Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen says that his victory in the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix was one of the easiest of his career and standing on the podium makes up for the disappointment of missing out last year.
Verstappen, who narrowly missed out on his first pole-position in qualifying, started second alongside Sebastian Vettel but was able to snatch the lead at turn one and avoid the chaos behind him to take a dominant victory, the third of his grand prix career.
“A great win and a fun podium, a Dutch DJ and Dutch driver, what a combination, ” said Verstappen.
“The start of the race itself was not great but this allowed me to tuck in and get a tow from Sebastian, I had to be a bit aggressive but managed to get around the outside at turn one and from then on I was just doing my own race.
” I would go as far to say this was one of the easiest races of my career.
“I felt I missed out on pole yesterday so I had a lot of motivation to get the result I wanted today. To get not just a podium but the win is awesome.”
A number of other Renault powered cars dropped out of the race, including Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, as the French manufacturer suffered from dreadful reliability throughout the entire weekend.
Indeed, Verstappen confirms that his engine had been turned down in order to assure victory.
“We calmed the pace and turned down the engine to make sure we brought the car home so I was just cruising towards the end.
“I was confident the car was going to be good today after studying the long run pace we have shown this weekend. This track with low speed and low grip suits our car, but even in Austin we had the balance and pace, I just had to come from way down the grid.
“Once we had got the balance of the car right it was easy for us to do quick lap times and sustain them. I think if we keep working this way and have a better start to the season next year we can look forward to achieving great things.”
Verstappen was demoted from a podium finish in last year’s Mexican Grand Prix following a post race penalty, similar to the situation in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, but says that his victory in this year’s event makes up for last year’s disappointment.
“The podium here in Mexico is special to be on as the fans are so passionate and being in the stadium section means the atmosphere is like nowhere else, it definitely made up for missing it last year.
“Like I said in the car on lap 1, it was simply, simply lovely.”