The team brought Verstappen in for his first pit stop early in a bid to protect him from Bottas. Asked by RaceFans whether he felt the pit stop compromised their efforts to beat Mercedes, Verstappen said: “No we were just too slow, so you can do whatever you want.
“Pitting early, late or the same, I don’t think it’s going to change the end result. So at the teim I thought we were pitting a bit early. I knew, of course, towards the end of the race I was going to run out of tyres. But it’s what it is. I said on the radio ‘never mind, I’ll just get on with the job’.”
He said Mercedes’ performance advantage over the other cars came as a “shock” to him. “I was just pushing as hard as I could to try and stay with them. But clearly it’s still not good enough.
“The gaps compared to the guys behind were massive. I was a bit shocked. I tried everything I could but it’s still not enough. We’ve still got some work to do.”
Verstappen posted his first finish of the season after retiring from the season-opening race last week.
“To bounce back from zero points last week to a podium now is a good start,” he said. “But I think as a team we want to win and we want to fight for the championship. But if you want to fight for the championship of course you need to win races.
“We need to look into it. I think we were losing quite a bit on the straight as well. So it’s a bit of both at the moment. So we just need to keep on working harder to try and close the gap.”
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2020 F1 season
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton