Max Verstappen made no secret of his frustration after finishing 10th in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix despite spending much of the race battling inside the top five with defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen started from P5 on the grid after his best F1 qualifying result to date, and made a good start to run fourth early on ahead of Hamilton.
Verstappen stayed ahead of the Briton after the first round of pit stops and a red flag period, only to drop back when Toro Rosso stuck to its two-stop strategy.
The pit crew did not have all of Verstappen’s tires ready when he came in for his second stop, dropping him behind teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Verstappen spent the remainder of the race getting increasingly frustrated behind his teammate, and even made light contact at one point that caused him to spin before coming home in 10th place.
“Quite a frustrating afternoon,” Verstappen said. “We had a great start to the race and were able to keep the Mercedes behind. The first pit-stop was also good.
“We had great pace and I didn’t have pressure from behind, but after the red flag we had a bit of a miscommunication for the second stop and it got very difficult.
“We have a fantastic car and to finish P10 here is not where we should be. I’m very disappointed as this was a great opportunity for us to get a very good result.
“Now we just need to focus on the next race and try and score more points than today.”
Sainz finished just ahead of Verstappen in ninth, and was similarly disappointed to have missed a chance to come away with a bigger points haul.
“I’m not entirely happy with today’s result because I think we could’ve scored more points with the car we have, but I did everything I could to finish as high up as possible,” Sainz said.
“To finish in P9 is frustrating. The race was a bit of a chaos, so it was difficult to get it all right. After the red flag things got interesting and even though it’s not the easiest of tracks to overtake, I was able to do some good moves – some of them were quite tough!
“I did my race and I think we put on a good show. I enjoyed it out there but I think we deserved to end up higher up instead of going backwards after qualifying in P7 yesterday.”