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Max Verstappen issues warning after dominant Azerbaijan victory

Max Verstappen issues warning after dominant Azerbaijan victory

F1 News

Max Verstappen issues warning after dominant Azerbaijan victory

Max Verstappen issues warning after dominant Azerbaijan victory
Ian Parkes

Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull 'not to get ahead of themselves" following his fifth victory in eight races this F1 season to take control of the drivers' championship.

Red Bull took full advantage of Ferrari's latest reliability misfortune to score a one-two around the streets of the Baku City Circuit as the Scuderia suffered a double DNF.

Verstappen's 25th career victory means he now holds a 21-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez, who had to settle for second following a bizarre drop-off in pace a quarter of the way through the 51-lap race that allowed the Dutchman to pass.

In taking a maximum 44-point haul, with Perez picking up the point for fastest lap, Red Bull now has a commanding 80-point advantage over Ferrari as Carlos Sainz retired with a hydraulics problem and Charles Leclerc suffered a second power unit failure in three races. This weekend they bid to further strengthen their title bid at the Canadian Grand Prix.

"The pace was very strong, and from the very start, I was always within the DRS of Charles but just not enough extra top speed to have a go. The last two corners were always very difficult to follow," said Verstappen, who had tracked Leclerc after Perez had jumped the Monégasque at the start.

"But once they chose to box for the VSC [after Sainz's retirement] and we continued, I had good pace, I made the move on Checo and basically took off.

"I pitted for the hard tyre and it would have been interesting to see how much faster we would have been compared to Ferrari but we never got to that, of course. From that point, it was all about managing the tyres."

Verstappen - Red Bull has learned early lessons

Despite niggly issues for Red Bull of late, it has at least avoided the reliability woes that are now plaguing Ferrari.

As to how the team has turned the situation around, Verstappen added: "It's about scoring points.

"If you have a crash or reliability issues, it can be zero points and you don't want that. You need to be on top of everything.

"At the beginning of the year, we were not but we have learned from it but it's never good enough. You always have to stay on top of it because it's a very long season."

Verstappen, though, is wary of getting too carried away, stating: "The mood in the team is good, and while we can enjoy this, we can't get ahead of ourselves."

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