Finishing second here in Paul Ricard is better than we expected, Verstappen...

Finishing second here in Paul Ricard is better than we expected, Verstappen admits

Max Verstappen
photo: Mark Thompson / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen took a podium in the French Grand prix after starting from fourth on the grid.

“Finishing second here in Paul Ricard is better than we expected coming into the weekend. As soon as we got to Turn 2 I was relieved not to have had contact, so from there it was just about managing my own race, which was fairly straightforward. I could see Lewis [Hamilton] managing the pace but we were still not far off without pushing the car too much. I think we got the strategy spot on. The soft tyres felt a little bit more robust and allowed me to find some good pace to make the final laps more comfortable. After two clean races and good result in a row it’s important to carry this momentum forward”, Verstappen commented.

“We have had a third and now a second so with the right track I am looking forward to a victory. I missed a good chance in Monaco but there are still some good opportunities coming up, but to score good points for the team at circuits that are not ideal for us is a big positive. It was nice to race here in France, to hear the national anthem and see so many people in the grandstands made it feel like a traditional European grand prix.”

Finishing second here in Paul Ricard is better than we expected, Verstappen admits

Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, was fourth at the chequered flag.

“I’m obviously a bit disappointed and it’s a shame to lose out on the podium. We were definitely quicker than fourth place and it could have been a good battle with Max. I don’t know why yet but the front wing was damaged during the race. Before the pit stop, we had really good pace on the supersofts, I don’t know how good compared to Lewis as he was so quick, but it seemed that we were pulling away from Kimi and catching Max. Then about two laps before I stopped I had damage to the left part of the front wing; I felt some understeer immediately and I don’t know whether it was a failure or I hit some debris but the mechanics could see it during the stop.”

“After the stop, the identical part on the right of the front wing also broke. Because of the damage, we had less downforce, the car was understeering, and the tyres were suffering. Kimi [Raikkonen] was always going to catch us at the end of the race with that pace, the blue flags were also pretty bad, but we were a wounded car. It was a shame as we looked quite strong. The positive is that we got some decent points but we were definitely quicker than fourth and just unlucky this afternoon.”