Verstappen not disappointed by penalty despite strong practice pace

Verstappen during Russian GP practice

Max Verstappen isn't disappointed to be taking a penalty for this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, despite showing strong practice pace on Friday.

The Red Bull driver was fastest of all in the second session, beating Ferrari's Charles Leclerc by three-tenths, whilst the nearest Mercedes was Valtteri Bottas, more than six-tenths adrift.

Verstappen will however start five places lower than he qualifies after Honda replaced his internal combustion engine with a new Spec 4 unit, which the Dutchman described as "more powerful".

Despite the grid drop, Verstappen remains upbeat for the weekend: "Today has been positive so hopefully the same tomorrow," he said.

"The car is working very well. The last sector has been very good, but even the first one, you have the long straight. Turn 3 is flat out and basically also a straight and we are still competitive. So it was a positive day. We tried quite a few things with the car and it seems to work."

Asked if the penalty is a disappointment, he replied: "No not at all. I think if you are quick you can still pass people but it’s always difficult to judge when to take a penalty.

"If I would have thought that Singapore would be that difficult you might have taken it there, it’s just a question mark as to what went wrong there. So far so good, it’s only five places so it’s not that bad."