Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen says it was not possible to finish higher than eighth in Baku after suffering with high rear degradation on the supersoft and soft compound tyres.
Verstappen had a 'tricky start' and was one of the first of the front runners to stop, diving into the pits on lap 5 to switch to the soft tyres, before then having to pit again on 22, when he went onto the mediums.
From there, he was able to recover, pulling off a late pass on Force India's Nico Hulkenberg into Turn 1 to snatch P8, and at the 'flag was just 1.4secs behind team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, despite the fact the Aussie started on the front row.
“It was a tricky start, but a good end,” Verstappen summarised. “On the supersoft and the soft tyres we had too much degradation in the rear but from there on, once we changed to the medium tyres, I felt like I was flying in the end.
“My lap times were coming down very nicely – I managed to drive back to eighth and almost seventh.”
Verstappen also added that it was always going to be harder to do much better, given he started on row five.
“With the start position I had [ninth] it was going to be difficult to catch the front guys, but I think in the end we did a good job. Of course you want to finish higher up but that was not possible today. I had the third-fastest lap today in the race so I can't complain,” the Dutchman concluded.