It was a long battle between Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, and one that the Finn wasn’t too happy with. The Red Bull driver maintained his position though, beating the Ferrari to fifth place.
Verstappen had been held back by Raikkonen earlier in the race, given that the two drivers were on different strategies. Starting in the top ten Verstappen was on the supersoft tyre, stopping earlier than the Ferrari. The battle for the position got heated on the exit of turn 1, with Raikkonen hitting the back of the Red Bull and losing part of his front wing in the process and was clearly not happy with the way the Dutchman defended:
“He moved right and then back to left when I was going there. And he took the f**king front-wing off,” the Finn said.
Verstappen clearly thought otherwise, thinking he could have done better, “The pace was there for a podium today. I felt like I had a good start and got close to Lewis into Turn One but then ran out of track and couldn’t brake late. After the first stop it was very frustrating to be behind a Ferrari at the start on the fresher tyres.
“It was a shame because at the beginning we were quick and I tried to create a gap to the Ferraris which lead to me having to back off as I got too close to the car in front. This meant when I pitted I got out behind them both and that was pretty much my race done. Being behind meant I destroyed my tyres trying to find a pass so the opportunities went away as the race went on.
“Regarding my battle with Kimi I was simply protecting my position. I drove hard and just made sure I didn’t lock up or make a mistake.”