Verstappen finished second to Lewis Hamilton shortly after the start. Hamilton’s teammate from Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, did not make it to the race.
Although all the drivers from the top ten started the race in the middle mix, Verstappen switched hard during the first stop, while Hamilton and Albon stayed for the second stint in the middle.
In the 35th round, both Red Bull pilots went to the pits for the second time. Verstappen wanted to try to get in front of Hamilton with an earlier stop, but his plan failed at a slow stop. In the later stages of the race, Verstappen went to the mechanics once more to finish for the fastest lap and one point.
This is also the first time this year that both pilots of a team other than Mercedes have reached the podium.
“Second place is of course still good, but it’s not very satisfactory. We kept trying to push, but I don’t think we did a good job today in terms of strategy. Whatever we did, we were four or five seconds behind him, “said Verstappen.
“I would like to be a little more aggressive. If it doesn’t work out in the case of aggression, it doesn’t matter. I have nothing to lose. Even if we failed, I would be second. I don’t understand why we are so conservative. We had tires to be more aggressive, but we didn’t.
“First stop, we were supposed to pull Lewis, not let him pull me. My second pit stop was not good, I don’t know what happened there. I stopped again. For the first lap (on fresh tires) it’s great, but due to the speed after the race interruption and the safety car (at the end of the race due to the resignation of Sergio Pérez) the strategy of three stops led nowhere. And we still did it! We need to learn from this. I will, of course, talk to them about it and listen to their reasons. There is no point in arguing during the race. We are at the end of the season and everything is more or less a given. “
Albon on stage for the second time this year
Although Albon made money on Bottas’ problems at the start, Sergio Pérez took third place and the Thai pilot remained fourth.
He moved to the podium up to three laps before the finish line, when Pérez had to resign due to a technical problem.
Albon thus won the second stage of career winners after the race in Mugello, Italy.
“Of course I was a little lucky today, Sergio had a good race, but we were here to take advantage of everything that happens before us, and we did that too, so I’m happy. The team told me that Sergio could have a problem with the engine, and I first thought that if his car was leaking oil, I didn’t want to be the first car behind him, “said Albon.
“For sure, I stayed out of the way and fortunately everything worked out. When I consider the damage from Friday, the boys did a great job to prepare everything for Saturday and it’s nice to reward them in this way, “Albon recalled his accident from Friday’s training.
“It was a good weekend in terms of speed. I feel that the last few races have been better, but the results did not show it, but this weekend we took another step forward and I am happy. “