Canadian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen returned to the podium with a P3 finish in Montreal, but says Red Bull aren’t quite at the stage where they can challenge for consistent race wins.
Verstappen, following a beleaguered string of races, qualified in third place for Sunday’s race and enjoyed a strong, quiet run to the same position in the race itself. This was despite his best attempts to clear Mercedes’ Valtterri Bottas through the opening corners of the race; a battle that the Finn eventually prevailed in.
From there, Vertappen made his sole stop for a fresh set of SuperSofts on Lap 17 and, while he got close to Bottas, he never really looked capable of troubling the Mercedes strongly, let alone the leading Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel up front.
Despite this, Verstappen was delighted to be back on the podium after what has been a difficult season so far:
“The whole weekend we were very competitive and in the race, with the tyres we had, I think we maximised our strategy and we were very happy with the result.”
“Every single weekend you go in you try to win and here practice has been good, Qualifying has been positive and the race went well too. Of course we’re very pleased with that and to come away with a podium and challenging for second at the end at this track, which is not ideal for us, is really positive. When you feel confident with the car then you can do a good job, and during the race I think we managed the car in the best way possible on the hypersoft tyres.”
In this kind of race you have to manage a lot, fuel first of all, then also the tyres, you have the pressure from behind, you don’t want to let them into your DRS but one point I can see that I was pulling away quite comfortably so then I was challenging Valtteri at the end. Max Verstappen
“So the race was in one way maybe a little bit boring but on the other hand you needed full focus on doing a good job. Seb was very fast today and I could quickly feel that we were just lacking top speed. They tyres were holding on really well at the end when I was challenging Valtteri because he was fuel saving which shows our car was working well and for sure we have a very competitive car at the moment. I don’t think we can challenge for victories on every track, it just depends on how long the straights are but for now I am looking forward to the upcoming races.”