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Verstappen delighted to gatecrash Mercedes party

17/08/20

Mercedes looked set for another one-two finish.

Max Verstappen was delighted to spoil Mercedes' plans for another one-two as he took second in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was powerless to prevent reigning champion Lewis Hamilton extending his lead in the driver standings, but he did move further ahead of the Briton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen started third on the grid but quickly surged ahead of Bottas and held his nerve in the latter stages to go six points ahead of the Finn.

The 22-year-old was pleased to take the edge off Mercedes' joy in Barcelona.

"It was very good to split the two Mercedes," he said. "We clearly didn't have the pace like Lewis but I'm very happy with second.

"The start was crucial to get ahead of Valtteri, then onwards I was just trying to go at my own pace.

"I expected a little bit more [from Bottas after he pitted for fresh tyres]. After the second stint, I was quite happy with my tyres and Valtteri wasn't catching, so I felt comfortable.

"We keep trying to improve but [Mercedes] keep pushing, so we'll see."

Bottas was also passed by a quick-starting Lance Stroll, who promptly climbed from fifth to third as he overtook Racing Point team-mate Sergio Perez, too.

The Canadian finished fourth but was glad to put himself in the spotlight after such a strong start.

"That really made my race, having a great launch off the line," said Stroll.

"I saw a gap on the inside, went for it, and it really set me up for a great race. I did it for the TV time!

"I'm glad I got away with it, it's a bit of a lottery going up the inside, but I had enough grip to stick it.

"You always envision in your mind where you're going to end up – I didn't plan on it, but it was a great race and fourth was the best we could have done."