Max Verstappen: “It was a very difficult race”

Max Verstappen was disappointed with his Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, even though he would later be promoted into the points when Fernando Alonso was handed a post-race penalty.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was always on the back foot during the race after taking avoiding action when Nico Hulkenberg spun his Sahara Force India machine in front of him on the exit of turn two on the opening lap, with the Dutch teenager spinning and suffering a rear puncture and damage to his car as a result.

Verstappen admitted the car was very difficult to drive throughout the race, and ended up finishing eleventh, just over two seconds behind Alonso, but when the McLaren-Honda driver was handed a five second penalty for corner cutting, he secured the final point on offer.

“I’m disappointed; it certainly wasn’t the best of race starts, as I got clipped because the cars in front of me crashed and from then on it was a very difficult race,” said Verstappen.

“I had a lot of damage on the car, especially at the rear, and it wasn’t behaving as it should’ve been. It was very difficult for me to continue, but we tried to, hoping we could get back into the points, even though in the end it wasn’t possible.”