All the reaction from the Belgian Grand Prix as Max claims his first Spa podium and Daniel unfortunately retires after first lap incident.
MAX VERSTAPPEN - Starting position P7. Finished P3
“After a bit of bad luck here in Spa in the past I’m very pleased to finally be coming away with a podium. There was a bit of first lap chaos to contend with but we made it through cleanly and managed to settle into a good pace right away. From there on I managed to pass Grosjean up the hill and concentrate on chasing the Force Indias. I knew I would have to be patient and in the end I got close enough. I was surprised by their pace, I thought with DRS I would be able to get by easily but they were very strong. This made it a bit more enjoyable to try and pass. After this little battle it was quite a lonely race, it was good to push the car and learn from it but there wasn’t a lot more action for me. Seb and Lewis were once again too quick for us but in terms of balance the car felt really good. It is always good to be on the podium but being on it here in Spa with so many Dutch fans is really special. On the last lap I was able to take in the orange crowd and enjoy it. Monza shouldn’t be strong in theory but as you can see from today a lot of things can happen. We will do our best and try to be there so if something happens our car can be in the running.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO - Starting position P8. Finished DNF
“I don’t know exactly what happened at the start, but I felt a tap and to be honest I just remember sliding and the next minute I hit the back of Kimi. It was just a Turn 1 incident and apologies to Kimi if his retirement was down to me, but I’m pretty sure it all started behind me and was a chain reaction. It was a big crash for quite a low speed corner and I think Hulkenberg hit Alonso pretty hard from what I heard. My rear wing was pretty much ripped off and the mechanics tried to get me back out with a new wing before we went a lap down; we just missed that but they did all they could. We tried to stay out and hope for a Safety Car so we could get back on the lead lap, but we couldn’t just keep racing and hoping until the end, so we chose to retire with 14 laps remaining to save mileage on the engine and gearbox. After the rear wing change there was still some damage on my car as they had to fix it so quickly, we overtook quite a few cars but we weren’t really that fast and we were just circulating. Just one of those Sundays I guess. A lot of people would love my bad days, there you go, perspective. We will try again in Italy.”
“Max just drove a great grand prix today, recovering from seventh on the grid passing the Haas of Grosjean on lap 1 and then the two Force Indias. Obviously he lost touch with the leaders in the course of making those passing moves, and certainly in the first half of the race we didn’t quite have the pace to keep in touch with the leaders. As soon as the pit stops had taken place he had good pace and was able to match the leading cars until the end of the race. So, in reality quite a lonely race for Max, but fantastic for him to achieve a podium in what is effectively his home grand prix in front of such an enormous crowd here in Spa. For Daniel it was a great shame he got caught up in someone else’s accident at the first corner. It looks like Hulkenberg misjudged his braking to cause the chain of events and the damage to the front and rear of Daniel’s car was significant. The mechanics did a wonderful job in getting the car turned around but unfortunately having lost two laps to the lead car, and with engine mileage at a premium, we had to make the decision to retire the car from what was only ever going to be a 16th place finish for Daniel today.”