But the vehicle ahead chose to dive to the right so I had to bail out and had cars pass me on the left, so I fell back on the opening lap. He did well to finish on the podium but may have sacrificed a shot at the win when the team ordered him to stay out a lap longer than he wanted to ahead of his first stop to back Vettel into Bottas.
Having studied the telemetry data on his return to the garage, Verstappen uncovered a freaky unexpected boost of power caused him to lose control.
"We're going to sit down and discuss it and try to work on the points and improve, and I have no doubt we will".
The 20-year-old driver, who is tipped by many to be a future world champion, was annoyed that Hamilton was not handed a penalty by the stewards.
'Sometimes I feel it's all a bit blown up and artificial if we have these questions, trying to make a story out of nothing.
In this picture, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) chats with Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Belgian-Dutch driver Max Verstappen ahead of the start of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit, November 27, 2016.
He said: 'I think it's not a fair question.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff accepted the team did not do enough over the weekend, and vowed there will be an improvement for the next race in China.
Lewis Hamilton says Verstappen lacks respect after Bahrain collision
Sitting beside Vettel, who he battled in an often-fiery 2017 campaign, Hamilton did not address the journalist's remarks directly but went on to accuse Verstappen of showing a lack of "respect". Vertappen won two races last season, ending the season strongly. "I was next to him - going in to the corner, I was ahead", he claimed.
"It was a racing incident". "My thoughts are already on the world championship - I've lost two races in a row now and I am 17 points down after just two races".
Moderator: "I'll just apologise for any colourful language in Sebastian's answer there".
"I had a really good start but I didn't capitalize on it". I think maybe it was when we were talking afterwards?
In other comments to reporters, Hamilton had explained: "It was an unnecessary collision".
"I'm really happy. I started ninth so third is not bad at all". Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.
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