Red Bull target Monaco as Verstappen enjoys Barcelona podium

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Red Bull have eyes on a big result in Monaco after a strong podium for Max Verstappen in Spain.

The Dutchman capitalised on a slow Sebastian Vettel in Turn 3 on the opening to sweep into the podium places, though was quite fortunate as a Safety Car period saw Charles Leclerc switch to a two-stop strategy.

It was the move on the opening lap which opened the door to his second top-three finish of 2019, however, and Max would reveal how it played out.

"I had a good start, but it was a bit hectic in the first corner," he said post-race.

"When I saw Vettel and both Mercedes go together into Turn 1, I backed off, which positioned me well for Turn 3.

"That made me come back from P5 to P3 which was good, as it set me up for the race. After which I could drive my own pace."

Verstappen would at least Valtteri Bottas relatively within his sights for much of the race, though even the 21-year-old admits Mercedes were superior.

"The Mercedes were quick, I think they were trying at the end as hard as they could but of course I was also pushing flat out.

"We were competitive, the speed was good and I am happy to be on the podium."

It was a result that puts Verstappen back into third place in the Drivers' standings by two points over Vettel with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hopeful of better to come.

"Max drove a great race today, great performance," he told Sky Sports.

"First all, to beat Ferrari here when they were so strong in pre-season nine or 10 weeks ago is just a great result for the team.

"If you look at Verstappen's performance since Monaco last year, he's been phenomenal, driving with a great deal of maturity, he's enjoying that and it's really lifted his game.

"For Monaco, we've always run well there and Max is due a bit of redemption there so hopefully we can give them [Ferrari, Mercedes] a hard time there."