Marko Describes 'Critical Moment' That Almost Destroyed Verstappen's Race

Thursday, 25 April 2024 at 10:48
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Helmut Marko described a few of Max Verstappen's moments before the end of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix that raised the heart rate on Red Bull's pit wall.
The Chinese Grand Prix was ultimately one of Verstappen's most dominant weekends this season. The Dutchman also confirmed this when speaking to the media after the race.
He destroyed all the competition both during the sprint race and the Grand Prix. Impressively, on not a single lap (throughout the whole Grand Prix) was the 26-year-old slower than any of the three drivers that finished behind him, according to Karun Chandhok.
The triple World Champion's performance was impressive, and he deserved the win. However, he had a big scare before the end of the race when he drove over some debris on the track.
As the Red Bull Racing driver explained, it's much easier to get a puncture when tires are worn out. If he had to stop in the pit lane to change tires right before the end, he could have lost both P1 and P2.
Writing in his column for, Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko described it as a "critical moment':

"In China, shortly before the checkered flag, there was a critical moment for Max when he drove over debris at 300 km/h. Carbon can shatter and, in the worst case, instantly puncture a tire."

"We didn't know how much debris was there or to what extent Max was affected since he was the first to reach that spot. It's always a concern."

Fortunately for the Dutchman and his team, there was no puncture in the end, and the 26-year-old could continue on his way towards the chequered flag without any problems.
It was clear the triple World Champion was enjoying the race. He felt so comfortable that he even tried to drift on the final lap, which Marko suggested yet again raised heart rates on the pit wall.

"Then he also had a drift in his last lap, which again raised our heart rate."