Verstappen frightened by lack of pace, but praises Red Bull for great strategy calls

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Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has praised his team for great strategy calls, but acknowledged that his car lacked pace at the British Grand Prix.

The British Grand Prix presented a rare occasion on which Red Bull was struggling for pace. Max Verstappen was unable to keep up with the leading duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages of the race, and although he passed Lando Norris for P3 at the start, the Briton retook the last spot on the podium.

When the rain started to fall on Lap 19, the championship runaway leader further dropped back, and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz also closed in on him on the damp, slippery surface.

When the rain eased and the track started to dry up, Red Bull elected to equip Verstappen's car with Pirelli's hard compounds while his rivals, Norris and Hamilton received a set of soft tyres. That was the time of the race when the Dutchman started to set blistering times, and was able to pass Norris before coming close to snatch the victory away from Hamilton.

Expanding on his race, Verstappen added: “It was difficult today to manage especially with the rain, but looking at pure performance we were too slow in the first stint and overall struggled with tyre degradation.

"At one point it was looking like we might finish P5 or P6, but we made all of the right calls, especially with pitstops, and that put us back into contention. When it started to rain we didn’t want to take too much risk as I was already struggling with grip, and the Team also put the hard tyre on at the end and that definitely saved my race as I was the only one on the hard tyre and was able to really push.

"Out of a tough situation we still finished second, and extended our Championship leads, and that of course is a very strong result for us. We’re halfway through the season now and we have a bit of work to do still to finish the season where we want to be," noted the Dutchman.

For his team-mate, Sergio Perez it was another nightmare Grand Prix weekend. The Mexican made a mistake in qualifying, having lost control of his car in Q1.

After the dismal qualifying result, Red Bull elected to change multiple power unit components in Perez's RB20 as he was set to start the British Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

The Mexican could make up a few spots initially, but a strategy error from Red Bull saw Perez drop back to the rear of the field. The loss of lap time in that phase of the race left the six-time F1 race winner down in P17 at the flag.

Commenting on his day at Silverstone, Perez noted: “This is a day to forget, nothing really worked for us, we gambled initially to try and go for it and unfortunately, we didn’t have what we needed today.

"We took a risk on the intermediate tyre early on, thinking there was going to be more rain, more quickly and it was just too early, we lost a lot of ground and the tyre was completely gone. We were out of position for the whole race, and it was really difficult to manage the race.

"I am very disappointed, but it is time to move forward, I am happy there is a little break now, we need to regroup as a Team and do some important work. We need a clean weekend now, a weekend of progression to get back to our rhythm. Hungary and Belgium are weekends where we have to get back to our form," concluded Perez.