Why Max Verstappen’s overheating issue was actually a ‘positive’ for Red Bull

Michelle Foster
The Red Bull team in the traditional photograph with the Monza trophies.

Red Bull celebrate Max Verstappen's record-breaking 10.

Helmut Marko has joked Max Verstappen’s late-race issue at the Italian Grand Prix took the worry out of the World Champion risking the win for the fastest lap point.

Taking the lead off Carlos Sainz through the Della Roggia chicane on Lap 15 of the Monza race, Verstappen built up an advantage of roughly 12 seconds with just a handful of laps left.

When he crossed the line, though, he was only six seconds ahead of Sergio Perez, while surprisingly there’d also been no radio messages of him haggling with Red Bull to go for the fastest lap point.

Helmut Marko finds a ‘positive’ in Max Verstappen’s overheating issues

Verstappen revealed that’s because he had an issue with his RB19 and had to “really drastically slow down to make it to the end”.

His team boss Christian Horner elaborated on the problem, saying they were “managing some temperature issues” and “didn’t want to take any risks on a stinking hot day”.

Verstappen held on to take the victory ahead of his teammate Perez, the win marking the Dutchman’s record-breaking 10th on the trot.

With that in the bag, it was all smiles at Red Bull with Marko even joking about the reigning World Champion’s overheating concerns.

“That had to do with rising temperatures that we had to keep under control,” he told Motorsport.com. “We had to keep them within a certain window.

“Moreover, he was twelve seconds ahead, so there was also no reason to take any risks.”

He added with a laugh: “On the other hand, this was also positive to get the idea of a possible fastest race lap out of Max’s head!”

Verstappen has six of this season’s fastest lap points, adding six points to his overall tally of 364 points. His Monza win extends his advantage over Perez to 145 points in the Drivers’ Championship.

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Helmut Marko weighs in on Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 10

Verstappen’s victory at the Italian Grand Prix saw him set a new record for the most consecutive wins with the Dutchman racing to 10 on the trot, 12 for the season.

It’s an impressive achievement and one that Marko believes will mean a lot to the driver even though Verstappen often downplays F1 records.

“For Max, this series of victories really means a lot,” insisted the 80-year-old.

“For me personally, achieving the hundredth victory for Red Bull was even more important than this, but for Max as an individual this is of course very nice.”

“Maybe Max was under a little more pressure than usual. It was quite important for him to get this record himself. Now that he has achieved that, it is a bit more relaxed for the upcoming races.”

Verstappen’s 10, coupled with Red Bull’s first four, meant the team continued their romp towards a season’s whitewash with little sign of anyone stopping them from winning the final eight.

Asked about that, Marko said: “If we win in Singapore now, then we can be really optimistic about the rest of the season. It’s an incredible success story, I’ve never experienced that before.”

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