Verstappen 'very happy' after splitting the Mercs in Sochi

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Max Verstappen was "very happy" to be back on the podium and between the two Mercedes' at the Russian Grand Prix.

In a largely lonely race, the Dutchman avoided being passed by the Renaults in the first four corners and capitalised on Lewis Hamilton's 10-second penalty to sit P2, but couldn't challenge eventual race winner Valtteri Bottas.

The key moment in that particular battle came right at the start, as the Finn got the jump on Max at the start.

"[I had] very low grip on the inside, that cost us a bit," he said post-race.

"After the restart, we were a little bit slower on the medium, I was having a little bit of problem with the balance, but once we went onto that hard tyre we were a little bit more competitive."

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Ultimately, second place was the best Verstappen could hope for and there was some relief not to see a repeat of the Honda engine issues from the past two GP's.

"To be able to split the Mercedes cars again, we have to be happy with that," he added. "I just tried to do my own race. I'm very happy with second, especially after two DNFs."