Verstappen praises ‘insanely calm’ strategist Schmitz for role in Hungary F1 win

Verstappen charged from 10th place on the grid to win at the Hungaroring on Sunday, extending his lead at the top of the drivers’ Championship to 80 points heading into the summer break.


Verstappen was aided by a superior strategy that saw him avoid using the hard compound tire after struggling for grip during the reconnaissance laps to the grid, prompting a change in plan for the race.

By contrast, Ferrari saw its race unravel after fitting race leader Charles Leclerc with hards, sparking a fall in pace that ultimately led to him finishing sixth.

Asked by Autosport about the importance of relying on the pit wall for make or break strategy calls, Verstappen said it was “incredibly important if you want to fight for a championship” and cited the role of Schmitz, who serves as Red Bull’s principal strategy engineer .

“You can’t afford many mistakes,” Verstappen said after the race.

“It’s of course very hard to always be on the good side, Let’s say it like that. But I think we have a lot of good guys and girls in the team.

“Today, I think Hannah, our strategist, was insanely calm. Yeah, she’s very good.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Ferrari claimed after the race that it stood no chance of winning in Hungary given its struggles in the cold conditions, having also seen Carlos Sainz slip out of podium contention despite avoiding the hard tire compound.

Verstappen was unsure Red Bull had a pace advantage over Ferrari, saying it was “choosing the right tires at the right time” that led to his race win.

“We know that our car is, in general, is quick but I think throughout the race, Ferrari was also very fast, they just made the wrong call with the hard tire,” Verstappen said.

“There’s still a lot of things we can look into, what we can do better.

“I think the race itself was of course very good. I mean starting 10th, winning the race on a track like this is of course very, very good. But there are a lot of things we will analyze.

“There are always a few areas where we could have done better. But overall, of course, I’m very happy with today.”


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