Verstappen surprised by Hockenheim pace

Max Verstappen celebrates Red Bull's double podium finish with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo

Max Verstappen celebrates Red Bull's double podium finish with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo

2
Have your say

Max Verstappen admitted he wasn’t expecting both Red Bull cars to be on the podium in Germany.

Verstappen finished third at Hockenheim, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo second behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen battled with Nico Rosberg in Hockenheim

Max Verstappen battled with Nico Rosberg in Hockenheim

The Dutchman made a lightning start from fourth on the grid, passing pole position man Nico Rosberg and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to run second in the early stages.

Allowing Ricciardo through after a strategy call from the pitwall, Verstappen battled with Rosberg to hold on to third place.

But a late move from the German at the hairpin forced Verstappen off the road at the exit, and the race stewards handed down a five-second penalty to the Mercedes driver, gifting the podium finish back to Verstappen.

He explained: “Rosberg just braked very late and then didn’t turn into the corner, that incident cost me a lot of time, he pushed me wide and put me in a bad situation.”

Finish second and third, it was Red Bull’s first double podium in more than a year, and moved them up to second in the constructor’s championship, overtaking Ferrari.

“We didn’t expect it to be that good this weekend so we definitely maximised the result,” said Verstappen. “Strategy doesn’t always work for you but I took one for the team today and we still finished second and third and in front of Ferrari, which was the main aim.

“I let Daniel go by as was the strategy of the team, in the end the most important thing was to score the points and move up in the constructors’ championship. Finishing only 10 seconds back from Mercedes is very good.

“It is still too early to say how close we can get by the end of the season as I think they may have some in reserve.”