MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2021 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has taken a sly dig at Lewis Hamilton after the Dutch GP.

Verstappen was caught in a tussle with Hamilton’s teammate Bottas at Zandvoort. He covered his title rival’s pit stop by doing so himself, and came out to see Bottas leading the race by more than ten seconds.

Bottas’ tyres were screaming to be changed, but Mercedes held him up thinking he could keep Verstappen pinned behind and allow Hamilton to catch up. However, Verstappen shattered Mercedes’ hopes and caught up to Bottas. He passed him on his second attempt, with Bottas messing up at Turn 11, allowing Verstappen to activate DRS and pass the Finn.

Verstappen revealed after the race that he went into the challenge with Bottas with full confidence, because he was confident Bottas would race fair. In that vein, he took a sly dig at Hamilton after the Dutch GP.

Max Verstappen chasing Valtteri Bottas. Netherlands September 2021.
Verstappen (behind) says Bottas(front) is a vert fair racer. Source: planetf1.com

“Valtteri’s a very fair racer,” Verstappen said, as reported by Planet F1.

“He races hard but fair, so I always felt good about it. Of course, I knew it was critical to get by at one point.

“We had already pitted and I could see Valtteri was really struggling on his tyres that had really low grip. The first time I had DRS, I just couldn’t get by. But the second lap, yeah, I don’t think there was much life left in the tyres.

“So out of Turn 11-12 was already super close and I actually, I didn’t lose too much through 13 and so I could get by, but everything was okay,” he said.

Good competition

Verstappen only completed one overtake in the race, and that was on Bottas. Not that it mattered to him, given he won his home race ahead of Hamilton.

“The whole race it was quite close between myself and Lewis, he was really putting the pressure on,” Verstappen said.

“He was putting some great laps together, and I think also after the final stop, at one point on the medium tyres, and I was on the hard tyres, but luckily it was enough at the end. Seventy two laps around here, pushing – yeah, it was satisfying. It was cool.”

Read more: Brawn says nobody can sit with Verstappen in the same team and come off looking good

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