In an epic battle between Red Bull and Mercedes, Verstappen led the majority of the race from pole position, initially succeeding in holding off the attentions of Hamilton. However, a masterstroke in strategy from Mercedes allowed Hamilton to stick on fresh tyres with 20 laps remaining, which eventually allowed him to overtake Verstappen, whose own tyres were rapidly disintegrating.
It was a superb effort by both drivers with Mercedes just coming out on top, and Verstappen was gracious in defeat afterwards, saying Hamilton was “on fire” during the GP.
“I think then you can see how much margin they have when they really need to push,” the Dutchman said of Mercedes.
“I think Lewis today was on fire as well, but then you see, once he really has to go for it you can see that that car is still the dominant car, it’s as simple as that. Whereas in some races it’s not as necessary.”
Verstappen has won two out of the last four races in Austria and Germany, but he thinks a factor in this is because Mercedes were not able to race “flat out” - something they were able to do in Hungary.
“Of course they had their issues in Austria with overheating so you can’t push. Of course in Hockenheim it was tricky conditions as well so you can’t really drive to the limit of the car,” he added.
“But here today I think he had to go for it flat out, because I was also pushing flat out and then you can see what they are capable of as a team.”
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