RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Race results
Max Verstappen has described his run to second place in the Japanese Grand Prix as 'one of my best races' after keeping Nico Rosberg honest for much of the race before successfully defending from Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka.
Capitalising on grid penalties for both Ferraris to start third, Verstappen climbed to second from the start at the expense of Lewis Hamilton's slow getaway and held position to the end of the race.
Indeed, the Dutchman would keep Rosberg in his sights for the majority of the race as the German controlled his advantage but would show his racing mettle in the closing stages as he was caught from the charging Mercedes of Hamilton.
POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix
Despite Hamilton's swift approach though, Verstappen would coolly deflect his rival's strengths down the home straight with some canny battery saving, forcing the Briton into making a daring attempt to overtake into the chicane on the penultimate lap.
However, Verstappen would shut the door firmly to force Hamilton down the escape road, allowing him to cling onto second to the chequered flag, a result he was thrilled with.
“The car was feeling quite good, I was trying to follow Nico a bit and I think in general we did a great strategy so the car was working well. Of course Lewis was closing up a lot and at the end of the race he was pushing me hard. I know he's fighting for the world championship so you're not going to do crazy things.
Power & Picasso: The bizarre tale of Japan's lost 'Autopian GP'
“I saw him coming in the mirrors. Already on the laps before he was closing in quite a bit there. I saw already out of Turn 14 that he had a good exit so I was using a bit of energy and defended into the last chicane, so all good.”
Coming just a week after an identical result in Malaysia, two podiums on the trot have seen Verstappen rise to a new peak of fifth in the overall standings – level on points with Sebastian Vettel – and now just five points shy of fourth.
“It's a great result for myself and I think also one of my best races so far, but also for the team and the constructors' it was a very good result.”
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst