Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen felt he got the most out of what he described as a “pretty boring” Russian Grand Prix.

Verstappen outpaced Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas to set the fourth-fastest time in qualifying but dropped to ninth once his five-place engine penalty was applied.

He started Sunday’s race from ninth on the grid in Sochi and  progressed to a lonely fourth-place finish, ending up some 14-seconds adrift off the podium, which was completed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It was pretty boring but that was the best we could do,” Verstappen concluded.

Asked where it all went wrong for Red Bull after a strong showing during Friday practice, the Dutchman replied: “They [Ferrari] turned the engines up more than us.

“I think maybe they were not happy with their car balances. I was straightaway happy with mine.

“Anyway, this track is not suitable for us. I guess it was just a really good Friday where we straightaway nailed the setup, and for them it took a while to settle in.

Red Bull teammate Alexander Albon recovered strongly from the pitlane following his qualifying crash to take fifth, keeping up his run of top-six finishes since his mid-season graduation from Toro Rosso.

“I’m happy after a tough Saturday,” Albon said.

“I think that was really the best we could have done. I think a little bit fortunate with the Safety Car and everything like that, but still, the pace was there, so I’m happy.

“I think coming from that Saturday, it was good for the team and everyone to do a good job.”

Albon battled brake issues throughout the race which he felt slowed his progress through the field.

“I think this track, the way it’s designed, when you’re following in a train, it really feels a lot worse than other tracks because it’s almost like a tunnel system,” he explained.

“The air is stuck in one place, a little bit like a street track. The downforce loss was immense when you’re following.

“It just meant I couldn’t do those overtakes like I was used to at Spa and Monza, and outbrake people.

“Once you’re just one driver by themselves that you could attack, it wasn’t a problem.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...