After Max Verstappen’s late crash during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Dutchman could not hide his disappointment of having wasted an opportunity to “open up the gap” to Hamilton, thanks to Red Bull’s apparent dominance on street tracks.
On lap 46 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the dices were rolled again when race leader Verstappen suffered a puncture on the main straight, giving a premature end to both his race and his hopes of expanding his championship lead.
This experience was even more frustrating for the 23-year-old that became a powerless spectator of his championship rival, as Hamilton had all the cards in his hands to claim a podium finish and fill up his gap in the world championship standings.
Verstappen was not able to watch the end of the race as he was brought to the medical center for further inspections after his scary accident. He later revealed that he had to wait until the end of all the medical examinations before being able to check his phone and find out the news of Hamilton having wasted his seemingly unmissable opportunity of regaining the championship lead on a circuit where no one expected Mercedes to perform.
“I had to go to the medical center, but I couldn’t of course get there so I had to do a long route,” Verstappen said.
“I found out when I was laying on the bed! They were checking my blood pressure and suddenly my phone was vibrating a lot, so I said, ‘What’s going on?’ because I could hear the cars of course.”
“And then I was done and I was allowed to leave, and I saw on my phone that Lewis had a problem in Turn 1.”
Although the Dutchman was able to find some luck in disguise, he still could not hide his disappointment of having wasted a clear opportunity of taking off in the championship standings thanks to Red Bull’s dominance on street tracks.
“It’s just a shame,” Verstappen admitted.
“I said already before that Mercedes will be very strong on the normal tracks. They had some difficulty on the street circuits, but as you could see in Barcelona, they were mighty quick in the race.”
“Two street circuits we had, and now we go back to normal tracks. I wanted to open up the gap a little bit more before we go back to those kinds of tracks.”
“So we have to keep on our toes and we have to keep pushing hard because they also have a very good car even if sometimes they don’t say it, they do.”
“But it is what it is I’m still leading the championship, which I didn’t expect once I hit that wall”