Max Verstappen: “Our pace was strong”

Max Verstappen was on course for a top six finish at the Sochi Autodrom on Sunday before an engine failure denied him a points finish after seemingly easy run up until then.

The lap 33 retirement ended the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver’s chances of a fourth consecutive points finish in 2016, having driven strongly up until then and running well clear of Fernando Alonso, who inherited the position when the Dutchman’s Ferrari power unit gave up.

“Unfortunately I had to retire today after running in P6,” said Verstappen. “It was looking like a great race up until then, as I was cruising around and I didn’t have any pressure from behind; I was just following the guys in front and our pace was strong.

“We could hold on to the tyres very well and I have to say I was quite relaxed, managing everything well and it was all looking so good… Who knows what could’ve happened!

“Of course it’s disappointing to have to stop the car, but this is a mechanical sport and these things happen. Now we just have to take the positives from the weekend and get ready for the first European race of the season in Spain in two weeks’ time.”