Max Verstappen pleased to win after ‘not nice’ incident

Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix after a mistake early on.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had an eventful afternoon at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, recovering from a mistake early on to win the race.

Having started second, Verstappen was beaten off the line by polesitter Charles Leclerc, but he made a mistake during the first stint, flying off the track and into the gravel and losing out to both George Russell and team-mate Sergio Perez.

The reigning champion was allowed to get back ahead of the Mexican, before DRS troubles prevented him from getting past Russell, despite a fantastic battle between the pair.

READ: Hamilton fans flock to his defence after seven-time champion mocked in Barcelona

However, he went onto a set of Softs and made them go a long distance into the race while setting consistently fast lap times, and he jumped the 24-year-old for position when he made his stop.

On fresher tyres than Perez, Red Bull allowed him through, and he went on to take his 24th win of his career.

Despite the tribulations, Verstappen is delighted to recover and claim the 25 points.

“Of course, I went off, I certainly had a lot of tailwind so I just lost the rear and went off,” he explained after the race.

“I of course I was in the train so I tried to pass but my DRS was not always working so yeah that made it very tough.

Article continues below

“But we managed to do the strategy to get ahead again and then do our own race and eventually win the race so a difficult beginning but a good end.”

The 24-year-old was also left frustrated when his DRS stopped working while stuck behind Russell, but he needed to stay calm and focus on the task at hand.

“I tried to stay focused, of course it’s not nice when stuff like that happens,” added Verstappen.

“At the end of course [I’m] very happy to win and also very happy for Checo, it was a great result for the team.

“I think the behaviour of the car was good on the Softs but also the Medium I think was working quite well.”

Verstappen’s stupendous battle with Russell was ultimately facilitated by his rear wing failing to open on multiple occasions, but he was pleased that the Milton Keynes side managed to manipulate the strategy to get him in front.

“It was more because of my DRS,” he said.

READ: Hamilton reacts to Russell again outqualifying him

“At the end we managed to get ahead.”

Verstappen’s win put him in front of Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship by six points following the Monegasque’s devastating reliability failure.