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Verstappen hails ‘right calls’ from Red Bull in helping to seal P2 at Silverstone

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Second placed Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Max Verstappen credited his Red Bull team with making the “right calls” during the British Grand Prix, with the Dutchman going from P4 on the grid to a final result of P2 after looking increasingly fast on the hard tyre in the latter stages.

While Verstappen had initially overtaken the McLaren of Lando Norris for third place on the opening lap, the world champion later slipped backwards after Norris and team mate Oscar Piastri steamed ahead amid changing conditions, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also eventually closed in.

READ MORE: Hamilton beats Verstappen to first win since 2021 with record-breaking 9th British Grand Prix victory

However, having made a well-timed switch to the intermediate tyres, Verstappen managed to leapfrog Mercedes’ George Russell for third, with Norris then leading from Lewis Hamilton.

Another good call followed from Red Bull when the track started to dry enough for slicks as Verstappen bolted on the hard tyres, which seemed to wear better than the softs that Norris opted for. This helped the Dutch driver to steal second place and, while he was eating into Hamilton’s advantage, he ultimately ran out of time to fight for the lead.

2024 British Grand Prix: Verstappen jumps Norris for P3 as Russell leads away on the race start at Silverstone

When asked after jumping out of the car if the result was perhaps better than expected, Verstappen explained: “Yeah, we just didn’t have the pace today. I was slowly dropping back when it mattered in the beginning.

“It didn’t look great at some point, I was really thinking, ‘Are we going to finish fifth, sixth?’ But we made the right calls. Going from the slicks to the inters, and then also from the inters back to the slicks, I think it was every time the right lap.

READ MORE: ‘I can’t stop crying!’ – Hamilton admits there were days he ‘didn’t feel good enough’ after emotional return to winning ways

“Then also at the end the call from the team to be on the hard tyre instead of the soft was definitely helping me out, and that’s why I think we also finished second today. It could have been a lot worse, but with making the right calls we still got onto the podium and I’m of course very happy with that.”

Reflecting on the wet-dry conditions that played out during the 52-lap encounter, Verstappen admitted that he had tried to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull

Verstappen recovered from some qualifying troubles on Saturday to take P2 on Sunday at Silverstone

“When it started to rain for the first time, of course I was already dropping back,” the 26-year-old said. “I was struggling for grip, so I didn’t want to take too many risks. I saw the guys ahead of me, they were really going for it.

“I just tried to hang in there, not going off the track, and that was quite tricky. But then at one point it really started to come down and then it was quite obvious that you had to go to the inter.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from the 2024 British Grand Prix

“Then you had to make the tyre last as long as you could, then suddenly also the sun came out and the track really started to dry up quickly. Still, you feel quite comfortable on the inter, but at one point you just have to gamble to go to the slick and luckily it all worked out well.”

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