‘I learned a lot of things’ – Verstappen takes the positives from Baku despite losing out to team mate Perez
Although he was naturally disappointed not to claim victory in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Max Verstappen feels he gathered plenty of valuable information about his Red Bull that will aid his cause moving forward.
Verstappen led the early stages of Sunday’s race from team mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, but dropped back to third due to the timing of a Safety Car and was forced into a recovery drive.
While the reigning double world champion overhauled Leclerc, he was unable to get close enough for a move on Perez, explaining post-race that he spent the afternoon trying to get on top of balance issues aboard his RB19.
Reflecting on his afternoon at the wheel, Verstappen said: “I think, of course, the Safety Car was a bit unlucky. Then I had to push again, I tried to stay very close [to Perez], to try and get into the DRS, but I think the tyres were overheating a bit because of that, trying to follow.
“But also, the balance, I was struggling to be really consistent. I was playing around with the tools a little bit and, I think when I got that sorted, I would say the last 10 laps were actually quite good again.
“[It was] just a little bit too late [to challenge Perez], [but] I think a lot of things learned again throughout the race, and, of course, at the end of the day, a good team result.”
As for Perez eating into his championship lead, which now stands at a much-reduced six points, Verstappen said: “We know it’s a very long season. As I said, [there were] a lot of things I learned again.
“Baku is again quite different to Miami, and Miami is going to be again very different to the other tracks we go to. But you keep learning; it cannot be perfect all the time, and I think on those days you can learn.”