Formula 1

Verstappen happy with third place finish in Abu Dhabi

1 Mins read
Max Verstappen - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - Abu Dhabi GP
Max Verstappen secured a podium in the last race of the season / Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen has said he was happy with his third place finish, in what was a difficult final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

The Dutchman suffered a poor start, bogging down in second gear, dropping down to tenth on the grid.

“It wasn’t easy from the start, the engine had a bit of an issue which meant we lost a few places in the opening lap,” said Verstappen.

“It was a good launch but then I think it went into some sort of protection mode, we switched off a sensor and it seemed to be ok for the rest of the race.”

The Dutchman started sixth, with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who is set to race for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team from next year, starting just ahead in fifth.

Verstappen said once the team were able to resolve the issue with his car, he was really able to enjoy overtaking, particularly Valtteri Bottas.

“Once we had sorted the problem I was able to get on the attack and enjoy some really nice overtaking, especially passing Bottas,” he added.

“I don’t think he saw me on the inside, so we ended up touching, luckily we both escaped with no damage.”

Verstappen said that the track layout makes it difficult to follow other drivers and overtake.

“It’s hard to follow here so although I got close, I never really had a chance of getting past Seb [Vettel].”

He said that he found the closing laps of race difficult due to the oil which was leaking from the back of Pierre Gasly‘s car.

“I struggled in the closing laps a bit because I couldn’t see,” Verstappen explained.

“My visor was covered in oil from the back of Pierre’s car, if I wiped it, it made it worse, I was like driving through fog.”

Verstappen added that everyone is ready to take some time off, and will come back ready for the start of the new season in 2019.

“Everyone is ready for a bit of a break now, so we will take some time off once testing is complete, and come back refreshed and ready for a new challenge in 2019.”

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F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag. Also a second year Journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @findlaygrant5.
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