Max Verstappen told to apologise

Max Verstappen comfortably took victory at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

Max Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase asked the Dutchman to apologise to his car after claiming pole position on Saturday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, something the 26-year-old failed to do.

Verstappen wasn’t expected to claim pole position on Saturday, after he struggled for outright pace throughout free practice.

At one point during Free Practice 3, he reportedly called his car a “****box”, something Lambiase wanted the driver to apologise for after he secured pole.

“I reckon you owe this ****box an apology,” Lambiase joked to Verstappen.

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Verstappen replied: “Sometimes you can make it better you know. I think that’s what we did so well done. Great job.”

Pole position at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday clearly came as a surprise to Red Bull, as advisor Dr Helmut Marko bet team principal Christian Horner €500 that Verstappen wouldn’t qualify on the front row.

Horner informed the reigning World Champion of his bet with Marko after Verstappen secured pole, something the driver found comical.

Whilst Verstappen did claim pole, he really was struggling during practice, with Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz having discussed after qualifying what the whole “****show” conversation was about.

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“Did Max Verstappen finish FP3 and call the all-conquering Red Bull RB19, a you know what box?” Kravitz asked after qualifying whilst hosting Ted’s Notebook on Sky Sports F1.

“He must have done, because then that was why GP, his engineer, his long-suffering engineer, said to him ‘right Max, I think you owe this car an apology, not such a bleep box now is it?’” Kravitz told viewers.

On Sunday, Verstappen and the RB19 were as dominant as ever, with the unbeatable driver having secured victory for the 19th time this year.

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His win ensured that he’s claimed P1 in 86.4% of the races this year, smashing the previous record of 75% which was held by Alberto Ascari.

Verstappen ended up winning with ease after fending off Charles Leclerc in the opening laps, who was eager to try and get past the Red Bull driver to help Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.

Leclerc ended up finishing second, whilst it was Mercedes who clinched P2 in the standings.