Max Verstappen says he is not dwelling on 'what ifs' from the Malaysian Grand Prix after coming remarkably close to a second win of the season in Sepang.
After losing time at the first corner when he was caught up in Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel's collision, Verstappen worked back into contention with an alternative tyre strategy that looked set to see him get the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for second place.
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However, after his first attempt to pass his Red Bull team-mate was rebuffed following an entertaining exchange between turns four and six, the exit of long-time leader Lewis Hamilton ahead changed the dynamic of the race.
With Ricciardo and Verstappen allowed a final stop, though the Dutchman says he was free to race his team-mate for the win, the stop was ultimately a benefit to his team-mate with his older tyres and he couldn't make a convincing challenge for the win.
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Nevertheless, though he was considered the 'driver of the race' for many, Verstappen says he has no interest in considering circumstances out of his control going against him based on the likelihood he will have other opportunities in the future.
“No frustrations, you have to see the positive side and I think the whole weekend was very strong. The pace was there, just a bit unfortunate with the last virtual safety car but that's racing, sometimes it doesn't go your way. I still have a lot of years ahead of me so I shouldn't be complaining about this single race.
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“It was good fun [racing Daniel], it's not easy on such high-speed corners to really know where you are compared to your teammate, it was good fun. I think we showed the team we could race in a very respectful way, and I think that shows for the future a lot of confidence.”
Following run-ins with Sebastian Vettel during the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen says he thought the Ferrari driver's penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix was fair. He also felt Nico Rosberg's time penalty during the Malaysia was harsh.
“I think the Vettel one was pretty straight forward, I think the second one between Nico and Kimi it was a hard penalty I would say. Luckily in the end it didn't do any damage to either of them, Nico stayed in front. I think he was clearly the faster car as well so he would have got by.”
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