Max Verstappen was pleased to be on the podium at the Belgian Grand Prix as he finished third at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
The Dutchman started seventh on the grid and made his way through the field, jumping Romain Grosjean at the start before passing the Racing Point Force India F1 Team duo of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez to reach the top three.
“After a bit of bad luck here in Spa in the past I’m very pleased to finally be coming away with a podium,” said Verstappen. “There was a bit of first lap chaos to contend with but we made it through cleanly and managed to settle into a good pace right away.
“From there on I managed to pass Grosjean up the hill and concentrate on chasing the Force Indias. I knew I would have to be patient and in the end I got close enough.
“I was surprised by their pace, I thought with DRS I would be able to get by easily but they were very strong. This made it a bit more enjoyable to try and pass.”
Once Verstappen got past the Force India’s, it was a very lonely race for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as he didn’t have the pace to catch Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton.
“After this little battle it was quite a lonely race, it was good to push the car and learn from it but there wasn’t a lot more action for me,” he said.
“Seb and Lewis were once again too quick for us but in terms of balance the car felt really good.”
Belgium is the closest to a home race for Verstappen and he was happy to see all the Dutch fans out in force this weekend.
“It is always good to be on the podium but being on it here in Spa with so many Dutch fans is really special,” admitted Verstappen. “On the last lap I was able to take in the orange crowd and enjoy it.
“Monza shouldn’t be strong in theory but as you can see from today a lot of things can happen. We will do our best and try to be there so if something happens our car can be in the running.”