Max Verstappen says the frustration of receiving his time penalty fuelled him to put more pressure on race-leader Lewis Hamilton during Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen clashed with Valtteri Bottas in the pitlane and got the jump on the Mercedes driver, but was hit with a five-second time penalty for Red Bull’s unsafe release into the path of Bottas.

With Hamilton struggling with tyre management on the Medium compound, Verstappen - on Hards - was able to hound the Briton throughout and attempted an ambitious late move that led to contact between the pair.

The Dutchman ultimately finished second on the road but slipped behind Sebastian Vettel and Bottas to fourth after his time penalty was applied.

“It fired me up,” Verstappen said. “As soon as I heard the penalty I was pushing Lewis, because initially he was driving so slow.

“Then I heard the penalty so I just kept pushing him, then of course he had to push and he destroyed his tyres. So that was my only way of trying to get by.

“I think as a team we did everything right, it was just unfortunate,” he added.

“I didn’t know there was anyone next to me because they released me and it all gets a bit tight, we were ahead but of course it was a shame that we touched. But I couldn’t see him.”

Asked if he had planned the attack on Hamilton, Verstappen replied: “I couldn’t really plan it because I was always so close at the hairpin but all the time out of Turn 8 I just lost the momentum,” he explained.

“At one point I just thought let’s have a go and see what happens. We had this little touch but under braking you normally don’t look in your mirrors already and they are also difficult to see though, there was no-one to blame. I don’t think there was any damage.

“It was fun! I was trying to get ahead of Lewis because I knew that if I would get ahead I could drive off, because we were much faster and his tyres were destroyed, so he had no grip.

“I was trying everything I could. Around here, being in the dirty air for so long, within half a second, it’s really hard because in the high-speed corners you’re always sliding a lot and trying to keep it between the walls.

“But I enjoyed it. Of course it’s a shame to finish fourth, but myself I had a fun race.”

 

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