BARCELONA, Spain — Max Verstappen hopes his Spanish Grand Prix podium can trigger a run of strong form.

Verstappen has had a difficult start to 2018, a season which so far has been littered with mistakes, criticism and collisions with other drivers. He did not avoid the latter in Spain, as he hit the Williams of Lance Stroll in the closing stages, but managed to stay ahead of Sebastian Vettel to come home in third position.

The Dutchman is confident the result can be the start of a good run.

“It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race so yeah, hopefully we can work from here and score a lot of good results.”

When asked how bad the damage had been to his wing, he said: “Initially I thought so but then I kept going and I felt a bit more understeer in turns 3 and 9. May be braking a bit deeper into the hairpins. But it was not too bad to be honest, I just had some tools and all good. I don’t think it affected me too much.”

Earlier in the race, teammate Daniel Ricciardo had asked Red Bull to move Verstappen out of the way as he felt he was faster. Although on the outside it appeared Verstappen was blocking the progress of his teammate, he pointed out that he had been stuck behind the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen on one of the hardest circuits to overtake on.

“I was just controlling my pace. I was stuck behind Kimi so I can’t drive over!

“I was just driving to what I think was best for the tyres and you could see it all the time. At the end of the stints, I was very quick. I guess if you’re behind and you see that the guy ahead is stuck, and you’re catching up, you’re just like ‘Oh, guys, I’m faster!’ I mean I would’ve probably said exactly the same thing.”