Silverstone, including Total-Motorsport. “Lando got by, then Oscar got by, [then it] started to rain. I had no grip as well there.

Max Verstappen during final practice ahead of 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen finished second at the 2024 British GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“I didn’t want to take too much risk as well because I just it didn’t feel good, it didn’t feel comfortable. I was like ‘I’ll just sit here and try to survive’. And that’s what I did. At one point even Carlos rocked up with the party, so it’s a really bad afternoon.”

Verstappen credits Red Bull British GP strategy

Verstappen is often seen as the difference-maker for Red Bull, but the 26-year-old was keen to credit the team for their well-executed strategy for helping him salvage P2.

“We just kept it on track, made the right calls from the slick to the inter, and then from the inter back to the slick tyre, which just basically kept me in contention really,” Verstappen added. “By making the right calls today, we were there at the right time. Going to the end with a hard tyre, that was the right call for us definitely because we could push on the tyre.

“The medium already wasn’t good enough for us, so going to the end to go flat out on the hard was the best we could do. And we finished second. At one point it was looking like P5, P6. So on a on a poor afternoon, I would say in terms of performance, to be second… I take that.”

The Dutchman has become so accustomed to winning in F1 that every time he finishes off the top step feels like a certain failure for the Austrian team.

But it is becoming a concerning pattern for Red Bull, who have dominated the last two seasons as the fastest car. Now, it is widely believed that McLaren have the quickest car on the grid and Mercedes are making up ground, as reflected by their back-to-back wins.

When asked why he described it as a “poor performance” Verstappen suggested the team must look into their issues: “I just didn’t have the pace. I couldn’t follow what they were doing in front of me, and that’s something that we need to look at.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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