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Verstappen concedes victory doubt amid safety car drama

Verstappen concedes victory doubt amid safety car drama

F1 News

Verstappen concedes victory doubt amid safety car drama

Verstappen concedes victory doubt amid safety car drama

Max Verstappen has conceded to having a small amount of doubt over his Dutch Grand Prix victory with safety car periods turning the race on its head.

The Dutchman scored his 10th win of the season to further extend his championship lead over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to 109 points.

Despite Mercedes deploying a different strategy which seemed to have forced Verstappen to overtake to win, the Red Bull would likely have had the pace to make up the deficit.

But a virtual and full safety car period threatened to leave Verstappen on the back foot, with a pit stop dropping him behind both Mercedes with 12 laps to go.

Although he still needed to execute a pass on Hamilton, Russell's stop under a late safety car removed one obstacle from his path.

"It was not a straightforward race," said Verstappen. "We had to push the whole race.

"Of course, with the safety car and virtual safety car, making the right calls was always a bit of a question mark but it worked out really well.

"Once we got back to the soft tyres, we had great pace again."

Verstappen's message for home support

Asked if he had ever doubted the outcome, Verstappen said: "Before that safety car, I thought it was okay to the end with the hard tyres even though we were a bit slower.

"But then, of course, the safety car came out and I was like 'I don't think we're going to keep this up if we don't pit'.

"So we went for the soft tyres but then I dropped back to third. Then George pitted as well, so I had a good run on the restart.

"We had a bit more on top speed, so that helps to attack into turn one and from there onwards, we had a really good balance in the car again.

"We timed it [the restart] really well out of that last corner into the banking and you could see the draft was quite strong and we got ahead.

"It was incredible to win again."

The result ensured Verstappen remained unbeaten at Zandvoort since the venue returned to the calendar last season.

Sparing a word for his orange army of fans, he added: "Unbelievable support and I'm really happy that all of you guys came out here to support me. I'm proud to be Dutch."

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