Race start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

“Luckily nothing happened” after risking start on harder tyres – Verstappen

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen was relieved not to lose the lead at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix after starting on harder tyres than all of the drivers around him.

The Red Bull driver used the medium tyre compound for the start, which features the longest run to turn one on the calendar. Carlos Sainz Jnr, who started alongside him, chose the soft tyres and was able to draw alongside Verstappen on his outside at the first corner.

However Verstappen held his lead and went on to dominate the race, scoring his fifth victory of the season. He indicated afterwards he had been concerned Sainz would be able to claim the inside of the corner.

“I had the harder compound, of course,” said Verstappen after the race. “I knew the start was maybe going to be a bit tricky and going round the outside in turn one is always quite difficult. But luckily nothing happened.”

The Red Bull driver led the race from lights to flag from pole position as the team continued its unbeaten run at the start of the 2023 season.

“It’s a big pleasure to drive with a car like this,” he said. “I think it showed again today.

“We had quite a lot of different tyre strategies out there. I think for most of the race we were on the right one. But a win here, it’s incredible.”

Verstappen now leads the drivers’ championship by 53 points over his team mate Sergio Perez. “We had another strong weekend and that’s, of course, what I’d like to see for myself and the team,” he said. “Hopefully we can just keep that up throughout the year.”

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2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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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...

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