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Max Verstappen’s Australian Grand Prix 2016 Conclusions

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A lot of the ‘pundits’ are all over Max Verstappen for whining and complaining, but I was under the impression that F1 had both a drivers’ championship and a constructors championship, and for both it is best to gather as much points as possible.

Carlos Sainz was clearly not as fast as Max, it took him 5 laps to get past a Renault after which it took Max 2 more corners to blast by. Max also at times was 1.5 seconds a lap faster than Carlos.

Usually teams let the leading driver make the first of the series of pit stops, so they get him ahead again quickest. Torro Rosso didn’t. When they did finally call Max in they were not ready and had to get a tire from the back. Max was delayed enough by that to end up behind the team’s slower driver.

Instead of letting Max go past and be on his way to catch more positions, and therefore more points, for driver as well as for the team, they let him flounder behind Carlos, let him grow frustrated, and waste a heck of a lot of points.

The best teams give team orders, and when team orders get ignored there is blame put on the driver who ignored them. Here the team made a lot of mistakes, unbelievable for a team that has been in this sport for so long, and then they allow their faster driver to get criticized instead of their slower driver get reprimanded.

The lesson the faster driver would draw from that is to look for another team who KNOWS how to race for the next season. The seed has been sown. Contract is up at the end of the year. Red Bull had trouble within it’s senior team even in their championship years, and has mishandled the Renault deal last year as well.

The big teams are knocking on Max’s door and he will likely be open to their offers now.

Franz Tost
(Team Principal)
“Both drivers did a good start. Max came back from the first lap in 4th position, Carlos was 7th. We kept a fast pace in this first stint. Carlos’ pit-stop went well, by undercutting Massa. After the red flag, when the race was restarted, Max was 5th and Carlos 6th. But in the following laps we lost the pace. Carlos had a lot of front locking. Therefore we called him for an early pit stop. We changed our strategy and sent him out on medium tires. Within the next three laps also Max came into the pits, but the team was not prepared for this stop, as we did not call him. Therefore he lost 7 seconds, which put him in 12th position. This result is very disappointing for us, as we had the speed to finish in a much better position. The only positive aspect is the
knowledge that the STR11 is very competitive.”

Carlos Sainz
(STR11-02, Car 55)
Race: Pos. 9th
“I’m not entirely happy with today’s result because I think we could’ve scored more points with the car we have, but I did everything I could to finish as high up as possible… To finish in P9 is frustrating. The race was a bit of a chaos, so it was difficult to get it all right. After the red flag things got interesting and even though it’s not the easiest of tracks to overtake, I was able to do some good moves – some of them were quite tough! I did my race and I think we put on a good show. I enjoyed it out there but I think we deserved to end up higher up instead of going backwards after qualifying in P7 yesterday.”

Max Verstappen
(STR11-01, Car 33)
Race: Pos. 10th
“Quite a frustrating afternoon. We had a great start to the race and were able to keep the Mercedes behind. The first pit-stop was also good. We had great pace and I didn’t have pressure from behind, but after the red flag we had a bit of a miscommunication for the second stop and it got very difficult. We have a fantastic car and to finish P10 here is not where we should be. I’m very disappointed as this was a great opportunity for us to get a very good result. Now we just need to focus on the next race and try and score more points than today.”



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