Max Verstappen has played down the significant of missing out on a podium in the hectic safety car-interrupted finish to the Bahrain Grand Prix and felt he maximised his result for Red Bull.

The Dutch driver found himself hunting down an unlikely podium at the Sakhir International Circuit after Sebastian Vettel spun off while battling Lewis Hamilton for second place before his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc suffered an engine issue over the closing 11 laps.

Leclerc, who was hampered by a dropped cylinder in his Ferrari, was losing around five seconds per lap which meant Verstappen had the opportunity to grab the final rostrum spot over the last few laps. But after both Renaults stopped on track with separate engine issues a late safety car meant he was denied an opportunity to attack for third place.

Despite missing out, Verstappen feels the podium wouldn’t have been deserved following a tricky race where he battled balance and setup problems throughout his Bahrain race weekend.

“We didn’t deserve the podium anyway so I think fourth is a not too disappointing result. Good points again. I think we maximised today,” Verstappen said. “Struggling for grip, sliding around a lot. Never really had the grip so was just managing my tyres with low grip.

“The set-up changes we made for qualifying was maybe the wrong direction and of course you can’t change so of course in the race it’s not good.”

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