Five times Max Verstappen has come from outside the top 10 to finish on the podium

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Two-time World Champion Max Verstappen has made a habit of pulling off some spectacular comeback drives during his time at Red Bull Racing.

As well as incredible performances such as Brazil 2016 and Hungary 2022 when he was well down the field at either the start or during the race, the Dutchman secured a fifth podium in his career last Sunday after starting outside the top 10.

Let’s take look at those memorable surges through the pack.

1. China 2017 — P16 to P3

Verstappen got knocked out in Q1 due to a misfiring engine.

Starting P16 in slippery conditions with everyone on inters, the Dutchman carved his way through the field on the first lap like he was playing a video game, moving up a sensational nine places to be 7th at the end of it.

A Safety Car intervention for a big crash involving Antonio Giovinazzi moved him up to P4 as Red Bull pitted him for dry tyres at the right time.

The Dutchman made light work of Räikkönen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo on the restart to find himself in P2 by lap 11.

Although he would ultimately lose out to Vettel in the rapid Ferrari halfway through, he fended off a charging Ricciardo in the closing stages to take a brilliant podium finish.

2. United States 2018 — P18 to P2

A damaged wishbone in Q1 after hitting a sausage kerb saw Verstappen down towards the back of the grid for the second consecutive year at Circuit of the Americas.

He avoided the carnage of lap one to vault up from P18 to P9 at the end of the first tour. Overtakes on the Renaults and Force Indias, plus the retirement of Daniel Ricciardo, saw the Dutchman in P4 only nine laps in.

An aggressive strategy by Red Bull allowed him to undercut both Mercedes cars and ended up in P2. On much older tyres, he heroically held off Lewis Hamilton to claim a sensational podium finish, just over a second behind race winner Kimi Räikkönen.

3. Russia 2021 — P20 to P3

Grid penalties for component changes and a collision with Hamilton at the previous event in Monza put Verstappen right at the back of the field for the race in Sochi.

Although he made decent progress in the dry and was P7 in the closing stages, he looked set to lose twelve or even nineteen points to title rival Lewis Hamilton.

But rain intervened in the final five laps and the driver + team called the timing of the switch to inters perfectly. He leapfrogged Norris, Sainz, Ricciardo, Perez and Alonso to cross the line in P2, one place behind his championship rival.

Ultimately it proved to be a huge moment in 2021 as Verstappen went on to win his first title three months later.

4. Belgium 2022 — P14 to P1

Penalties for component changes left Verstappen down the grid for last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. The World Champion had already signalled he would be a big threat for race victory as he set the quickest time in qualifying by 0.632s.

After surviving the chaos around him on the first lap, he remorselessly worked his way up to the podium spots by lap 8.

Overtakes on Pérez and Sainz on laps 12 and 18 respectively put him into the lead of the race, and Verstappen went on to take victory by almost 18 seconds, setting fastest lap in the process.

It was quite possibly his most dominant performance in F1.

5. Saudi Arabia 2023 — P15 to P2

A driveshaft problem in the second part of qualifying ended Verstappen’s day early and was eliminated. Instead of taking what looked like a certain pole, he was back on row eight.

He overtook seven cars + benefitted from Piastri’s front wing change to be P7 by lap 14.

That became P4 when the two Ferraris and Stroll boxed. A Safety Car period allowed him to keep that position thanks to stopping during its deployment.

Verstappen would overtake Russell and Alonso quite easily to take 2nd position by lap 24.

Unlike Spa last year, he didn’t have a massive pace advantage over his teammate and had to settle for P2. However, he did take the fastest lap point on the final tour of the Grand Prix last Sunday to maintain his championship lead.

Photos: Red Bull Content Pool