Max Verstappen was ‘very pleased’ with his result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which although eventful at the start, brought him into play even for the win if something had happened at the front of the field.
It was a bit of a disastrous start though for the Dutchman, spinning at the first corner after coming into contact with Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India. It left him at the back of the field on the supersoft tyre, and stayed out much longer than his rivals at the front of the field. In that he got himself into a position between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, before the Mercedes team encouraged him to overtake as they realised he would only be one stopping.
As he did, that brought him into play at the end of the race, but he didn’t have the pace on older tyres to compete with Sebastian Vettel, who took the driver of the day title and the final podium position.
The Red Bull driver said, “I am very pleased with my result and how that race went. After being last after turn 1, having to fight my way back and doing it all on a one-stop was the best we could do and I am happy we pulled it off.
“I knew I was going to come under attack from the two-stop guys as they obviously had more life left in the tyres, I don’t think I could have held Seb off at the end. When you still finish in front of guys who did an extra stop you have to be pleased with the result, especially as we also finished so close to P1.
“It was an unfortunate tap at the start which caused the spin, it was just a racing incident though and these things happen.
“I think Lewis was trying to back us up, and I probably would have done the same, you have to try these things to win a championship.
“It is very nice to finish the season fifth in the championship and to have had some really good results along the way. After yesterday I wasn’t too happy, so now we finish it on a high. It has been a special season for me this year and I am really excited to get next year underway and hopefully bring more success.”