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Max Verstappen: “Malaysian win nicer than first victory”

Published on 02 October 2017 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen solidly took home the victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday. The twenty-year-old had a good start and took the lead from Lewis Hamilton on lap four. Verstappen kept his lead for the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag and wheeled in his second Formula 1-victory. In Ziggo’s Peptalk, Max, by now in Japan, looks back at the weekend.

Max descibes the race: “I needed to make sure that I was as consistent as possible and just doing my laps. After the overtake on Hamilton I was able to do just that. It was the first time for me that I was in such a position. That was of course super nice.” There was no doubt regarding the reliability of the RB13: “Everything felt alright, so I never really doubted. The final lap was also more or less relaxed.”

Verstappen was actually not quite fit. The Red Bull Racing-driver had some aches over the weekend: “I was suffering a bit from the flu. My nose was blocked, I had a headache and my muscles were also hurting.” Verstappen also looked very tired after the race: “Yes, but I was ill. In any case I wasn’t feeling all too well. The night before the race, I almost couldn’t sleep, so it was much tougher than normal. Normally I should feel great after such a victory, but given my condition this was one of the worst days this year. I am doing fine now, but it will take a while.”

What do you think of your victory? “This was nicer than the first one.” Despite that, the youngster considers his 2013 world championship Go-karting the top of it all. “You look back at the moment when you were four years old and what you have had to do to achieve that title. Also if you look at what my father had had to do.”

Coming weekend the Japanese Grand Prix is on the menu. What are the chances on the Suzuka circuit? “That’s a hard question to answer. Ferrari is still very strong. Mercedes has always struggled in Malaysia, so we need to wait and see how they will do in Japan. Hopefully it will be a nice race.” But that doesn’t mean that Red Bull Racing hasn’t made major strides the past races: “I knew that several things were on the way. For sure we closed the gap a bit and I am happy with that.”

There is no rest for Max. The coming days he has his share of PR-activities on the agenda: “I am busy with that tomorrow and Wednesday the whole day. Thursday I’m taking a train to Suzuka.”