Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen’s “smart” tactics in qualifying after he used a slipstream from Valtteri Bottas to beat the Mercedes driver to second on the grid.Lewis Hamilton. Horner said Verstappen positioned himself cleverly at the end of the session in order to take advantage of the slipstream from Bottas’s car.
“He was pretty smart,” said Horner. “He waited for Bottas to pass him on the end of his qualifying lap and then started his lap benefiting from a good tow from Valtteri.
“That gave him a tenth on the run down to turn one. And then obviously had to make it all stick for the rest of the lap.
“It was an unbelievable lap, really one of the best laps he’s driven this season, I would say.”
Bottas’s race engineer told him “Verstappen can thank you for the tow,” on his radio at the end of the session. “I believe you’re in the best position to start tomorrow,” he added to Bottas, who will line up third on the grid behind Verstappen.
Horner said Verstappen’s qualifying lap was the first time Red Bull had been able to demonstrate their potential this weekend.
“It’s felt very bitsy so far,” he said. “We’ve seen flashes of promise, but we haven’t managed to put that together because of traffic and red flags all kinds of incidents.
“But Max was more confident than anybody going into that qualifying session and he really delivered.”
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