Max Verstappen: ‘Grid penalty not ideal, but nothing has been lost’

The Red Bull Formula 1 driver touched the Mercedes of the seven-time world champion more than a week ago during the Italian Grand Prix. The two cars ended up in the gravel pit and both drivers had to stop fighting. The stewards later concluded that “mainly Verstappen” was to blame for the collision halfway through the race. The Dutchman was therefore given a grid penalty of three places back in the starting grid for the Russian GP.

Verstappen continues to find that sanction unjustified. “I still believe it was a racing incident, but we got a three-place grid penalty and we’ll have to make do with that. It’s not ideal, but nothing’s lost yet.”

Stage in Sochi

Verstappen gave Red Bull its first podium ever in Sochi last year. β€œIt was great to finish second there, especially because it has never been a good track for us as a team. We are more competitive this year and we have better gear at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out this year. The track and design are completely different from the previous races, and it looks like there will be some rain this weekend as well. I look forward to returning to Sochi and seeing what we are capable of.”

Verstappen leads the World Cup standings with a lead of 5 points over Hamilton. “It’s a very small margin and we still have a lot of races to go. We will try to get the most out of the coming weekend with the equipment we have.”

Extra punishment

An extra grid penalty awaits Verstappen in Russia if he makes an engine change. His team Red Bull Racing proposes not to make a decision on this before Saturday.

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