The 19-year-old Red Bull’s F1 teen was voted the fans’ driver of the day, passed NINE cars on his first lap. , and later he made a significant pass on teammate Daniel Ricciardo, although he then lost out himself to Sebastian Vettel. He also struggled with front end grip, especially when he drive as defensive manner.
“If we could score some nice points that would be positive but then the first lap was very challenging,” Max said.
“I think I passed nine cars. So that’s not too bad. From there on I think we made the right call with the change of tires to slicks. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it worked out. I was a bit cautious to not go too early and it paid off.
“Then I was in a good position afterwards. I managed to get past Daniel in Turn 6 and then I was building a gap. But then straight away I felt the balance of the car was a bit limited to the front so I was destroying the left front and I couldn’t get the car to turn and that’s what basically happened when Sebastian was behind me, just under braking, very difficult, locked up and went wide.
“Then had quite a bit flat-spot. Tried to continue for one lap but then I decided to box. I knew the last stint would be very hard with which lap I stopped, but I managed to stay in third and that’s, of course, very positive, especially after starting 16th. It was a great and entertaining race, I think.”
The Dutch man accepts that Red Bull still lags behind its main competition.
“On true pace, both Ferrari and Mercedes should be ahead with both of their drivers so we still need to work very hard to catch up. I think at the moment we’re a bit in a lonely competition because in front of us they are too quick and behind us they are too slow, but like I’ve already said before, we are working really hard and trying to close the gap but it’s not that easy. But we’ll keep pushing hard.”