Max Verstappen is now used to finish second. We can say he's the main competitor to seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver wasn't really able to built a big gap from the Dutchman, like he always do, but, on the other hand, Verstappen wasn't even able to bother him, always being 4-5 seconds behind the Silver Arrow.
Verstappen thinks Red Bull is not being aggressive with the strategies: in fact, Max did an extra pit-stop compared to Lewis.
“Second is still, of course, OK, but I think in the manner that we were second it wasn’t very satisfying" said the Dutchman after the race "I would’ve liked to be a bit more aggressive and of course, if it fails being aggressive, so be it. I have nothing to lose. Even if we would fail, I would still be second. I don’t get why we were so conservative".
While Hamilton opted for a 2 pit-stop strategy, included the one after the red flag caused by Romain Grosjean tremendous accident, Verstappen did instead four, the last fifteen laps from the end. Maybe the result wouldn't have changed, but Max feels like he's not really fighting enough for the win.
“I think we were trying to keep the pressure on, but I think we didn’t do a good job with the strategy today. We had the tyres to be more aggressive and we didn’t do it. So, first stop, we should’ve pulled Lewis in instead of Lewis pulling me in.
"My second stop wasn’t good, I don’t know what happened there, we’ll look into that… we were always four, four seconds behind [Hamilton] whatever we did today; I think that’s just very costly,” he said.
“I stopped another time. For the first lap it’s great but with the pace car after the red flag and Safety Car [at the end of the race], the three-stop was a no-go – and we still did it. I don’t really get the point of that. We’ll look into it.”
Despite Verstappen comments, Red Bull earned a two podium finish, with Albon reaching the third placement after Perez issue towards the end of the race.
“I will talk with them" Verstappen added “There is also no point to argue a lot during the race; we’re at the end of the season and everything is anyway, a bit, done.
“We just have to learn from it, try to understand why. I will of course talk to them about it and of course I will hear their reasons behind it so yeah, it is what it is…”