Verstappen says 'sitting behind like a grandma' is not for him
SILVERSTONE - Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving "like a grandma" in Formula One's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday - and he was as good as his word.
The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes' run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen's confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tyres.
"Mate, this is the only chance of being close to the Mercedes," Verstappen replied over the radio. "I'm not just sitting behind like a grandma."
His own grandma, he later admitted, was actually "pretty quick in a road car".
"I didn't just want to sit behind, like I've been doing at the previous races all the time. So once I had the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on, I want to do that. So, I tried," said Verstappen.
"I had a big moment once, when I was close to Lewis in Turn 13, because it's really hard to follow, even when I have the grip advantage with these cars.
"But of course then it was just impossible for them to continue, so they boxed (pitted).
"And that's where my race started. But I hate sitting back, especially when you see that the car is actually pretty decent.
"Sometimes it can be a bit of suicide, killing your tyres, trying to hang on desperately but I don't think that was the case today."
Verstappen had been second in the previous two races and third in the one before that, the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria.
If he had not retired in the Austrian opener with a technical problem while in second place, the gap to Hamilton would be a lot narrower but he was under no illusions about the task ahead.
"I think that to fully close that gap will be very hard. I think today we were just very good on tyres," he said.