Max Verstappen was left with mixed feelings after the United States Grand Prix, in which the Red Bull Racing driver was stripped of third place having produced a tremendous battling drive in Austin.
Starting from a lowly 16th place, Verstappen carved his way through the pack to produce a stunning performance in Texas, squeezing past Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 17 on the final lap of the race to take third.
Verstappen was then hit with a five-second penalty after the race, losing his podium placing after it was adjudged that he completed the pass on Raikkonen with all four wheels off the road.
Although the Dutchman rued the stewards’ decision, he was left otherwise happy with his performance en route to a strong fourth-place finish.
“I’m feeling good after the race, but of course it’s never nice to be about to step out onto the podium and then have it taken away,” said Verstappen.
“I had a great race and I am happy with fourth, but it’s the way I got there that hurts.”
“I got a five second penalty and one penalty point for what? I ran wide on a track with no limits that everyone is running wide on all weekend, why do I get punished?”
“The rule is we cannot protest so all we can do is move on to Mexico – weird rule. We have an amazing race with loads of overtakes and action and then, due to 5cm or 10cm of kerb the result is changed. People don’t like to watch that.”
Despite the stewards’ decision, Verstappen remained buoyant about Red Bull’s performance at the Circuit of the Americas, and feels that the team can continue to replicate its strong form at next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
“At the end of the day I had a lot of fun and a great race. I feel I made some really good overtakes and had nice rhythm with really strong pace and balance in the car.
“Taking all these factors into account and no engine penalties I’ll hopefully start near the front and achieve a better result in Mexico.”