Max Verstappen has admitted that he backed out of a “hectic” turn one of the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, but his caution aided him in securing another podium finish for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Verstappen started the race from fourth and avoided three abreast racing between ultimate race-winner Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel at turn one to capitalise on the baulked Vettel and snatch third on the opening lap.
From there, Verstappen was able to comfortably stay ahead of both Scuderia Ferrari cars but was unable to keep pace with the dominant Mercedes AMG Motorsport pair.
“I’m trying to maximise everything I have and I’m happy with today’s result,” said Verstappen. “We’re P3 again which is pretty representative of our pace at the moment, and it’s great to score more good points.
“I knew we had a good chance in the race to fight with Ferrari and that’s what we did. At the start it was quite hectic with three cars going into one corner, so I decided to back out of it, but actually in the end I had a good line out of Turn 2 into Turn 3.
“To take P3 in that corner was very crucial as from there on I could do my own pace and strategy, which worked out well.”
The result sees Verstappen take third in the drivers’ championship standings and the Dutchman now looks to the in-season test in Barcelona next week to work on closing the gap to Mercedes.
“The Mercedes cars were out of reach, but we were very consistent and we’re of course happy to be on the podium. Everybody is very motivated to close the gap and we will try a few things in the test next week that can give us a better direction in which way to work.”