Max Verstappen admits that fifth in the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix was where Red Bull Racing expected to finish after their struggles in qualifying.
Verstappen was caught out by a crash by Kevin Magnussen at the end of Q2 and failed to make it through to the top ten shoot out. He would start from ninth courtesy of Magnussen’s pit-lane start and a grid drop for Carlos Sainz Jr.
Verstappen would jump his team-mate Pierre Gasly through pit-stop strategy and overtake both Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo after getting the better of Lando Norris to finish fifth, almost fifty-eight seconds off the lead.
“It was a controlled drive today,” said Verstappen. “We stayed out of trouble at the beginning of the race and there was not much more I could do in the closing stages.
“I did a very long first stint which worked quite well to clear the traffic and once we pitted I quickly cleared the Renault’s. From there I pulled away and was able to focus on my own race but we were not quick enough to catch the leaders.
“It was at least fun doing a bit of overtaking and we scored good points again but I think realistically fifth was where we expected to finish.
“It was not our weekend and I would of course like more but we have to work hard now to try and close the gap at the next race.”
Verstappen’s fifth place in Canada marked his sixteenth top five finish in a row and sees him complete a full year of beating his team-mate. He now sits fourth in the drivers’ standings, seventy-four points behind the leader.