Max Verstappen felt a certain podium at the British Grand Prix was denied by Sebastian Vettel’s smash as he spent the majority of the race fighting with against both Ferrari drivers, fresh from his fierce battle with Charles Leclerc from the last race.

The Red Bull driver saw his Silverstone race wrecked after overtaking Vettel at Stowe when the German driver misjudged his braking one corner late at the Club chicane and rammed into the rear of the Dutch driver which sent the pair into the gravel.

Before that, Verstappen spent the opening part of the race battling the sister Ferrari of Leclerc just one race on from their controversial scrap for the Austrian Grand Prix victory which ended in the stewards room.

Verstappen, winner at the Red Bull Ring after the FIA investigation, feels Leclerc’s bold moves were a follow-on from the previous race and became a battle the Dutch driver relished.

“They were good. I think he was a little bit sore still from Austria so he was defending really hard, but that’s fine I’m all for that,” Verstappen said. “I didn’t want to take many risks in those battles to damage the car, because I knew we were quite a bit faster so I just needed to pick my moment.

“Luckily the team did it for me with a good strategy and then it was looking all good for a good result.”

Verstappen was certain a podium was possible but his chances were ended by Vettel’s mistake which rammed him over the sausage kerbs at Club and into the gravel trap. Surprisingly, Verstappen avoided any critical damage to his Red Bull as he returned to the action and reached the finish in fifth place.

“We were clearly faster than Ferrari in the race,” he said. “Mercedes, I never really had clear laps, and I think Lewis was really quick, but in general I think we could have definitely finished second or third today.

“You know then that the race is lost for a podium [after Vettel crash]. You try then to recover it which was anyway a bit of a surprise after the hit, smashing over that sausage kerb.

“The power steering more or less failed so it was quite a hard work out for me. The seat popped out so it was moving around a lot and the floor was quite badly damaged. The car was not what it should have been but of course still happy to be fifth.”

Despite the disappointing end to his British race, Verstappen has still tightened his grip on third place in the F1 standings. The Red Bull driver has a 13-point gap to Vettel in fourth place and a 16-point advantage over Leclerc in fifth place.



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