Verstappen not expecting repeat of Silverstone success
Max Verstappen is not expecting to repeat his success at Silverstone this season despite his front-row start for the Russian Grand Prix.
Verstappen took the chequered flag at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in July, the second of the back-to-back races to be held at the Northamptonshire circuit, despite only starting from fourth on the grid.
But circumstances played into the hands of the Red Bull driver that allowed him to claim a surprise success after Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton had locked out the front row, only for the duo to fall foul of the softer tyre options for that race compared to the previous weekend's British Grand Prix.
At the Sochi Autodrom, Verstappen has the benefit of starting on the more durable medium tyre compared to polesitter Lewis Hamilton on the soft, while there is also the advantage of the kilometre-long run to the first significant corner that will allow him to slipstream the six-time F1 champion, although Bottas starts from third.
Despite the favourable circumstances, Verstappen said: "It’s a surprise to be on the front row, that’s for sure, but I honestly don’t expect it to be like Silverstone.
"I think we were a little bit more competitive in the long runs there, and also the compounds, I don’t think it’s as big an issue as what it was there, so I don’t expect the same to happen."
Primarily, Verstappen is simply hoping to see the chequered flag on this occasion after retiring in the two most recent races in Italy with power unit problems.
"For us, it [starting second] is the best way going into the race," added Verstappen.
"Of course, I’m starting a bit on the dirty side so I’m not sure how much that’s going to affect it, but overall I think the Mercedes guys are a bit faster in race pace.
"I’ll try my very best to stay with them and see what happens, but first of all I would like to have a good start, and by start I mean once I go full throttle to have full power, that would be nice and then not get taken out.
"After two retirements I think it’s good to score some points again."
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