Max Verstappen revealed he had to manage a problem with his car in the closing stages of the Italian Grand Prix.Pierre Gasly, as he caught the Alpine to put it a lap down.
“Max, could you increase the gap to Gasly, please?” said Lambiase. “Increase gap to Gasly. It’s quite an urgent request.”
He was later told to “increase that gap a little bit more,” then with three laps to go Lambiase repeated: “You can increase the gap to Gasly more if you need to.” The instruction was repeated again before the end of the race.
Verstappen had pulled out a healthy lead after passing Carlos Sainz Jnr for first place earlier in the race.
He said “everything felt good” for much of the race but he “had to nurse a little issue at the end.”
“But we had, luckily, of course, a gap behind so I could easily back off,” he added.
He said he “never would have believed that was possible” to break the 70-year-old record for most consecutive F1 race wins. “We had to work for it today and that made it definitely a lot more fun,” he added.
It took Verstappen several attempts to finally pass Sainz for the lead. “We had good pace,” he said. “I think we were good on the tyres, but they had a lot of top speed.
“It was so hard to get close and get a move on into turn one, so I had to force him into a mistake. Luckily it came at some point where he locked up and then I had better traction out of turn two and basically from there once we could again do our own race.”
“I was just trying to stay patient,” he added. “That was still a very long race. I could see they were struggling a lot with a rear tyre, so I just had to pick my moment.”
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2023 Italian Grand Prix
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