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

Luke Smith

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

Verstappen was helped by superior strategy which saw him avoid using the hard compound tire after struggling for grip on the reconnaissance laps to the grid, causing a change of plan for the race.

However, Ferrari saw his race collapse after installing the race leader Charles Leclerc with toughs, triggering a dip in pace that eventually led to him finishing sixth.

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

“You can’t afford a lot of mistakes,” Verstappen said after the race.

“Of course it’s very difficult to always be on the right side, let’s put it that way. But I think we have a lot of good guys and girls in the team.

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

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Ferrari claimed after the race that they had no chance of winning in Hungary given their struggles in the cold, having also seen carlos sainz sliding off the podium 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 our car is, in general, fast but I think throughout the race Ferrari was also very fast, just that they made the wrong choice with the hard tyre,” said Verstappen.

“There are still a lot of things we can look into, things 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 many things that 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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