Red Bull driver Max Verstappen says he wants to “look forward and keep pushing” at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, despite being handed a three-place grid penalty (Winner – Verstappen 11/2, Lewis Hamilton 8/13F).
The stewards deemed the Dutchman “predominantly at fault” for a crash with title rival Lewis Hamilton at the tight first chicane at the recent Italian GP.
When Hamilton emerged from the pit lane, Verstappen tried to take the outside line going into the first corner but the two cars collided and Verstappen’s Red Bull vaulted on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.
The Briton said afterwards the protective halo over the car could have saved his life.
Now Verstappen will be no higher than fourth on the grid for this Sunday’s race in Sochi, even if he sets the fastest time in Saturday’s qualifying session.
However, the Dutchman, seeking his first-ever title (Drivers’ Championship – Verstappen 4/5, Hamilton EVS), is moving on from the decision to penalise him and says he is simply looking ahead to Sochi.
“I think you can reflect all you like but it’s important to look forward and keep pushing,” said Verstappen. “I still believe it was a racing incident, but we have been given a three-place grid penalty and we just have to work with it now.
“The race in Monza definitely wasn’t our day for many reasons, but now I just plan to look forward to Sochi.”
Mercedes have dominated the Russian Grand Prix since it was added to the calendar in 2014, winning all seven races.
Hamilton, who is five points behind Verstappen in the title race, has won four of them and another win would send him back to the summit of the Driver’s Championship standings.