On the mid-race restart following a crimson flag, Verstappen once more made a swift getaway to safe his lead, which he would construct as much as 12 seconds over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
For the dominant Pink Bull squad, which has received all however one of many 19 races to this point, race begins had been one of many few minor chinks in its armour.
However that now additionally seems ironed out, with Verstappen praising the work performed by his crew to tidy up its procedures.
“I believe it is simply doing our procedures a bit higher, understanding the tyre grip – it is clutch settings. We simply have been in all probability a bit extra sharp on that,” Verstappen defined.
“At first of the yr, we had a little bit of a difficulty, however then we fastened the difficulty. However then I believe we nonetheless did not do the correct factor with tyre temperatures [and] clutch settings.
“It is all very delicate. In the event you’re simply subsequent to it, you may need an excessive amount of wheelspin or not sufficient engagement. It’s extremely troublesome to get proper and I believe in the present day particularly it was superb.”
Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB19
Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez additionally made a terrific begin from fifth, difficult Leclerc and Verstappen into Flip 1. However his race ended after contact with Leclerc as the house hero, spurred on by the Mexican plenty, tried an overambitious swoop to assert the lead.
“Begins haven’t in all probability been our strongest asset this yr, however actually the three begins we had right here have been all rocketships,” commented crew boss Christian Horner.
“On at the present time in historical past, with the circumstances, the tarmac, the altitude and every thing, the blokes obtained it good.”
Horner felt Verstappen was bailed out by Ferrari on the crimson flag restart because the Scuderia put second-starting Leclerc on the arduous tyres quite than difficult him with a softer compound.
“That crimson flag was the worst potential time once you’re in the course of a two-stop. It neutralises the race and we’d solely obtained a tough set of tyres,” he defined.
“After [Leclerc’s] lengthy first stint, I used to be satisfied they have been going to take a set of mediums, as a result of it’s value about 5 metres off the startline.
“So, I used to be very shocked that they went with the arduous tyre.”