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Verstappen told to slow down amid Red Bull fears

Verstappen told to slow down amid Red Bull fears

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Verstappen told to slow down amid Red Bull fears

Verstappen told to slow down amid Red Bull fears

Max Verstappen was told to slow down by Red Bull at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Red Bull feared that he could suffer the same mechanical failure that ended Pierre Gasly's race. Verstappen had to settle for fourth for the third race in succession, behind Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen had never finished in the top eight in Baku previously and looked as though his luck may be out again when he was jumped by Sergio Perez off the line.

Although the Racing Point was soon repassed, the top three proved too much for the Dutchman, who had a speedy late charge halted after Gasly had to pull over with a driveshaft failure.

"We struggled a little bit to get the warm-up going again, but after the failure that we'd seen with Pierre we didn't want to take too much risk," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained.

"It was a driveshaft failure and we don't know why, so having seen that we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks with Max. His third P4 in a row, it's always frustrating when you're the first place off the podium, but I thought he had a strong race today."

The VSC caused by Gasly's retirement also hampered Verstappen's chase of Vettel, which Horner believes might have gone the Dutchman's way.

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"Our pace compared to Ferrari and Mercedes was strong today," Horner said. "I think we actually probably had a quicker car than Ferrari.

"When you look at Pierre, in particular, despite on paper having a horrible weekend where he's been excluded three times and a DNF, actually his pace has been strong.

"If you look at his pace versus Leclerc, in the second half of the stint he was stronger throughout."

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