Max Verstappen says he didn’t want to take the risk on passing Singapore Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton when being held up by back markers during the race.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver finished the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in second place, finishing over eight seconds behind race winner Hamilton.
The Dutch driver finished ahead of Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel, jumping him during the pit stop window after the German passed him at the start of the race.
With Verstappen using the Soft Pirelli compounds over Vettel’s Ultrasofts to the end of the race, Verstappen was able to pull away from the Ferrari in the latter stages of the race.
Verstappen says that it was a shame he lost a place at the start, but praises the team for selecting a great strategy that helped him push back up to second place.
“It was a shame to lose a position to Sebastian so early on but there was not a lot I could do as we were both flat out,” said Verstappen.
“I should have been able to hold the line but I just couldn’t match his speed. My only real chance to win was at the start, unfortunately it was a bit all over the place and I knew my chance had gone.
“Luckily the team had me on a great strategy and therefore managed to get me back into second place with a brilliant pit stop.”
Verstappen had a chance to take the lead of the race against Hamilton when both cars encountered traffic during the midway point of the race.
Sergey Sirotkin and Romain Grosjean were battling with each other for position whilst being shown the blue flags, which cost Hamilton time and allowed Verstappen to close in.
The Dutch driver had a look into passing Hamilton but pulled out as he passed the back markers. Verstappen said that he didn’t want to take the risk on passing the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport car, plus saying he found it unfair how the slow cars didn’t get out of the way for him.
“When I got close to Lewis due to back markers I never really thought the pass would be possible,” Verstappen continued.
“It’s hard to overtake here so I didn’t want to take the risk. It was also slightly unfair how he had been held up by drivers not getting out of the way.
“I had a few driveability issues again behind the Safety Car and pulling away from the pit stop was dreadful, but in the end we managed it well and got the result we wanted.
“After the way the car has felt at certain points this weekend, qualifying on the front row and taking second place today is an amazing result.”