‘It’s [Spa] not how you expect to win a race and not the way we wanted the weekend to go but a win is a win and the points are still important for both championships and we have to maximise every opportunity. Of course as drivers we all wanted to race and put on a show for the fans but it was clearly not an easy decision and the lack of visibility meant it just wasn’t safe in the end so we have to respect that.
‘I’m really looking forward to the race at Zandvoort. It will be special to have a race in the Netherlands in front of my home crowd but also as a driver it’s a good challenge to go to a new circuit and find the limit in an F1 car. It was amazing to see so many fans supporting us in Austria and Belgium and I hope we can put on a good show for everyone in the grandstands this weekend. As for the track, it might be a little hard to overtake on but for single lap performance I think it’s going to be rewarding. The qualifying laps will be very quick there so any mistakes will be really costly. After the race was cancelled last year this year will be even more special and of course it would be amazing to win on another home circuit in front of the Orange Army.
‘I’ve only done one race at Zandvoort and it was in a Formula 3 car. At that time I was known as ‘the son of’ but it’s going to be the other way around now [laughs]. The track has of course changed since then, with a few corners adjusted. Already in the F3 car, the corners were really enjoyable and they were pretty fast so I’m excited to race again in the F1 car with even more grip. I’ve also been there a few times with Red Bull for show runs in an old f1 car, so I have driven a few laps on the updated track in an F1 car which could be useful on the first few laps,’ said Verstappen.
The Belgian Grand Prix was a washout for Sergio Perez in more ways than one, as the Mexican crashed on the formation lap, putting him out of the race altogether.
‘My Team did an incredible repair job in Spa so now I just want to repay them with a result this weekend. What they did was so impressive, it just shows how hungry everyone is at Red Bull Racing Honda. The teamwork and the way everyone jumped on the car without giving up on a chance of repairing it in time made me extremely proud and it was amazing to witness it in the garage.
‘For sure it’s tough to stay focused during the red flag period, especially when your car is in a million pieces. It is quite challenging, and then it’s not certain if the race will even happen so it’s really important to stay in the zone. You just have to be prepared at all times because you never know what can happen, this is the key. Max did a really good job in qualifying on the Saturday and it was great that he was able to score some valuable points and close the deficit to Mercedes.
‘It’s been a while since I took part in a race [laughs] so I am looking forward to when the lights go out this Sunday, that’s for sure. I really hope that Zandvoort is the race that brings us back to the podium and we are pushing hard as a Team to make sure that happens.
‘I’ve only driven the track on the simulator but my initial thoughts are positive and so I’m really looking forward to experiencing the real thing now. I think this kind of track layout in a Formula One car is going to be a pretty good challenge and I just hope we can all have a great race and put on a show for the fans,’ added Perez.