Max is ‘happy’ to play second fiddle to Lando

Henry

For the past few seasons, Max Verstappen is no longer used to standing on the second highest step of the F1 podium.

The Red Bull racer is winning races left and right, but on Sunday he played second fiddle to Lando Norris in Miami.

The 24-year-old Englishman won his first F1 race in 110 attempts and according to Verstappen he is proud of the McLaren racer.

He also instantly cheered his opponent after racing across the finish line.

“Things built up nicely to Lando’s triumph and I’m very happy that he beat me today. He deserved it – he ended up being much faster,” said the defending world champion.

According to Verstappen, a first F1 victory is always a special moment for any racing driver.

“It’s very emotional and it makes you think back to the time when you still worked hard to be part of the F1 action. After that you dream of a podium place and to one day stand on the highest step.”

Verstappen only had a seesaw battle behind the wheel of his Red Bull fire truck in Miami. He won the sprint and set the fastest qualifying time, but he just couldn’t hold a candle to Norris later in the main race.

“Of course I’m not very happy with my own performance, but you have respect for everything Lando has achieved and I’m very happy for him.”

Meanwhile, Christian Horner let it be known that Verstappen damaged his race car when he hit a safety marker in the 20th lap of the race.

“We will have to analyze things carefully, but before he hit it, he didn’t struggle with his speed at all. If you take into account the damage to his racing car’s chassis, second place is a good result for us,” said the Red Bull team boss.

Verstappen is still the overall leader in the drivers’ standings with his 136 points, followed by teammate Sergio Perez (103 points) in second place.