Max Verstappen pleased with recovery after playing 'catch-up'

Hamilton takes Championship lead in Italy (1:31)

Jennie Gow discusses Lewis Hamilton's dominant performance at Monza but questions whether he can hold on to the top spot in the driver's championship. (1:31)

Max Verstappen says he can leave Monza feeling satisfied with his performance, even though he had to play "catch-up" in the Italian Grand Prix.

Both Red Bull drivers started on the back-foot in Sunday's race after hefty engine penalties were applied. While Daniel Ricciardo was able to recover from 16th to finish fourth, Verstappen was forced to settle with 10th after suffering an early puncture.

The Dutchman had climbed five places to sit eighth by the third lap, when he came together with Felipe Massa's Williams on the exit of the first chicane. Having made an unscheduled early stop, Verstappen fell a lap down at the rear of the field but was still able to salvage a point.

"I had a good start, immediately I was between the Sauber cars and then under braking I chose quite a good line, then out of turn two I got another position and it was all looking good," he explained.

"On lap three I had a touch with Massa and punctured my tyre so my race was really over. We were always playing catch-up. Daniel finished fourth, so I think the car was working really well, so we cannot complain about that. I was really happy even though I was playing catch-up."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reckons Verstappen would have made the podium had he not picked up a puncture in the clash with Massa.

"Daniel had a poor start, Max had a good start, and was just behind Raikkonen, so had he made that pass and escaped cleanly with Massa he certainly would have been on the podium," Horner said. "It was a racing incident, it was unlucky, he was fighting for position and they touched and he came off worse. But starting race from 13th on the grid in RB13 it almost was not looking too good for him going in, if you believe in that kind of stuff!"

When asked if he felt Verstappen could learn a bit of patience from Ricciardo -- who avoided drama during his own charge through the order -- Horner replied: "Max was racing hard with Felipe. They made contact and he was unlucky that he picked up a puncture as a result of that -- which effectively destroyed his race. It is difficult because it is a racer's instinct to make as much progress as possible."