F1 Raceweek: Verstappen eyes another grandstand finish
Max Verstappen is hoping to please his loyal supporters once more when he heads to the German Grand Prix this week.
Red Bull's Dutch star claimed a thrilling victory at last month's Austrian Grand Prix – his team's home race, where the grandstands were packed with orange-clad fans who made the short journey from the Netherlands.
The trip to Hockenheim is similarly do-able and Verstappen has pedigree in the race, achieving a pair of top-five finishes that include his 2016 third place.
"I like the German Grand Prix and there are always lots of Dutch fans to support us at Hockenheim as it's not far to travel," he said.
"The stadium section is very cool, as you enter into a fast corner and then a banked corner with only a small area of run-off."
Verstappen followed his Austrian exploits with a fifth-place finish at Silverstone behind team-mate Pierre Gasly and he feels Red Bull are in good shape at the season's midway point.
"I think it's going to be a warm weekend again which is always more challenging and more fun," Verstappen said.
"We're on a good run with the car and improving every weekend, so I can’t wait to get started again."
TALK OF THE PADDOCK
However well they are represented, Verstappen fans are likely to come off second best next to Sebastian Vettel supporters as the four-time world champion approaches his home Grand Prix.
The 32-year-old's sole win in Germany came at the Nurburgring in 2013 and he comes into this week on the back of a torrid outing at the British Grand Prix, where he limped to 16th place having served a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with Verstappen.
"For us, the German Grand Prix is first and foremost Sebastian's home race," Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said. "Therefore we really hope to do well at Hockenheim, especially after last year’s race here, when the win escaped us at the end of a weekend where our performance was definitely up to the task.
"We are not bringing any specific updates but studying the data from the last round in Silverstone has provided us with useful information in our quest to get a better understanding of our car.”
RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)
Lewis Hamilton's 2008 pole in the German Grand Prix was the last time he out-qualified a team-mate at Hockenheim.
2018: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Lewis Hamilton
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 223
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 184 (-39)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 136 (-87)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 123 (-100)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 120 (-103)
1. Mercedes 407
2. Ferrari 243 (-164)
3. Red Bull 191 (-216)
4. McLaren 60 (-347)
5. Renault 39 (-368)