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Monaco taught me to stay away from the wall, says Verstappen

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Formula One - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco - 28/5/16. Red Bull Racing F1 driver Max Verstappen is escorted by a doctor after his crash during the qualifying session. REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic/POOL
Formula One - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco - 28/5/16. Red Bull Racing F1 driver Max Verstappen is escorted by a doctor after his crash during the qualifying session. REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic/POOL

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Dutch teenager Max Verstappen says he has learned from his Monaco Grand Prix crash, with the first lesson being to stay away from walls and barriers.

The 18-year-old Red Bull driver, who two weeks earlier in Spain had become Formula One's youngest race winner, crashed in both Saturday's first qualifying and Sunday's race around the metal-fenced street circuit.

The first accident, when he broke his car's suspension on a kerb and hit the wall at the exit to the swimming pool complex, left him at the back of the field for a race which started behind the safety car due to wet conditions.

Verstappen battled back into the top 10 before hitting the barriers at Massenet, on the climb to Casino Square, and retiring.

"It started off quite OK but then after we had the crash in qualifying it went a bit downhill," he said in a Red Bull video interview.

"The beginning of the race was very good, we showed great pace -- sometimes the fastest lap around -- and I think it was all coming very well together...then unfortunately, when we fitted the soft tyres, I made a mistake and hit the wall."

Verstappen said the team had deserved more after rebuilding the car following the first crash.

"I learned a lot of things - of course to stay out of the wall first of all," he added.

"Now, it (the task) is just to analyse how and what went wrong and why we got into this situation. It is all part of the learning curve and getting more experience."

Verstappen made his Formula One debut with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso last year as the youngest ever driver. The Spanish Grand Prix was his first for the energy drink manufacturer's senior team after trading places with Russian Daniil Kvyat.

Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo started on pole in Monaco and finished second, his hopes of winning disappearing after the team messed up his second pitstop by not having the tyres ready.

Ricciardo had the latest specification Renault engine in Monaco that Verstappen said he would get at the next race in Canada.

"That's where we have to fight again and try to score good points or get to the podium," he said of Montreal, a race that also has a notorious wall at the exit to the final chicane.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)


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