Red Bull driver Max Verstappen believes "nothing is lost" despite carrying a three-place grid penalty into this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was deemed "predominantly to blame" for the Italian GP crash with Lewis Hamilton at Monza that resulted in his RB16B landing on top of the seven-time champion's W12.
It means the Dutch driver faces the penalty handicap at a circuit where Mercedes has won all seven races since the Sochi Autodrom made its debut on the F1 calendar in 2014.
Assessing the potential impact of his penalty on the title fight with Hamilton, the 23-year-old said: "The penalty is, of course, not ideal but nothing is lost, that’s how I look at it.
"As for the drivers’ championship, we still have a lot of races ahead of us and it’s a very tiny margin. We will try and make the most from the weekend and work with the package we have."
As to his feelings on the incident with Hamilton following a period of reflection, Verstappen brushed that aside.
"I think you can reflect all you like but it’s important to look forward and keep pushing," added 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."
Verstappen confident of competitive Red Bull
Verstappen heads into the race knowing that for the first time last year he clinched a podium, managing to split the Mercedes duo behind race-winner Valtteri Bottas and ahead of Hamilton who had started on pole.
As to his prospects on this occasion, Verstappen said: "It was great to finish second there last year in Sochi especially as it has never been a good track for us as a team.
"We have been more competitive this year and we have a better package at the moment so it will be interesting to see how competitive we can be there this year.
"It will be, of course, completely different to Monza and it looks like there might be some rain this weekend.
"The track itself and the layout is completely different to the previous races so I’m definitely looking forward to going back there and seeing what we can do."
What do you think?
"Nothing is lost" Spoken like a guy who knows that a PLACE penalty for the championship leader is less than a slap on the wrist. If the FIA actually wanted to punish him, they would have implemented a point or time penalty. They just needed someone to take the fall, because the optics of the crash looked bad, and dishing out no punishments would've made them look soft.
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