Max Verstappen enters the final segment of the 2021 Formula 1 championship with five points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings. A minimal but still significant margin of the extraordinary season that the Dutch homeowner at Red Bull is leading, chasing the first title of his career. In Russia, however, the next stage scheduled on the world calendar, the native of Hasslet will have to start with thehandicap. In fact, the Monza accident with Hamilton left him three penalty positions on the starting grid. Certainly not the best way to approach a weekend that, since F1 landed on the Black Sea, has always and only smiled at Mercedes.
In presenting what the Sochi weekend will be, however, Verstappen did not seek excuses or alibis. “You can reflect as much as you want [sull’incidente di Monza], but it’s important to look ahead and keep pushing. I still believe it was a racing accident – reiterated Verstappen – but we have been given a three-place penalty on the grid and we just have to work with that now. The Monza race certainly wasn’t our day, for many reasons, but now I’m just going to look forward to Sochi. The penalty is obviously not ideal – added the championship leader – but nothing is lost. This is how I see it. As for the drivers’ championship, we still have a lot of races ahead of us and a very small margin. We will try to make the most of the weekend and work with the package we have“.
In terms of car performance, the Sochi appointment promises to be particularly interesting for the RB16B. “It was nice to finish second last year – recalled Verstappen – especially because it was never a good track for us as a team. We are more competitive this year and have a better package at the moment so it will be interesting to see how fast we can be there. It will of course be completely different from Monza and it looks like there could be some rain as well. The layout is completely different from previous races, so I’m definitely looking forward to going back there and seeing what we can do “ concluded the Dutchman.
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