Max Verstappen’s hopes of finishing inside the top ten on his first start at the Monaco Grand Prix ended in disappointment on Sunday after a late run-in with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
Fitted with fresh tires after making his second pit stop, Verstappen was charging for a top ten position with 15 laps remaining, and looked to make a move on Grosjean heading into the first corner.
However, Verstappen misjudged where Grosjean had placed his car, running into the back of the Frenchman before spearing his Toro Rosso into the wall at the first corner.
In spite of the heavy crash, the 17-year-old walked away unscathed, and was surprisingly upbeat about his race following the incident.
“I was really happy with the car in the race,” Verstappen said. “I was even catching up with Vettel and Rosberg [when a lap down], even though I decided to stay behind because it made it easier to get past other people.
“Then I got very close to Grosjean while fighting for the final points position and I ended up in the barriers. It was quite a big crash, but I’m feeling fine.”
His crash inadvertently allowed teammate Carlos Sainz Jr to finish the race in tenth place, picking up the final point on offer in Monaco after starting from the pit lane.
“What an amazing race, I’m very happy with the result,” Sainz said. “To start from the pit lane in Monaco, on my debut, and to cross the line in P10 feels like a victory!
“It was a very good race from the team in terms of strategy and tire management. We worked for it very hard and completed a super long stint on the soft tire.
“This finally paid off and we managed to score a point. I was really enjoying it out there, I was quick and enjoying this unique track, I didn’t want the race to end!”