Following his highly impressive qualifying performance which saw him line up fifth on Sunday's grid, the young Dutchman expected a steady race into the points until a lousy second pitstop by his crew put him behind his team-mate Carlos Sainz on the track.
Verstappen hounded the latter in the second part of the afternoon but without finding an opening.
The pair soon stumbled upon a defensive Jolyon Palmer, at which point Verstappen resorted to some unequivocal radio messages to his pitwall, repeatedly urging team strategists to order Sainz to let him through.
But it all started with a botched pitstop by Toro Rosso.
"It was a miscommunication between us, bad luck," said Verstappen. "I think the whole race, before that [botched pitstop] I was much faster and I was pulling away. Then we got stuck behind Sainz and no chance to get past."
In the end, perhaps Verstappen's nerves got the better of him when some late braking at Turn 15 resulted in the junior bull hitting his team mate, and spinning!
Still, the young charger closed a six-second gap to Sainz in the closing stages of the race as the duo rounded out the top-10 finishers.
"It was very frustrating and disappointing, hopefully we try to do better next race. There was definitely more in it than P10."