Verstappen now ready to kick-start season

Max Verstappen is hoping his first “good clean race” of the season can provide the foundation for more good results to come.

Although there was brief contact with backmarker Lance Stroll which resulted in Verstappen losing his front wing endplates, the Dutchman was still able to secure his first podium finish since his race win in Mexico last season.

Verstappen had been involved in high-profile incident in all four races previous to Spain and was grateful to be reflecting on a positive performance.

“It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race so yeah, hopefully we can work from here and score a lot of good results,” Verstappen said.

Verstappen thought he had picked up serious damage from the Stroll incident, but was soon able to find his groove again after adjusting his approach into some corners.

He added: “Initially I thought so but then I kept going and I felt a bit more understeer in turns 3 and 9. May be braking a bit deeper into the hairpins.

“But it was not too bad to be honest, I just had some tools and all good. I don’t think it affected me too much.”

Daniel Ricciardo suggested on team radio for Verstappen to allow the Aussie through in the early stages, but Verstappen said he was “stuck” behind Kimi Raikkonen and there was nothing he could do about it.

He said: “I was just controlling my pace. I was stuck behind Kimi so I can’t drive over!

“I was just driving to what I think was best for the tyres and you could see it all the time. At the end of the stints, I was very quick.

“I guess if you’re behind and you see that the guy ahead is stuck, and you’re catching up, you’re just like ‘Oh, guys, I’m faster!’ I mean I would’ve probably said exactly the same thing.”

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