Max Verstappen reveals he had to resort to ‘smart tricks’ to get past Charles Leclerc and secure his first win of the 2022 F1 season in Saudi Arabia… and says he is ‘really happy’ Red Bull ‘finally kick-started’ their season after Bahrain woe
- Max Verstappen battled from behind to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- He overtook Charles Leclerc with four laps to go during Sunday’s race
- Verstappen says he required ‘smart tricks’ to beat the Ferrari driver to top spot
The Red Bull driver recovered from last week’s disappointment in Bahrain to clinch his first win of the season in Saudi.
He did not have it easy though as he only overtook Leclerc with four laps to go, having battled from fourth position.
Max Verstappen admitted he had to be patient and use ‘smart tricks’ to win Sunday’s race
The Dutch driver (front) recovered from his disappointment in Bahrain to clinch top spot
As reported by Planetf1, Verstappen admitted getting past ‘was not easy’ and he had to play ‘smart tricks’.
The 24-year-old said: ‘It was a really tough but good race. We were battling hard at the front and we (Red Bull) just tried to play the long game
‘They (Ferrari) were really quick through corners, we were quick on the straight, but the tyres were wearing out quite quick around here.
‘You could see at the end we had a bit more pace, so I just tried to get by. It wasn’t easy, playing smart tricks in the last corner, but eventually I managed to get ahead.’
Both Verstappen and Leclerc benefitted from Sergio Perez’s misfortune earlier in the race.
The Mexican was tricked into pitting by Ferrari before a safety car was brought out following Nicholas Latifi’s crash.
Leclerc took the lead from there and he looked set to fight off Verstappen, who momentarily overtook with the help of DRS.
Charles Leclerc says he ‘enjoyed’ the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite his ‘disappointment’
Verstappen eventually managed to get ahead again with four laps to go and he fought off a late fight from the Monegasque driver.
Leclerc said: ‘It wasn’t enough today, but I really enjoyed that race.
‘It is hard racing but fair. And every race should be like this. I wanted to win today. Max did a great job.
‘I was pushing like I have rarely pushed before, to the absolute limit, but of course there is respect. However, I am disappointed.’
Despite his disappointment, Leclerc remains top of the title race, with Ferrari team mate Carlos Sainz second and Verstappen third.