Max Verstappen had so much free time during a “lonely” run to fifth in Sunday’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix that he was able to watch the lead battle between Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel on the TV screens around the Sochi Autodrom.
Verstappen qualified seventh on Saturday for Red Bull, but made a good start to run fifth early on where he remained throughout, finishing 24 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in P4 and 26 seconds clear of Sergio Perez in sixth.
Without any real competition, Verstappen decided to keep an eye on the close battle for victory between Bottas and Vettel via the TV screens around the track.
“Very lonely. I just watched the screens and followed Bottas and Vettel,” Verstappen told NBCSN after the race.
“I had to bring the car home, but not much you can do. The race wasn’t too bad. I think you always learn a bit.
“It was a good fitness session. I lost some weight; have a nice meal tonight and look forward to the upgrades in Barcelona.”
Verstappen was the sole Red Bull driver to finish the race in Sochi after teammate Daniel Ricciardo suffered a brake failure early on, forcing him to retire.