Max Verstappen earns another F1 podium with a strong drive to second

Max Verstappen celebrates his second-place finish at the Austrian GP.

Sam Bloxham

Max Verstappen earned the second podium finish of his career by following up his Spanish GP victory with a runner-up spot in Austria. Once again, the Red Bull man was chased to the flag by Kimi Raikkonen.

As in Spain, Verstappen did a long second stint, making his soft tires last for 56 laps. He even led for a while before the Mercedes drivers re-passed him as they made up ground after their second stops.

“It was a great start and also a good first lap and straight away I could feel the pace was there in the car,” said Verstappen. “So I just moved up to the front and once I cleared some guys I just started to go into my own rhythm. The Mercedes cars at the moment are still a bit too quick, but yeah, I think everything was going quite well. I did a long stint on the soft tire and especially the last 10 laps, including with some traffic made it very hard.

“I could see Kimi behind me, he was catching up a lot. At the end to come home in second after what happened on the last lap is of course a bonus. Also, to finish here second, as a Red Bull driver at the Red Bull Ring, is a great feeling.”

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Verstappen acknowledged that being chased by Raikkonen was a familiar experience: “Definitely. As soon as I saw him in the mirrors I was thinking about Barcelona. Only the problem was he was catching quite a lot now compared to Barcelona. He was there all the time and catching up a lot. I just tried to make no mistakes, and at the end we kept him behind, which of course is what we wanted. It was great for myself to be on the limit all the time until the end of the race.

“Of course the safety car helped but I was just going on to see how the tire lasted. I was telling the team it’s all fine, it’s all fine, just keep going. If I felt it was not going on any more, for sure I would have pitted but it was all going fine. The cars in front of me were pulling away, they were just quicker, but I was pulling away from the cars behind, so there was no reason to stop.”