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Verstappen: Late defence from Rosberg ‘the hardest 10 laps of my life’

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Max Verstappen called his late defence of fourth place from Nico Rosberg in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix “the hardest 10 laps of my life”.

Verstappen ran fourth heading into the final few laps at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but came under increasing pressure from Rosberg, who was on a fresher set of tires.

Rosberg tried time and time again to pass Verstappen, but was hindered by a fuel shortage caused by his charge through the field after losing places at the start.

Rosberg dropped back before trying one final pass on Verstappen with two laps to go, only to spin at the final chicane, easing the pressure on the Red Bull driver.

“We did what we could today and that was a great job,” Verstappen said.

“We wanted to finish on the podium in front of the Williams but soon realised we were suffering with a bit too much tire degradation. I think a little bit of rain could have helped us today.

“At the beginning I saved my tires and fuel as I knew I could not stay with the front two. When Daniel [Ricciardo] got close behind I then decided it was time to push.

“I am very satisfied with my performance but also with the new power unit, you could see it was hard for the Mercedes to try and pass on the long straight so we are making good progress.

“The last 10 laps I really enjoyed, I would actually say they were the hardest 10 laps of my life. I was in fourth for a very long time so didn’t want to give up that position.

“It was a very hard battle at the end of the race, his [Rosberg] pace was very strong but we managed to keep ahead and then the last lap was pretty spectacular.”

Verstappen felt pleased to bounce back from a difficult Monaco Grand Prix weekend that saw him crash out three times.

“After Monaco it’s nice to leave this race with a big smile on my face,” he said.

“Now looking ahead to Baku it’s a new experience for everyone so we have to wait and see how the grip levels are but today was definitely positive for us.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”