“So of course there is respect but a bit of disappointment.
“I wanted to win today.”
Armed with the RB-18’s straight-line speed, overtaking Leclerc on the straights may have seemed straightforward task for Verstappen, however the Dutchman believes his “smart tricks” were the reason he was able to get past the championship leader.
“We just tried to play the long game,” said the Dutchman in his post race interview.
“It was a really tough but good race.
“We were battling hard in the front, they were really quick through corners, we were really quick on the straights.
“I eventually managed to get ahead but even after that he was constantly in the DRS.
“[I’m] really happy that we finally kick-started the season.”
Red Bull will have their chance to close the gap to Ferrari in two weeks’ time when they travel to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
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