Max Verstappen irritated after finishing behind Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez
Max Verstappen could not hide his frustration after coming home second behind team-mate Sergio Perez at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion, after a drive shaft failure scuppered his qualifying on Saturday, started 15th on the grid but stormed through the field to finish on the podium.
It was another one-two finish for Red Bull – following up an identical result in Bahrain – but Verstappen was unhappy, insisting he is “not here to finish second.”
The Dutchman does lead the World Championship however after securing a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race on his final lap.
"It’s not only about the pace of the car, we need to make sure we are reliable without any issues,” he told reporters after the race in Jeddah.
“My first weekend was not very clean because of just the big balance shift from testing to the race weekend, some other things which were going on in the background.
"Now again, after three positive practice sessions, I have an issue in qualifying. Of course, I recovered to second which is good. In general the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy – but personally I’m not happy because I’m not here to be second.
"Especially when you are working very hard back at the factory, to make sure you arrive here in a good state, and making sure everything is spot on. Then you have to do the recovery race.
"I don’t mind doing it, but when you are fighting for a championship, when it looks like it’s just between two cars, you have to make sure those two cars are reliable.
“We have to do better, absolutely. Just to have a cleaner weekend, I think that would be nice."
Verstappen will next be in action at Albert Park in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix (31 March-2 April) – a race he is yet to win and retired from last year.
Regarding his race in Saudi, he added: “The pace was good. The safety car helped me a bit to get back in the race.
“But even with that, in the restart, you just lose too much time to Checo. So once I got into P2, it was quite a decent gap, let’s say, on a track where there’s not a lot of [tyre degradation]."