Red Bull picked up two finishes in the top 5 at the British Grand Prix, although Max Verstappen was left to rue a run-in with Sebastian Vettel.
A collision between Verstappen and Vettel with 15 laps to go moments after the Red Bull had passed the Ferrari saw both drivers end up in a gravel trap, although both were able to continue.
While Vettel finished out of the points and got a time penalty after being blamed for the incident, Verstappen didn’t have the pace to catch his team-mate Pierre Gasly and finished 5th.
Meanwhile, a strong weekend from Gasly saw him come 4th, which is his best result of 2019, although he was unable to wrestle a podium from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Speaking after the race, Verstappen said he had fun in intense battles with Leclerc but was disappointed to miss out on a potential podium following his skirmish with Vettel. He also voiced his surprise the car was able to continue after damage, and his respect to Vettel after the German’s post-race apology.
He said, “It’s a shame for everyone in the Team to lose a podium here as the car felt very good and we were so quick in the race. The battles with Charles were hard but fair and he was defending really well. I didn’t want to risk too much as the race was still very long and we were clearly faster, so it was just a matter of choosing the right time and it was great fun.
“The Team made a really good call with the second pit stop to put me on the hard tyre so we had that advantage over Charles. I then had really strong pace and caught Seb, I passed him and defended into Turn 17 but Seb out braked himself and hit me from behind. I ended up bumping over the kerbs and the gravel and I thought the race was over.
“I honestly don’t know how I brought the car to the finish as it felt like the power steering failed and the floor was damaged, so I’m actually happy to finish fifth and score some points. I’m not angry but disappointed as it was hard racing and Seb didn’t do it on purpose. He also apologised as soon as I got out of the car which I respect.”
As for Gasly, he admitted a disappointment not to land a first career podium but after a few rough weekends, he voiced his delight at having his strong race of the year.
He said, “This whole weekend has been strong from Friday to Sunday, with today being my best Sunday of the year. We’re fighting with the guys at the front which is where we should be and I’m really happy with fourth today. Of course as a competitive guy I’m disappointed not to get on the podium as it was so close but we’ve made a big step this weekend and we’re working in the right direction.
“I had some good battles with Seb and Charles and there was quite a lot of action throughout the race. I still need to work on the little details to improve and make the last step on to the podium, but overall we are not too far away and we will keep pushing. If we can have this kind of Sunday every weekend then things should be exciting.”
Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso enjoyed mixed fortunes, as Daniil Kvyat finished 9th after starting in the bottom 4, while Alex Albon’s tyre wear at the end saw him lose out on a points place in the final laps as he came 12th.