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Max finishes eleventh after tough Spanish GP

Published on 10 May 2015 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen, very disappointingly, missed out on the points in the Spanish Grand Prix, on Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, this Sunday. On Saturday, the youngster handsomely qualified sixth, for the second time this season, but on Sunday, his Scuderia Toro Rosso was lacking raw speed to make him finish in the points. The race, for the first time this season, fell victim to Nico Rosberg, who kept his Mercedes-team mate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari nicely at bay.

“My start was excellent, but it was a tough race”, Max Verstappen informs “After the first few laps, I noticed immediately that things were not going my way. I had a lot of problems with my rear tyres, causing me to have no traction.” In the latter part of the race, Max was in desperate need for some speed, as he confirms: “During a few laps I was suffering from loss of power and needed to do a reset. The battery was getting depleted and needed to recharge additionally, so because of that I was losing speed.”

The traffic on track, was also not helping Max during the race. “After my last pit stop, I got stuck behind of Hulkenberg and Maldonado for some four laps, and this really wears your tyres down. Then I had to let Raikkonen and Bottas through, that was also far from ideal. They were not even that faster than me at that time, so I got stuck behind of them, and that’s when Sainz got the better of me with the help of DRS.” Yet he remains optimistic: “Of course I will be charging again in two weeks’ time in Monaco, to grab some points.”

When it’s lights out, it is Max who, despite being on the dirty side of the track, makes a better start off the line before his team mate Carlos Sainz. A few hundred meters down the track, he positions himself beautifully for the first corner and secures P5. A few corners later, Kimi Raikkonen passes Max, making Max return to his position in which he started the race, after just one single lap.

It becomes apparent in the following laps that it was going to be a tough race. Max was initially not able to fend off Felipe Massa’s Williams, who made easy work of the STR10 on the straight. To Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus also, Max had no answer to. The Toro Rosso is clearly lacking top speed, which is obviously not helping the young talent.

Some laps later, Daniel Ricciardo appears in the mirrors of the Toro Rosso; the Red Bull’s speed was also no match for the Dutchman. When the whole field had finally settled down, it seemed that Max would make it to the end driving on P10. But, it’s not over, till the fat lady sings. Close to the end of the race, Max’ car loses power, forcing him to do a reset.

Behind of Max, Valtteri Bottas and Raikkonen start knocking on his door, both of them want to grab the fourth spot. Blue flags, shown at a very untimely moment, make Max fall prey to Sainz, who, moments later, snatches P10 away from his team mate with the aid of DRS. When the checkered flag is out, it’s Max who finishes eleventh. Sainz, with an ultimate ‘no guts, no glory’ move in the final lap, claimes P9 from Daniil Kvyat.

At the front of the field, Rosberg is the one leading the pack and eventually finishes over seventeen seconds in front of his team mate. Almost half a minute later, Vettel sees the checkered flag. Again Mercedes illustrate their reign supreme with this one-two finish.

Bottas finishes P4, in front of Raikkonen’s Ferrari and his team mate at Williams, Massa. He is the last one, that has not been lapped by the winner, to finish the race. Ricciardo clinched P7 after a decent race and stays in front of Romain Grosjean in his Lotus. Sainz and Kvyat complete the top ten.

Maldonado’s bad luck seems to follow him all the way to Spain. The team asks him to head to the pits at the end of the race, after having driven the major part of the race with just one wing end plate on his rearwing.

Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya – Sunday 10 May

 P Driver 		    Team 	Time 	     	Points
 1 Nico Rosberg    	GER Mercedes 	1:41:12.555s 	25 
 2 Lewis Hamilton    	GBR Mercedes 	17.551s 	18 
 3 Sebastian Vettel    	GER Ferrari 	45.342s 	15 
 4 Valtteri Bottas    	FIN Williams 	59.217s 	12 
 5 Kimi Räikkönen    	FIN Ferrari 	60.002s 	10 
 6 Felipe Massa    	BRA Williams 	81.314s 	8 
 7 Daniel Ricciardo    	AUS Red Bull 	1 lap 		6 
 8 Romain Grosjean   	FRA Lotus 	1 lap 		4 
 9 Carlos Sainz    	ESP Toro Rosso 	1 lap 		2 
10 Daniil Kvyat    	RUS Red Bull 	1 lap 		1 
11 Max Verstappen    	NED Toro Rosso 	1 lap 		0 
12 Felipe Nasr    	BRA Sauber 	1 lap 		0 
13 Sergio Perez    	MEX Force India 1 lap 		0 
14 Marcus Ericsson    	SWE Sauber 	1 lap 		0 
15 Nico Hulkenberg    	GER Force India 1 lap 		0 
16 Jenson Button    	GBR McLaren 	1 lap 		0 
17 Will Stevens    	GBR Marussia 	3 laps 		0 
18 Roberto Merhi    	ESP Marussia 	4 laps 		0 
RT Pastor Maldonado    	VEN Lotus 	DNF 		0 
RT Fernando Alonso    	ESP McLaren 	DNF 		0