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Verstappen pushed to go ‘aggressive’ late on by Norris in order to claim victory in Spain

The current world champion claimed his seventh win of the season and third straight Spanish GP victory

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Max Verstappen has admitted that he was forced to go “aggressive” around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in order to fend off a late charge by Lando Norris. 

Max Verstappen, Lando Norris
Verstappen and Norris shaking hands after the Spanish Grand Prix, which saw the Dutchman take a narrow victory. Credit Kym Illman via Getty Images

Despite claiming another victory this season, Verstappen did not have it easy in the slightest as he was once again fought Norris for the race win.

The McLaren driver claimed pole position 24 hours earlier in what turned out to be an enthralling qualifying session. The Dutchman would have to settle for second on the grid, as it was all to play for in Sunday’s race.

However, it would be neither Norris or Verstappen who took the lead into Turn 1 on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix. Despite a better start of the line for the Red Bull driver, it was George Russell who was able to go around the outside and up into P1.

It didn’t take Verstappen long though, as a couple of laps later, the three-time champion was able to make the move on the Mercedes and into the lead of the race. Norris was also able to get past Russell later on in the grand prix as victory in Spain was only looking likely for the McLaren driver and his good friend out in front.

After both drivers made their final pitstops in the race, Norris found himself still in second place with 18 laps to go whilst being on fresher tyres compared to Verstappen and having a nine second deficit to make up.

After a valiant effort from Norris, he could only manage to get the gap down to two seconds by the time he reached the Checkered Flag as Verstappen once again took victory in Barcelona.

Verstappen pushed to the limit once again by Norris

Speaking to the media after the Spanish Grand Prix as reported by, Verstappen admitted to driving an aggressive strategy during the race that helped him eke out a close victory over an impressively quick Norris and McLaren.

“What made the race was the beginning, I took the lead on Lap 3, and then I had a buffer,” Verstappen explained.

“That in that first stint, I could eke out the gap a little bit and after that, I had to drive a defensive race against Lando and McLaren.”

“They were very quick today, and in the last few laps, they were very fast, but we did everything well.”

“We drove quite an aggressive strategy, but luckily it played out in the end. It was quite close, but I am very happy to win.”

Race start made a huge difference

After getting a great getaway off the line, Verstappen admitted that once he got into the lead of the grand prix, his race-start definitely made the difference.

“I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, I had to take to the grass a little bit, which lost me a bit of momentum, and then of course, we’re braking quite late into Turn 1.”

“But once I was in the led, I could look after my tyres a bit better, and that definitely made my race.”

“They get very hot with all the high-speed corners, so you are sliding around quite a lot and it is just a management race.”

Feature Image Credit: (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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