Helmut Marko has revealed he bet Gianpiero Lambiase Max Verstappen would be leading the Mexico City Grand Prix from third on the grid into Turn 1.
After being out-qualified by both Ferraris, Verstappen had a superior launch and cut between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to grab the inside line for the Turn 1 braking zone after the 811m charge.
Verstappen had issues with starts earlier in the season, and worked with his team including race engineer Lambiase to eradicate the weakness - but despite this, Marko was still confident the three-time World Champion would be leading after Turn 1 - where Leclerc collided with Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez.
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Marko's Lambiase Verstappen bet
"I bet with Gianpiero that Max would be first into the first corner, and I won!" Marko told De Telegraaf.
"His start was a masterpiece, and thanks to it, he was immediately able to set his own pace and control the race as usual.
"Without the red flag, I think our dominance would have been even greater."
When Verstappen was presented with Marko's comments, the 51-time Grand Prix winner explained how he had been working to become 'sharper' on starts after an issue earlier in the season.
"It's just doing our procedures a bit better, understanding the tyre grip, and the clutch settings," he told media including RacingNews365.
"I think we just have been probably a bit more sharp on that, at the beginning of the year, we had a bit of an issue but then we fixed the issue but then we still didn't do the right thing with tyre temperature and clutch setting.
"It's all very sensitive, if you [don't get it right] you might have too much wheelspin or not enough engagement [of the clutch].
"It's very difficult to get right and [but for the start in Mexico] especially it was very good."