At first of the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix specifically, Verstappen after which team-mate Alex Albon made stunning begins and dropped a number of locations.
However at the beginning of final weekend’s race at Imola, the Dutchman was capable of leap from third on the grid to take first on the run to the race’s opening corners – seizing the lead decisively in a conflict with Lewis Hamilton on the Tamburello chicane.
Talking the aftermath of his 11th F1 profession win, Verstappen mentioned: “It’s by no means straightforward a race like this; it’s fairly worrying on the market to make the correct calls.
“The important thing, I feel, was to have that good launch, which was additionally a little bit of a shock to me!
“After final 12 months, the place we all the time struggled within the moist, over the winter and the start of the 12 months we positively made some enhancements with that and [last weekend] it was superb.”
Pink Bull staff boss Christian Horner credited the staff’s engine producer for the wet-start enchancment since 2020.
lh and Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B battle at the beginning of the race
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“Honda has completed a terrific job over the winter,” he mentioned.
“They’ve labored actually arduous and yeah all credit score to them. I imply, their first victory at Imola since [Ayrton] Senna in 1991, so you already know it is nice for them to be getting this sort of consequence.
“And we could not actually do it with out their help. So yeah, actually encouraging.”
Verstappen led the overwhelming majority of Imola’s second F1 race in successive season since dropping off the calendar after 2006, regardless of proceedings being interrupted by a pink flag interval to scrub up the wreckage of George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crashing closely at Tamburello midway by means of the occasion.
The closest he got here to shedding the lead – aside from through the intermediates-slicks pitstop section the place Hamilton led two laps after Verstappen got here in – was when he briefly misplaced management of his automotive forward of the rolling restart following the pink flag.
“To make the correct name from intermediate to slick tyres was not straightforward, as a result of I noticed a number of guys forward of me on slicks tyres, however they have been struggling lots,” mentioned Verstappen, when explaining his race after the quick preliminary begin.
“However even on the intermediates – they have been completed [towards the end of the stint on the drying track], so to maintain on going was tough, quite a lot of sliding round.
“In case you would go a number of centimetres off line you possibly can lose the automotive, so not straightforward on the market. However as soon as we placed on the slicks all positive.
“Then after all we had the pink flag, with a lot particles into Flip 2, so principally the benefit was gone.
“After which I had my second on the restart. That was an enormous one. Some secret tyre warming occurring! However after that it was positive.”