‘Broken’ Max Verstappen left with back pain from bumpy Imola F1 track

“My back, everything is hurting..."

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference…

Max Verstappen says Imola’s bumpy surface left him feeling “broken” following his victory at the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver held off a late charge from McLaren’s Lando Norris to return to winning ways at Imola, having been defeated by Norris last time out in Miami.

Verstappen, struggling with his hard tyres in the final stint, had to resist late pressure from a charging Norris, who finished less than a second behind the reigning world champion at the chequered flag.

While the battle with Norris was intense, Verstappen said the biggest issue he faced was the track itself.

“I'm just broken from the bumps, to be honest,” Verstappen explained.

“My back, everything is hurting. It's not so much from the physical side of things, but just it was so bumpy out there.

“Already after like 20 laps, I could really feel my back. So I'm just looking forward to laying in bed. Maybe take some painkillers. And a massage, I don't know…”

Asked if he had a specific problem in the final stint, Verstappen replied: “I just couldn't really get the tyres to work.

“It just felt like they were not operating in the right temperature window. And that just got worse and worse. So the last 15 laps for me was really like driving on ice.

“They were not responding anymore. So that's something that we have to analyse.”

Verstappen also had to ensure he made no mistakes after being pinged with a black and white flag warning for track limits.

One more excursion beyond the white lines would have resulted in a time penalty that would have ultimately cost the Dutchman the win.

“They [Red Bull] updated me, of course, with the track limits, to just be a bit more careful from that point onwards,” he said.

“But the problem was also, I guess, in the beginning, I was understeering a lot on the Medium, and that was pushing me a bit off sometimes if I missed the apex. So after that, on the Hard tyres also, just leaving a bit more margin.

“Of course, the last few laps when Lando was catching me it was a bit harder because I had to naturally really use the track as much as I could.

“But we stayed within the lines, but definitely, it does require a bit more focus, of course. Every exit, you have to be really sure what you're doing.”

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