Max Verstappen is satisfied with his second place in the Grand Prix of Russia.

For the fifth time this year, he managed to keep at least one Mercedes car behind him.

"I was able to split the Mercedes again. We can be satisfied with that," said Verstappen in an initial reaction after the race on Sunday.

The Limburger benefited in Sochi from a time penalty that pole sitter Lewis Hamilton received for two errors at test starts before the race.

Verstappen had to allow the later winner Valtteri Bottas to pass him at the start.

Verstappen gave Red Bull the first podium place ever in Russia.

The previous six races in Russia were also won by Mercedes.

"This is really a Mercedes circuit, they have always been dominant here. Then it is quite good to finish here within eight seconds of the winner", Verstappen told

Ziggo Sport

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Verstappen drives over the run-off lane in the first lap.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

Verstappen has to enter the run-off lane in the first round

At the start, second place seemed a long way off for Verstappen, as he was passed by Bottas and Ricciardo and ended up in fourth place.

Then he chose to drive over an exit lane in the crowds.

"I had little grip on the inside of the track and it was very interesting in the first corners", said Verstappen.

"Fortunately I was able to cross the run-off lane afterwards."

Verstappen could never jeopardize Bottas' victory.

"In the first stint on the medium tire we were a bit too slow and upset, after the pit stop I was a bit more competitive on the hard tires. We can be happy with that," he concluded.

With 128 points, Verstappen is still well behind Hamilton (205) and Bottas (161).

Seven more races are scheduled for this season.