Max Verstappen was pleased with Red Bull’s recovery from a disappointing Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying as he recorded his first podium at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Dutchman, starting seventh on the grid after Red Bull’s gamble to run early on in a wet Q3 failed to pay off, made early progress and quickly demoted the Racing Point Force India duo to move into third.

Verstappen held the position throughout to claim his first rostrum appearance in Belgium, delighting the large numbers of travelling Dutch fans.

Belgian GP - Memorable Moments

“There was no extra pressure. I just enjoy driving here in Spa in general, it’s nothing to do with the fans,” he said. “They just give you extra motivation.

“Today was a good recovery after yesterday where we were unlucky in qualifying. So happy to be on the podium here. It was also great to see on the last lap all the fans cheering you on, so really happy about that.”

Having avoided a huge start crash at La Source, Verstappen surged past Esteban Ocon with a brilliant pass into Les Combes and pulled off a similar move on Sergio Perez soon after. He admitted he was surprised by the pace of the Force India duo.

“It was a bit of chaos at the start with a lot of things happening there, from there I passed Grosjean up the hill so that was good for the race,” Verstappen explained.

“I knew I just had to be patient with the Force India’s, because we had the pace. But still they were bloody quick on the straights.

“I thought as soon as I opened the DRS I would just drive by but it was still harder than I expected, but it was still enjoyable.”