Verstappen 'gave it all' in Hamilton pursuit

Verstappen 'gave it all' in Hamilton pursuit

8 October 2017 – Max Verstappen says he "gave it all" in his quest for victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, as he chased Lewis Hamilton through to the chequered flag.

Verstappen moved ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo into Turn 1 and overhauled the ailing Sebastian Vettel at the hairpin on the opening lap to grab second.

Verstappen gradually slipped away from Hamilton during the first stint but closed in after the pit-stop phase, aided by the presence of the yet-to-stop Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas moved aside for Hamilton, before staying out for another couple of laps, by which time Verstappen's deficit to Hamilton grew to three seconds.

Verstappen chipped away at Hamilton's advantage during the final laps, following a Virtual Safety Car period, and latched onto the rear of his Mercedes rival, as they hit traffic.

Hamilton, though, held firm, while Verstappen came home just 1.2s behind, recording a podium finish to add to his victory in Malaysia a week ago.

"It was a great day again," said Verstappen, who matched his 2016 Japanese Grand Prix result.

"Suzuka is great for me, I really love the track.

"I think the pace today was really promising. In the first stint on the Super Soft I was struggling a bit with the front-left, but as soon as I switched to Soft it was actually very competitive.

"I was always with Lewis, especially the last few laps, we had great [pace], it's just really hard to pass.

"In the last two to three laps I gave it all to try to close the gap.

"We had a really good day again, and the car is definitely improving race-by-race, so I'm really happy about that."

Daniel Ricciardo fended off Valtteri Bottas for third position as Red Bull logged its second consecutive double podium finish.

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