Verstappen almost went off watching Perez Alonso fight
Whilst Max Verstappen coasted to an easy Brazilian Grand Prix victory, Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was locked in battle with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. The fight was almost too gripping even for the Dutchman.
Verstappen took a commanding victory at Interlagos to secure his 17th of the season, confirming he would break Alberto Ascari’s 71-year record for the percentage of races won in a single campaign.
But the race for third was far more enthralling behind as Perez closed on Alonso’s Aston Martin, the Mexican finally making the move into Turn 4 on the penultimate lap after stalking the two-time World Champion for the entire final stint.
Alonso was taking none of it, however, and pulled off a repeat move on the final lap before holding onto the position in a drag race up to the line.
“The last few laps I was watching – I almost drove off the track myself when I saw them fighting on the straight,” Verstappen told Viaplay, referencing the battle.
“At Turn 4 I almost drove straight off the track because I was watching the screens so much.
“It was very close together, but those last two laps they were also constantly changing. Very nice.”
Verstappen led from lights to flag at Interlagos, though had to fend off an early onslaught from McLaren’s Lando Norris, who ultimately finished second.
But the Dutchman had enough in hand to stretch his advantage towards the end of each stint.
“It was fortunately a good race,” he explained.
“The starts were good, in terms of strategy we also did the right thing and pitted at the right time.
“On the Soft tyres and also on the Medium tyres, Lando could keep up reasonably well, but in the last five to ten laps of the stint I was able to distance myself.”