Max Verstappen: “We couldn’t have done a better job today”


Scuderia Toro Rosso secured points with both drivers during the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen finishing seventh and becoming the youngest points scorer in Formula 1 history, while Carlos Sainz Jr was one place further back in eighth.

Verstappen started sixth and endured a tricky opening to his race where he fell down the order, but recovered superbly after making the switch from the Medium to the Hard Pirelli tyres. For the second race in a row, he defied his critics and put in a stand-out performance, finishing an un-lapped seventh, matching the best result of his father Jos Verstappen at the circuit at his first attempt.

“I really enjoyed that,” revealed Verstappen after the race. “I’m very happy to have scored my first ever points in F1 and to end seventh!

“I think we did a great job as a team. The first few laps were a bit tricky for me as I was struggling a lot on the Medium tyres, so we boxed early for the Hard ones and that worked perfectly, the car felt great. We had a few good fights with other competitors and it was good fun.

“This was the right strategy and we did a great job managing the tyres. I felt well physically, it was quite hot at the end but I was still able to cope with it and be consistent, so I’m happy with that. This is a big boost for the team, we couldn’t have done a better job today.”

Sainz finished eighth having started fifteenth, but made a two-stop strategy work to his advantage to score points for the second consecutive race. He felt staying calm whilst others around him seemed to be losing their heads worked to his advantage, and was able to stay ahead of the two Red Bull’s until the flag.

“It was a mega day for me today,” said Sainz. “A two-stop strategy at a track like Sepang was never going to be easy, but it worked out well in the end and it’s definitely made me forget yesterday’s result in qualifying.

“Starting from P15 and making it to P8 is amazing! There was a lot happening around me throughout the whole race, so it was very easy to lock-up, make mistakes or lose positions, but I kept calm and in the end it paid off.

“The conditions have been very tough here in Malaysia, much more than in Australia obviously, but we prepared well for it and I had no problems. Such a result gives us great confidence and motivation to keep up the good work.

“The team is doing an excellent job and to finish with both cars in the points is a great way to end the weekend.”