• Dutchman says he is still developing as a driver • Verstappen admits he ‘could have done better’ against Hamilton
Max Verstappen is determined to maintain a relaxed approach to Formula One next season but admitted he could have been quicker against Lewis Hamilton in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was happy with his performance in Sunday’s race at Interlagos but was unable to spring up to the championship lead from the second row before being passed on the final lap by his Mercedes rival. Hamilton’s victory trimmed the Dutchman’s overall lead in the standings to 13 points.
“For me it was a great weekend; we couldn’t have asked for more,” Verstappen said. “First from the start we got the gap and then in the second stint that’s where we got more margin, it was amazing, man, even better.”
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“I’m still working hard, still learning from this year. In the future I will be able to deliver consistently as expected from me. We can’t complain in the end.”
Asked about his place in the sport, Verstappen responded: “I feel I’m still improving. So to get F1 drivers to say they are the best doesn’t matter to me. I still feel I can have bigger improvement and tomorrow I am working towards getting better.
“I think at this point in my career there is no difference to getting it from them or being in the position they are.”
After winning three races in the first half of the season the only downside of the weekend for Verstappen was the incident with Hamilton which left him stuck in the gravel in his car. “That was probably the best chance I had to catch him,” Verstappen said. “If it had happened here in the second stint then I have a good chance to catch him, but I was a bit frustrated after the start with the tyres and no one showed me the information about the tyre degradation.
“There is a bit of good news for me because I think I could have done better in the race, I wasn’t able to work out how good the car was. Overall I was happy with the way it was because you can work harder and achieve more results.”
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A dominant Hamilton now has a 10-point advantage over his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, who he has out-qualified in every race this season.
“The first thing you always say is that you are still not where you want to be, that’s the focus next year,” said Hamilton. “Of course, it’s disappointing to not get the win. It came late but Sebastian was able to hold him off. I wouldn’t say it was frustrating, that was racing – there are not many races where you get it all.”