Verstappen: I was in the zone, I didn't want to slow down

Verstappen: I was in the zone, I didn’t want to slow down

There was a moment when Alonso managed to close the gap on Verstappen, reducing the lead by five seconds in the first five laps after switching to intermediates. Verstappen attributed this to his cautious approach in establishing his rhythm.

He explained, “I had a big lead, and I didn’t want to risk matching or exceeding the same pace and end up in the wall. I had to be a bit more careful, find the right balance between taking risks and not driving too slowly. Having Lando Norris close behind also motivated me to speed up.”