Max Verstappen believes his run to sixth place in Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix was the best result he could have achieved after a nightmare start.

Verstappen, who started fourth after being stripped of pole position for failing to slow for yellow flags in Q3, found himself challenging Lewis Hamilton for third at the first sequence of corners, but the pair ended up making slight contact at Turn 2, sending both across the grass.

The Red Bull driver dropped down the order and fell to last after picking up a puncture while attempting to overtake Valtteri Bottas, before turning in a strong recovery drive to finish sixth, one place behind teammate Alexander Albon.

“It was just a bad day,” Verstappen said.

“The start was good, but then with Lewis [Hamilton] in Turn 2 I got pushed wide and had to go off the track. But then we drove back a little bit, the race was still on.

“But then I had my puncture with Valtteri. I don't know what exactly happened, I have to see the images. It is what it is.

“Then I had to do a one-stop to get back to sixth. It was teh best we could do after all of that.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner felt the race acted as a missed opportunity for his side, given the pace both drivers were able to demonstrate throughout the weekend in Mexico City.

“We had a very quick race car today so it’s a real shame losing out at the first couple of turns and getting a puncture with Valtteri, you are out of the race at that point,” Horner told Sky.

“He had to do almost the entire race on one set of tyres and Max did a very strong drive to come back to P6.

“Frustrating because I think we could have had a lot more out of it today. He was racing hard with Lewis at Turn 2 and for me that’s a racing incident.

“Then he’s just got very unlucky with the puncture. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way and on another day it would have worked and he would have been a hero.”