Fifth was the best Verstappen could hope for in Brazil

Max Verstappen led home team-mate Daniel Ricciardo as Red Bull came fifth and sixth in Brazil
Max Verstappen led home team-mate Daniel Ricciardo as Red Bull came fifth and sixth in Brazil

Max Verstappen admitted fifth place was as good as he could have hoped for at Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Despite starting fourth, world champion Lewis Hamilton's charge through the field from the back meant the Dutchman would eventually finish one place down from his grid slot in an uneventful race for the Red Bull racer.

Ricciardo was the victim of a first corner crash, when Kevin Magnussen (20) squeezed Stoffel Vandoorne (2) into him on the outside.

Ricciardo was the victim of a first corner crash, when Kevin Magnussen (20) squeezed Stoffel Vandoorne (2) into him on the outside.

Despite keeping tabs on the leading trio of Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, Verstappen was never able to fully commit to an attack at the Interlagos circuit.

Team mate Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile also started from well down the order after taking an engine penalty, but mounted a recovery similar to Hamilton's after he was punted off at the second corner and dropped to the back of the field.

Ricciardo's charge was well-negotiated as he climbed up to sixth behind his team-mate, who was forced to stop late in the day with badly worn tyres.

Having won last time out in Mexico, finishing fifth and sixth wasn't the result Red Bull wanted, but given the limitations of the RB13 compared to the Ferrari and championship winning Mercedes, Verstappen said it was best he could have hoped for.

Ricciardo charged through the field to take sixth

Ricciardo charged through the field to take sixth

"“In general this is not a track that suits our car and together with the power deficit on the straights it is very hard for us. You then try and catch up on the corners, but you ask too much of the tyres and get more drop-off. Of course I hoped for more in the race but it was a difficult situation, but I think we maximised the result and that was fifth.

"I didn’t want to drive the last ten or 15 laps with difficult tyres and at the end of the day I wasn’t going to lose a position, so we decided to make a second pit stop. From there on the race was gone but I pushed for the fastest lap, I didn’t get it in Mexico, so I’m really pleased to take it here.”

Ricciardo added: "The start was not ideal. It was quite tight and I saw a space on the outside so I tried to get as much room as I could but I knew there were two cars on the inside so there was always a risk they would have contact and then come into me. I think that’s what happened but I don’t regret trying.

"The start is an opportunity to make up a big chunk of positions and as I was nearly at the back I had to try something. Fortunately the car didn’t suffer any damage. We just changed the tyres and then I could get on with the race and make some good overtakes, and it was a good race.

"Every time I was catching a car I passed it as soon as I could and there were some good fights. In the end, a comfortable sixth. It was nice to see the chequered flag and I felt I got the maximum out of it today.”