Max Verstappen reveals that he was managing his tyres from the out lap on his way to victory in Saturday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint race.

While he was pipped to pole position earlier in the day by Lando Norris, Verstappen edged ahead of the McLaren driver into the first turn at the start of the 24-lap encounter.

Verstappen acknowledged that manoeuvring his car into clear air from the outset enabled him to avoid encountering any detrimental concerns with tyre wear in the latter stages.

“Yeah, I think the initial getaway wasn’t that fantastic,” Verstappen reflected. “I think my release wasn’t very good, but then the second bit was very strong, and I could get alongside. So that definitely helped, of course in the beginning of the race.

“We know 24 laps around here, it’s all about tyre management. Yeah, just incredibly difficult around here. A lot of deg. Last year we were struggling a lot with that already in the Sprint race and that’s why I was a bit careful. And yeah, luckily it worked out.

“I mean, the whole race, the tyres, they don’t feel particularly great around here. But yeah, with the management that we did, I think it worked out and we won the race”. 

Asked when he began preserving his rubber, Verstappen replied: “The out lap! There is not one lap where I pushed flat-out. You can’t. It’s impossible.”

Although Norris remained within two seconds of the Red Bull for the majority of the race, Verstappen pulled away to take the chequered flag 4.2s ahead of the McLaren.

“At one point in the race it looked like, you know, Lando was catching a bit, and then I had a better feeling with the car again and I could look after the tyres a bit better and I could pull away again at the end, so yeah, it was close,” the reigning champion relayed.

“And I think tomorrow also we have pit stops in the race, so you never know what can happen.”

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. 04.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sprint Day.

Meanwhile, Norris believes the severe degradation evident at Interlagos is comparable to the Circuit of the Americas where the tyres are only good for “two laps”.

“I was managing in qualifying already,” the Briton remarked. “These are the tyres from quali, right? So yeah, it’s a tough circuit. You don’t feel like you can push anywhere.

“It’s kind of always a little bit like this, but it feels, I don’t know, similar to COTA in a way, like you do two laps then after that you’ve got no grip and you’re managing and you have one little wheel spin and it costs you two or three tenths straightaway.”

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez rued not being able to optimise the life of his tyres more effectively after needing to push to recover places he lost to the Mercedes duo at the start.

But the Mexican has provided a positive take on the fragility of the Pirelli compounds, attributing the multitude of overtaking notoriously seen at the circuit to the tyres.

Asked what factors encouraged overtaking in Brazil, Perez replied: “I think it’s a lot to do with the degradation, you know. You hit a lot of degradation, as we saw today.

“Obviously, everyone will learn from the race today and tomorrow will try to improve what everyone had, including me,” he added. “But generally, it’s a race when if you are close in the DRS zone, if you have good traction around the corner, then everything’s possible.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *