Max Verstappen was able to slip in ahead of the Ferraris to take a podium finish for Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix.
It was a double points finish for the Milton Keynes-based team at the race in Barcelona, with Pierre Gasly finishing in 6th position.
Verstappen was able to get past the two Ferraris at the start of the race, and was able to hold off their attentions after a late race safety car in order to pick up a podium spot at the race where he famously won his first F1 race three years ago.
Speaking after the race, the Dutchman said, “I’m trying to maximize everything I have and I’m happy with today’s result. We’re P3 again which is pretty representative of our pace at the moment, and it’s great to score more good points. I knew we had a good chance in the race to fight with Ferrari and that’s what we did.
“At the start it was quite hectic with three cars going into one corner, so I decided to back out of it, but actually in the end I had a good line out of Turn 2 into Turn 3. To take P3 in that corner was very crucial as from there on I could do my own pace and strategy, which worked out well. The Mercedes cars were out of reach, but we were very consistent and we’re of course happy to be on the podium.
“Everybody is very motivated to close the gap and we will try a few things in the test next week that can give us a better direction in which way to work.”
Meanwhile, Gasly had an early battle with Charles Leclerc and a brief post-safety car battle with Kevin Magnussen in the Haas. But the Frenchman was content enough to take points.
He said, “The first stint was ok but towards the end I started to struggle with grip and degradation. We had a lot of rubber debris in the front wing which meant I was sliding around so the pace just dropped from the second stint onwards. I tried to push as much as I could but I couldn’t keep up with the Ferraris in front of me.
“At the Safety Car restart, I tried a move on Charles but I couldn’t make it stick. It was a pretty good fight and I think at the start we actually touched in Turn 3. In the end, it’s good to score some points. We have the test coming up on Tuesday so we can try some more things and keep pushing.
“Looking forwards, I think we have good potential on some of the upcoming tracks which should suit our car better.”
The two Toro Rosso cars were also in the battle for points, as Dany Kvyat made a few late moves to finish 9th while Alex Albon narrowly failed to overhaul Romain Grosjean.