Column Max: If an opportunity arises, seize it

Due to engine related problems in qualifying, Max Verstappen had to start from P16 in China last Sunday. The seemingly hopeless situation brought out the best in Max.

"At the beginning of the race things were not looking so good for me. Starting from P16 isn’t great, but what was actually even more annoying was that I, having missed Q2 and Q3, hadn’t spent much time on the track. Friday’s first free practice was canceled already after a few laps, so all in all I missed out on quite a few laps in the preparation.

Since my car is completely different every week, it's super important to make laps prior to the race, to be able to set-up the car as good as possible. We had made quite some changes after the last practice session, but I hardly got around to test it. Because of this my car had a lot of understeer during the race.

I can make a lot of adjustments on the steering wheel while driving, but that is of course not ideal. The car was not well balanced and I was constantly searching for grip on my left front wheel. I locked up when Vettel was pushing me, partially because of that. Also in the final laps, when Daniel Ricciardo was right behind me, I was having a tough time with it. Luckily I managed to keep him behind me.

Being stuck behind Grosjean, also contributed to Daniel narrowing the gap to me. His Ferrari engine gives him more speed on the straight, so I couldn’t get past him and his dirty air was causing me a lot of trouble. This is causing trouble quicker in this season than it did before - so I think that the blue flag rules should be looked at.

The big difference between Hamilton and Vettel shows that Mercedes and Ferrari are currently in a better position than us. Thanks to the wet track and a strategy that worked out perfectly, we were able to get a good result.  At the moment we can only truly compete if all things go our way. And when opportunities like these then arise, we must of course seize them."



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