After the disappointment of stopping on track during qualifying and receiving a three-place penalty for parking in a dangerous place, Max Verstappen drove superbly once more to claim ninth place in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Dutch Scuderia Toro Rosso driver made good ground throughout the race, passing a number of cars including team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr into the hairpin late in the race, and admitted it was a great race for him.
“I think the start was good and I was able to overtake [Felipe] Nasr straight away in Sector 1, even though he got me back in the hairpin because I got a bit blocked and I didn’t want to take too many risks,” said Verstappen.
“That was a shame, because I then got stuck behind him for quite a lot of laps and lost some time with the other cars ahead…
“But after my first pit-stop I was able to push again until I got stuck behind [Daniil] Kvyat first, then [Fernando] Alonso. But I didn’t give up and in the end we were able to end up in front, which is very positive.
“To go from P17 to P9 at a track like this one is a good result and I’m happy to have scored points again, it was a very good day!”