Red Bull calls Max Verstappen’s battle with Lando Norris at Brazil a ‘cat and mouse game’

Max Verstappen managed to take an easy win over Lando Norris after a close battle at the start of the race of Sao Paulo.


Red Bull calls Max Verstappen’s battle with Lando Norris at Brazil a ‘cat and mouse game’

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris (Via IMAGO)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen managed a fine victory after struggling with tire management earlier in the Sao Paulo GP. The team principal, Christian Horner, recalled his driver’s early battle with McLaren driver Lando Norris, a ‘cat and mouse game’. Horner blamed the car’s pace for causing troubles for the team on both weekend days.

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Verstappen only managed to cross the finish line 8 seconds before the McLaren. This is not the usual case, as the triple World Champion finishes more than 10-15 seconds ahead of the second non-Red Bull car on average. The Dutchman had also faced an early battle from Norris, after which he extended his lead and was never under threat.

In an interview reported by Motorsport, team principal Horner said Lando’s best shot to challenge Verstappen was in the start, as he was starting on a faster set of tires. He was happy to see Verstappen keep the lead from turn 1. Horner accepts McLaren being their closest rival for the past few races and never underestimates them.

I think there was definitely a race. But then it becomes a game of cat and mouse as we had to look after the tires. Max managed the tires incredibly well and was able to pull a gap. Then we pitted on the same lap as Lando, and we extended our lead through the pitstop to  five seconds.

Max Verstappen accepts the challenges he’d faced from McLaren and tire management

After Sunday’s Grand Prix race at Interlagos, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen agreed to his team principal’s statements. He accepts he had to face Lando Norris’ advancements earlier in the race, which were troubling him due to his tire management plan. Verstappen believes he didn’t feel confident at the race’s start, but after he managed to pull away, he was confident.

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Lando Norris and Max Verstappen (Via IMAGO)
Lando Norris and Max Verstappen (Via IMAGO)

He believes due to the high tire deg, he was prone to making mistakes and was driving very cautiously.

Around here the tire deg is high as well, so it's not the easiest to drive. And also, I think for most of every stint, Lando was matching my lap times.

As McLaren is now regarded as Red Bull’s most consistent rival this season, Horner says it doesn’t make any huge difference to them. The team has already won both Championships. McLaren added their name to the recent list of rivals Red Bull has beaten in their dominance.

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