Max Verstappen feels Red Bull struggled with tyre degradation more than its front-running rivals which ultimately denied him a shot at the podium but is pleased to banish the bad memories of Monaco with fourth place.
After crashing out of his second race with Red Bull which acted as a heavy blow from the heights of a maiden F1 win on his debut for the team in Spain, Verstappen feels he produced the maximum available from his car and is thrilled to draw a line under the disappointment of two weeks ago.
“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 tyre degradation. I think a little bit of rain could have helped us today.
“After Monaco it's nice to leave this race with a big smile on my face. 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.”
Verstappen has given a rave review after his first outing with the updated Renault power unit and takes extra satisfaction from keeping the charging Nico Rosberg behind him in the final laps.
With the Mercedes driver looking to battle up the pack after his troubles earlier in the race he made a late pass on the outside of the final chicane on the penultimate lap but lost grip and slipped off, giving Verstappen fourth.
“The last ten laps I really enjoyed, I would actually say they were the hardest ten laps of my life,” he said. “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 ahead and then the last lap was pretty spectacular.”