After his team were caught up in a war of words over flexible rear wings, new championship leader Max Verstappen has claimed ‘actions always speak louder than words’ after cruising to victory in Monaco to top the Driver’s Championship standings for the first time in his F1 career.
With Charles Leclerc unable to start the race due to a technical issue, Verstappen effectively moved into pole position. After dicing with Valtteri Bottas into the first corner, the Dutchman wasn’t troubled again, cruising to his maiden win in the principality.
Actions Do The Talking
In what was a terrible weekend for Mercedes – Bottas suffered a DNF and Lewis Hamilton finished seventh – Verstappen was delighted with Red Bull Racing’s ability to maximise the opportunity and move atop both the Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships.
‘First of all, actions always speak louder than words. I think that’s a good lesson after this weekend. You know you have to talk on the track. That’s what I like and yes, we, as a team, so far, made the smallest mistakes and that’s why we are ahead. So I hope we can keep that going for the rest of the season.
‘It’s so special around here to win. Also for me the first time on the podium here. An amazing race. It’s a lot of laps around here and you really have to keep your focus but yeah, it’s really cool.
‘You never know what’s going to happen but it was all about just looking after your tyres and finding a good stop gap of course. The others went earlier and that made it a bit easier for me but I was pretty much in control.
‘You always want to win this grand prix. I remember when I was little already watching this grand prix. When you are standing here of course I’m very proud, but I’m also thinking ahead. It’s still a very long season, but of course this is a great way to continue,’ said Verstappen.
Turn 1 The Key
With overtaking so difficult in Monaco, Verstappen knew the run to turn 1 would be key as he looked to unlock his cars full potential and take the race win.
‘Of course it’s sad for Charles, starting from pole here at his home grand prix, so it’s never nice to not even do the start. But I think quite quickly you have to shift the focus to yourself and focus on your race. Of course we still had to start in second, which I didn’t think was a great spot to start, on the outside, for me. I thought it was going to be good but I had a bit of wheel spin, so I had to cut across and luckily I stayed in first but the grip wasn’t amazing.
‘It’s been an amazing day of course. I think once we had the lead in Turn 1 from there onwards we could manage the pace quite well and look after the tyres, because I mean around here it’s all about just keeping them alive and trying to go as long as you can and find a pit gap. Of course Valtteri at one point was struggling a bit with his tyres and had to pit. Of course it always looks like it’s going quite smoothly but around here keeping the concentration for so long is not easy but overall supper happy to win here.’
Can Max Continue Strong Form?
After Monaco the paddock heads to another tight street circuit, Baku, for the FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2021 where the new championship leader will hope to continue his winning ways.
However, the Dutchman insists confidence doesn’t play a role in success in Baku…
‘It has nothing to do with confidence, to be honest, to be quick in Baku. If you just feel good in the car and the car is doing what you want… I mean I’ve always been quick around Monaco; just I’ve shunted a few too many times. Baku’s a completely different street circuit where you run a lot less downforce because of that long straight and the grip levels also feel quite low there, so you can’t really compare with each other. Normally we should be quite competitive – but let’s see,’ concluded Verstappen.