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Red flags and flames of Grosjean smash 'scared' Verstappen

Red flags and flames of Grosjean smash 'scared' Verstappen

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Red flags and flames of Grosjean smash 'scared' Verstappen

Red flags and flames of Grosjean smash 'scared' Verstappen

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen conceded seeing flames in his mirrors 'scared' him and the red flags made him fear for the safety of Romain Grosjean.

Haas reported Grosjean had suffered minor burns and a potential broken rib after his car split in two and erupted into flame in a shocking lap one crash.

Recalling his feeling at the time of the incident, Verstappen said: "It was scary because we saw a red flag. It doesn't mean it is immediately a bad thing but I saw a lot of fire so I thought that it wasn't a good thing. Luckily, he is okay and hope he can recover quickly."

Verstappen ended the race second to Lewis Hamilton and, with Valtteri Bottas finishing only eighth after a troubled race, closed the gap to the Finn in the drivers' championship to just 12 points.

Although he remained within five-seconds of Hamilton throughout the race before a late pit-stop, Verstappen insisted there was no more that could have been done to overhaul the world champion.

"We were just lacking a bit," he added. "I tried to keep it close but they always had an answer and besides that, we weren't aggressive enough with the strategy and we had slow pit-stops. It is what it is. Second is not bad."

On whether the car will be competitive on the outer circuit next week, Verstappen said: "Not with the amount of extra straight which is coming in but we will see.

"The car seems to work quite well around here so hopefully we can find a little more pace around the corners that are left on the other track and then we will see then."

Team-mate Alex Albon secured his second podium in Formula 1 after capitalising on Sergio Perez's power unit failure with just three laps remaining.

Although the British-Thai driver was 27-seconds adrift of Verstappen prior to the race-ending safety car, Albon took solace in the progress made and his resolve in bouncing back from an accident in free practice two.

"There was obviously a bit of luck involved with Sergio," he explained. "He had a really good race.

"But considering Friday, the guys did an amazing job to get the car ready. It was good. A double-podium for us and I am happy. I have felt like the last few races have just been getting better and better, results just haven't been showing. It is a step forward again."

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