Sunday 05 December 2021

Verstappen content with damage limitation as lead is cut to eight points

Verstappen: ‘anything can happen’. Photo: Newscom/Hoch Zwei via ANP

Max Verstappen said he was happy to limit the damage after starting from seventh place in the Qatar Grand Prix to maintain his narrow lead in the drivers’ championship.

The Dutchman made up three places on the first lap and quickly moved in to second position, but was unable to make serious inroads on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Verstappen also bagged the bonus point for the fastest lap to hold an eight-point lead over Hamilton with two races to go, in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

‘In a weekend when you lack pace and still finish second and grab that fastest lap point, I think that’s good,’ Verstappen said after the race.

‘We just need to try and stay focused and there are two races to go and as you can see a lot of things can happen. Anything is possible.’

Verstappen was penalised five grid places after the stewards ruled he had ignored a double yellow flag at the end of the qualifying session, while Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner was given an official warning for hitting out at the race marshals over the incident.

Horner said his comment about a ‘rogue marshal’ flying the flag after Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture at the end of the session were made ‘under the pressure of competition’.

I’d like to make it clear that marshals do a wonderful, wonderful job,” Horner told Sky F1.’And my frustration in what I voiced earlier wasn’t at marshals, it was at a circumstance. So if any offence was taken by any individual, then obviously I apologise for that.’

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.