Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner praises Max Verstappen for his performance at the Italian Grand Prix, despite being given a penalty for his collision with Valtteri Bottas, demoting him to fifth place.
Red Bull leave Monza with Verstappen crossing the line in third place, but after hitting Bottas off at Turn 1, the stewards handed him a five-second penalty, which pushed him down to fifth place as Sebastian Vettel was able to close up to the two drivers at the end of the race.
Despite the penalty, Horner says that Verstappen done a good job in the race to secure some points for the team.
“After a strong start Max was able to pass Valtteri Bottas into the chicane, then avoid the incident at Turn 2 and complete the first lap in P3,”
“He was then able to consolidate that position and keep Valtteri behind throughout the first stint. We pitted once we found a window and changed to the soft tyre and Max’s pace was strong enough to maintain track position to Valtteri who was always going to have the advantage at the end of the race with the fresher tyre.
“Whilst defending from the Mercedes into Turn 1 the stewards unfortunately judged that he didn’t quite leave enough space resulting in a five-second penalty dropping him from a finish position of P3 to P5. Nonetheless, Max has driven the wheels off the car all afternoon and done a good job.”
Daniel Ricciardo‘s weekend was compromised by taking a new Renault engine, resulting to multiple engine penalties, sending him to the back of the grid.
Ricciardo’s drive in the race looked promising as he clawed his way through the field easily, but his race was cut short due to an exhaust failure. Red Bull have not had two cars reach to the end of the race since the French Grand Prix.
“Daniel made up places early in the race and was making good ground but unfortunately we had an issue causing us to retire the car with a lot of smoke coming out of the air intake,” Horner added.
“We are still not entirely sure on the cause but it is a suspected clutch issue.”