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Published: 22:33 | 8/10/17

Verstappen "struggled" to match Hamilton


Max Verstappen says his Red Bull car was always struggling for pace compared to Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen outpaced team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to move up from fifth on the grid to claim second place at Sunday's Grand Prix at Suzuka behind Hamilton.

It was the Dutchman's second successive podium finish after his victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend, but the 20-year-old admits his Red Bull car was not quick enough to match the Mercedes W08 for speed in clean air.

"Our car was very competitive in the corners but it meant we lost a bit on the straights and weren't ever really able to have a proper go at it," he said.

"Lewis had some difficulties when he had traffic in front but at the end of the day he was controlling it. The traffic gave me a bit of a chance to close up and potentially have a chance to take him.

"It was a bit of a shame the back-markers came into play but I don't think it made a big difference, once Lewis had clean air I would have struggled to pass him."

Verstappen has been impressed by the competitiveness of the RB13 in races, and is hoping for a third podium finish in a row at the United States Grand Prix on 22 October, a race that will be shown live on eir Sport 1 [start time 8pm].

“In the race it seems we are always more competitive than qualifying, so I'm looking ahead to Austin and hoping we can carry this form on and get another podium," he continued.

"Two podiums in two weeks means I leave Asia extremely satisfied and excited to get back in the car in the US and try and extend this streak."

The United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas will be shown live over the weekend of 20-22 October on eir Sport in Ireland. The race is live on eir Sport 1 on Sunday, 22 October [race time 8pm]

Photo Getty Images/Mark Thompson

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