Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said second place at the Portuguese Grand Prix was the most he could have achieved.
The Dutchman lost pole position after his best lap was canceled for going over the limits of the track.
And in the race, he made a little mistake just before he was passed eventual winner Lewis Hamilton.
He said on Twitter: “Looking back, I have to say that finishing P2 after a few tough days was absolutely the maximum for us. “
The 23-year-old traps seven-time champion Hamilton by eight points after three races, with the Briton having two wins over his rival.
Verstappen missed the fastest lap point at the end of the race after running widely again and suppressing his lap time on the last lap of the race.
He also lost victory to Bahrain in the season opener after passing Hamilton over track limits and had to surrender the place.
Hamilton, meanwhile, was lucky with the timing of a red flag in the second race at Imola, who came at the perfect moment just after losing a lap by going off the track and breaking his front wing. .
He recovered from ninth place to finish second.
Verstappen added in his message Tuesday: “This season is going to be long and we will take it one weekend at a time. And above all: we will continue to fight until the end. “
He was never happy with his Red Bull in Portugal, saying after the race that “it was a bit of a weird weekend in terms of grip” and insisting that he “had tried everything”.
He added: “It is clear that we still have to improve and do better because we should be the fastest on every track and in all conditions – because the track is the same for everyone. “
Red Bull reckons that while their one-lap pace was good in Portimao, Mercedes had a slightly faster car on race day. Like Mercedes, they expect the advantage to fluctuate from track to track throughout the season.
Team manager Christian Horner was then asked if they could have won if Verstappen had started on pole.
Horner replied, “You never know. Max had a great pace in the dirty air. We were a little short of straight line speed. It definitely seemed easier for a Mercedes to pass us than for us to pass a Mercedes.
“It’s just incredibly tight and it’s about marginal gains. But for the track limits that we didn’t see anyone else get the penalty that Max inflicted, he would have completed this lap. “
Horner said breaking the limits of the track was “brutal for us through all three events.”
He added: “We are still in the early stages of this championship. [Mercedes] are a fantastic team and you don’t win seven titles by mistake. We have to be in top form in all areas to beat a team like this. ”