Max Verstappen was unable to overtake Lewis Hamilton to boost his chances of winning the Monaco Grand Prix but was certain he could not have done more.
Hamilton somehow negotiated 67 laps on the medium tyre as Verstappen, driving with the hard compound, stayed hot on his heels throughout a tense race in the principality.
The Dutchman received a five-second time penalty for making contact with Valtteri Bottas in the pits and was consequently demoted to fourth despite following Hamilton to the chequered flag.
Verstappen also touched five-time champion Hamilton at the chicane when he attempted to dive down the inside with three laps remaining – an incident that went unpunished – and was confident he did all he could.
"It is of course a shame to have a penalty, but I gave it my all to try to get by Lewis," said Verstappen.
"I knew he was on softer tyres and was taking it very easy once we did the stops, so I started to push him and he had to then increase his pace.
"At one point he went through his tyres, so I could really start to attack him. But out of the tunnel you can't really get close enough out of the corner to have a good go at it.
"I just tried to put the pressure on. The whole race, following that closely in the dirty air through the high-speed corners is not easy around here.
"I had a fun race, I'd have liked to have finished on the podium but if we look at the pace we were strong."
Verstappen's penalty meant Sebastian Vettel and Bottas, who had to pit after the collision with the Red Bull driver due to a puncture and rim damage, were promoted to second and third respectively.
It was the first time this season Mercedes failed to seal a one-two and Bottas was frustrated with how things panned out for him.
"It's obviously a disappointing weekend for me, I think the speed was there and I was feeling good in the car," said Bottas.
"It was small margins yesterday and that made today difficult. We had to stop at the same time with Lewis so we lost a bit of time in the pit stop, so Max got me in the pit lane and left me with no room.
"I got a puncture from that and then I was stuck behind, it was a bit of a Sunday drive in the end."
17 de junio 2019
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