Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has insisted “you can’t be angry” with Max Verstappen despite the F1 championship leader ignoring warnings over track limits at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen was in full control of the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and eventually finished 26 seconds ahead of second-placed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, but the Dutchman flirted with what could have been a costly penalty.
The two-time World Champion was shown the black and white driving standards flag for exceeding track limits, meaning one further infraction would have earned a five-second time penalty.
Whilst the margin of victory would have rendered this punishment obsolete, a late-race Safety Car would have taken away a comfortable win with the pack bunching up.
Knowing this was a possibility, Race Engineer Gianpiero Lambiase delivered multiple warnings to his driver to ensure no penalty was forthcoming, though Verstappen ignored the advice and subsequently set the fastest lap of the race.
Adamant there were no issues, however, Marko told ORF: “We were less worried about that than the viewers.
“Then he also got to drive the fastest lap, while his tyres were nowhere near as good as Checo’s [when Sergio Perez set his fastest lap].
“In that position you normally don’t take risks, but you can’t dispel that thought with Max. You can’t be angry with him.”