Verstappen wanted to pit for fastest lap
13 November 2017 – Max Verstappen says he pitted for a second time late in the Brazilian Grand Prix to push for the fastest lap, with his track position secure.
Verstappen had a lonely race at Interlagos, holding fourth, behind leaders Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen, for the majority of proceedings.
As his tyres dropped off, he was caught and passed by the recovering Lewis Hamilton, and likened his situation to driving on "rocks".
With a sizeable gap back to Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was involved in a first-lap clash, Verstappen requested to pit for fresh Super Softs.
He duly lit up the timesheets, clocking a 1:11.044 on lap 64/71, some eight-tenths quicker than the next best time, posted by Hamilton.
Reflecting on his fifth-place finish, Verstappen said: "In general this is not a track that suits our car and together with the power deficit on the straights it is very hard for us.
"You then try and catch up on the corners, but you ask too much of the tyres and get more drop-off.
"Of course, I hoped for more in the race, but it was a difficult situation, but I think we maximised the result and that was fifth.
"I didn't want to drive the last 10 or 15 laps with difficult tyres and at the end of the day I wasn't going to lose a position, so we decided to make a second pit-stop.
"From there on the race was gone, but I pushed for the fastest lap, I didn't get it in Mexico, so I'm really pleased to take it here."
Ricciardo recovered from the back of the field to sixth after the incident involving Haas' Kevin Magnussen and McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne.
Magnussen tagged Vandoorne into the right-hand element of the Senna 'S', with Vandoorne in turn thumping Ricciardo, who spun around at the exit.
"The start was not ideal," he said of the three-way scrap.
"I saw a space on the outside so I tried to get as much room as I could, but I knew there were two cars on the inside, so there was always a risk they would have contact and then come into me.
"I think that's what happened, but I don't regret trying... the start is an opportunity to make up a big chunk of positions and as I was nearly at the back I had to try something.
"Fortunately the car didn't suffer any damage, we just changed the tyres and then I could get on with the race and make some good overtakes, and it was a good race.
"Every time I was catching a car I passed it as soon as I could and there were some good fights.
"It was nice to see the chequered flag and I felt I got the maximum out of it."