Max Verstappen reveled in his third-place finish in Sunday’s British Grand Prix, believing the result shows that Red Bull has cut the gap to Mercedes.
Verstappen qualified third at Silverstone on Saturday and managed to stick with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg through the early part of the race as the track dried following a rain shower.
Verstappen produced a stunning move around the outside of Becketts to take second place from Rosberg, but ultimately fell back into the clutches of the German after running wide at Turn 1 twice.
Verstappen was powerless to stop Rosberg from passing, leaving him to cross the line in third place and record his third podium finish in Formula 1.
“I felt like I had great pace today so once the track dried up I just tried to have a go,” Verstappen said.
“In the beginning I had a lot of spray so it was hard to see where I was going, especially in the first sector. Once I passed Nico I felt like I was closing on Lewis but then he pitted for slicks. We maybe stayed out one lap too long but in the end the race was great and the car was working really well.
“I had a great battle again with Nico afterwards but as it dried the Mercedes just had too much speed on the straights. I tried to keep up and there was no pressure from behind so I just concentrated on doing my own race.
“I had a few moments in Turn 1 which was a bit tricky so I had to be careful there but I hear a few others also struggled.
“The move on the outside at Becketts was fun, he was finding the inside so I thought let’s try the outside. It was a risky move for sure. The car had the grip and I had the feeling so it worked well. There’s a bit of run off there anyway so I had room if it went wrong.”
Verstappen believes that his pace shows how much progress Red Bull has made in recent weeks, cutting the gap to the dominant Mercedes team.
“In the end we only finished roughly eight seconds behind so I think that is really positive going forwards and shows we are closing the gap,” Verstappen said.
“The fans here were great, I couldn’t believe how loud they were and they really supported me. Understandably they were behind Lewis but they got behind me loads also which was great to see.”