Verstappen admits he was lucky not to spin victory away at restart

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen said everything went well in his drive to victory in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – expect when he almost spun out of the lead at the restart.

The Red Bull driver was leading the pack around to resume the race when his car snapped away from him in the Rivazza corners. He was able to gather the car up and rejoin the lead of the queue before losing his lead to second-placed Charles Leclerc.

“A little moment when I was trying to warm up the throttle,” Verstappen explained after the race. “Luckily we didn’t spin.”

Verstappen led much of the race which began on a track which was very wet in places but drier in others, and was punctuated by disruptions due to other drivers’ crashes and spins.

“It was very challenging out there, especially the beginning,” said Verstappen. “It was very hard to stay on-track to be honest. It was very slippery.”

He briefly came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton before their pit stops, when they switched from intermediate tyres to slicks.

“Of course with the tyres degrading in the wet, choosing the right moment to go onto slicks is never easy,” he said. “I think we managed everything well.

“A little moment at my restart [but] everything else went really well today so of course I’m very happy with that.”

Verstappen set himself on course for victory when he fired his Red Bull past his team mate Sergio Perez and pole-winner Hamilton from third on the grid.

“I was surprised myself,” he admitted. “Last year we have been struggling a little bit off the line. I think we worked really hard to make that better and already, you saw it in Bahrain, now in these tricky conditions I think we did a great job.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

31 comments on “Verstappen admits he was lucky not to spin victory away at restart”

  1. Leclerc missed a tricky here. He should have overtaken Max there when he semi-spun.
    Also had Lewis pitted one lap earlier he might have successfully undercut Max.

    1. @amg44 Didn’t Lewis pit one lap after Max? How would that have worked out?

      1. That worked out poorly. Just before the first pit stop Max was only ahead by 2 seconds and after the pits the gap grew to 5 seconds. Had Mercedes decided to bring Lewis in 1 lap earlier he may have undercut Max.

        1. Don’t think so. HAM managed to reduce the gap to 2sec thanks to backmarkers. The undercut may have worked only if HAM would have pitted like 5laps earlier, before catching the backmarkers himself (letting just VER lose time with the backmarkers).

          1. Also Max had a great outlap (sector 2-3) which even Lewis had a fast pitstop he would be behind Max. RB went precies on the right lap.

        2. @amg44 One lap earlier for Hamilton would have been the same lap as Verstappen (27)!

          To try for the undercut, they would have had to bring him in on lap 26.

    2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      18th April 2021, 16:44

      But they didn’t. Your point?

    3. Leclerc missed a tricky here. He should have overtaken Max there when he semi-spun.

      Wouldn’t have changed the order, only the gaps. Ferrari and McLaren are not fast enough to keep behind Mercedes+HAM and VER+RBR.

      1. @mg1982 True on paper but Leclerc and Verstappen have history when it comes to overtaking each other, so who knows what might have happened.

    4. @amg44 I thought the same thing. He should’ve used the opportunity to sneak into the lead, even if only temporarily.

    5. Yes, I think you’re right. A lost opportunity but he was too surprised and lost a place instead if gained one.

      I wonder what would have happened if he had passed Verstappen though.
      According to the regulation a driver who spins at the formation lap, loses positions and fails to regain them before the first safety car line is required to start from the pitlane.
      So theoretically (although it was on such a short notice) Verstappen would have had to pit or receive the same penalty as Raikkonen (30 seconds) did.
      Considering that, Leclerc could even have lost a race win here.

      1. Perez got an 10 seconds penaulty overtaking a car on track behind safety car is not allowed. IF Max left the track then Charles could overtake him but Max had still a wheel on the track.

    6. It was a formation lap. Even if Leclerc had passed Ves he had to give the position back. These are the rules of F1

      1. A rolling start is considered a formation lap. Not a restart behind a safety car. That would have been different. Then you cannot get your position back.

  2. The Sebastian Vettel Cracking Under Pressure Trophy for the WDC 2021 standings:

    1. Hamilton – 2pts
    2. Verstappen – 2 pts

    1. Guess what, even the two best drivers are actually human..

      1. @j-l – Right? Gotta keep count though, because it only seem to stick at others.

    2. How earned?

      1. @erikje – Nitpicking not to get eaten alive by worshippers, HAM’s are spanning outta track under pressure at BAH + the clumsy move at – IIRC – Piratella, today. VER’s are more mild, the misjudging braking for the lead at BAH + his spin at Rivazza today.

        1. Two of the best drivers F1 have ever seen on the very edge racing each other, and its called cracking under pressure when they push the envelope just a little farther than the rest? What nonsense.

          1. Excellent observation from true race fan. Racing to the limit by the two best drivers ever.

          2. Good reasoning, which I’m for if you hadn’t noticed. Though I’ll reserve the right to wait for your input when it’s not Hamilton under the spotlight.

          3. So what bit of ‘two of the best drivers’ did you not understand?

          4. +1. This is just a sign that we finally have them where we want them

          5. @ian dearing – I understand it fits you coming all understanding when Hamilton made the uglier moves of the two. But if I bring up, say, Canada-2019, your definitions of “pushing the envelope farther” will change, wouldn’t you say?

            Oh well, I’m not here to antagonize you. Just chill and let’s give it time. (:

  3. As I commented on another article, it looked like Leclerc slammed the brakes on, probably instinctively, but he’d have been perfectly justified to fly past Verstappen and take the lead. Opportunity missed.

    1. And then slightly dozing off at the restart didnt help either

    2. A rolling restart is considered a formation lap. Ves was allowed to get back to his position after a spin. So forget Leclerc taking advantage

  4. Rogier Kerkhoven
    18th April 2021, 17:06

    And then? Max would have passed him in the second lap after the restart anyways becausue he was much faster, really don’t understand why people are thinking Leclerc would be denying Max’s race win, perhaps 2-3 seconds less advantage at the end of the race.

  5. Leclerc would have been more likely to keep Norris behind if he wasn’t slowed by the nearly spinning Verstappen. As he spent the rest of the race 1-2 seconds behind Norris and was comfortably ahead in the first part of the race he could have kept Norris behind and been far enough down the road that Hamilton wouldn’t have caught him.

  6. Leclerc should have passed, but apparently, with no team radio, he was unaware it was a rolling restart, hence he didn’t, and also explains why he let such a big gap go to Verstappen! In hindsight, remarkable he only lost 1 spot!

Comments are closed.