Starting from third on the grid, Verstappen quickly found himself up to second place after overtaking former Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz around the outside of Turn 1 on the opening lap.

It took only until Lap 9 for Verstappen to take the lead of the race, overtaking F1 title rival Charles Leclerc for the victory.

It was a comfortable victory for Verstappen in the end, although he had to fend off Leclerc’s charge after the Safety Car.

It wasn’t a smooth weekend up until that point with Verstappen missing the entirety of second practice due to technical gremlins.

Speaking after his third victory of the year, Verstappen stressed the importance of good reliability, particularly after he’s been forced to retire from two of the opening five races this year.

“We're still having a few issues we have to solve,” Verstappen said after the race. “I mean we are quick, but as you can see, my Friday was terrible, you know, which is not great if you want to have a good weekend.

“And also Checo had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that, but clearly there is a lot of potential, we just need to make sure it's reliable.”


Verstappen believes Red Bull’s reliability issues are too frequent if it wants to have an easier time in the championship battle against Ferrari this year.

“I mean, of course, now my side, I had a lot of issues on Friday, which compromises your weekend, and especially yesterday,” Verstappen explained. “And I mean, of course, the day everything went well with the start but it also could have been the other way around.

“And then you of course again, can say like, well, fair enough, because if you missed almost whole Friday, what can you do about it? So we just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues. I think of course, Imola, we had that, but it's still a bit of a hit and miss too much.

“So we just have to make sure that we are more reliable and more on top of things. But as you can see the car is quick. I'm very happy about that, I mean, if you would be slow and reliable, that's probably also not a good thing.”

Engine issue costs Perez potential win?

Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez secured fourth but it was a case of ‘what if’ for the Mexican.

Perez was running within a second of Carlos Sainz ahead but complained of a ‘loss of power’ on Lap 20.

The issue cost him around six seconds but Red Bull were able to find a fix, with a sensor thought to be the cause of the problem.

Once it was fixed, Perez was down on power - around 20hp according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner - thus he was unable to make the most of his medium tyres when he was the only driver in the top four to stop.

“I was in a great spot [after the Safety Car],” Perez said. “Even with the DRS I couldn’t get close to Carlos. The deficit on the straight was quite high and I was just pushing really hard to stay close to him on the corners.


“My tyres were overheating so as soon as I had a little opportunity I went for it. It was too dirty offline and after that I couldn’t get close. The deficit on the straight line was big.”

Explaining the engine issue further, Perez added: “I think it was a sensor issue. It was working well but then when we had this sensor issue we lost like seven seconds in two laps and then yeah, it was just a poor race.

“It was never the same. I was losing too much time. It was like 10kph down on the straights. we need to keep working hard because every time we finding different issues and luckily we managed to finish the race. I think at one point it was really close to be over. So yeah to get that, and to be able to finish the race is good.”