Max Verstappen has insisted it was “important” to move ahead of
Lando Norris into the first corner at Interlagos en route to
victory in the São Paulo Grand Prix Sprint. Verstappen got the
better run into the first corner after starting second on the grid
and immediately overtook Norris for the lead. The race was then
about tyre management with most of the field opting to run the 24
laps on the Soft compound. Verstappen was heard chatting with his
race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase over tyre management as he
controlled the race out front. With degradation being a key factor
in the race, Verstappen asserted it was crucial that he got ahead
of Norris early in the race before going into a management phase.
“It was important to try and get ahead at the start,” he said. “The
initial launch wasn’t amazing but the second part of the start was
very good. “We got alongside and then it was all about management.
Here at this track, there’s a lot of degradation, our tyres were
wearing a lot. “24 laps on one tyre set is very long. So we just
trying to maintain a constant lap time and I think we managed the
race quite well.” Verstappen encouraged by Red Bull form Red Bull
suffered a rare defeat last year in Brazil, with Mercedes
prevailing through George Russell. However, the Brackley-based
squad struggled with its tyres during the sprint, suggesting a
difficult Grand Prix awaits it. Verstappen, meanwhile, is
encouraged by Red Bull’s tyre management ahead of Sunday’s race.
“Last year was very difficult for us around here, [this year] was
much better, but you can’t push flat out,” said the Dutchman. “It’s
all about keeping the tyres under control. We did that well. “It’s
a great start. I think we learned a lot during that race and
hopefully we can do something similar tomorrow.”

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