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Marko revels in Verstappen's 'very easy' Imola win

Max Verstappen took maximum points from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend after a "nerve-wracking" race for Red Bull.

Helmut Marko says the perfect weekend came easy to Max Verstappen at Imola, even if the race proved nerve-wracking for his team on the pit wall. Verstappen leaves Italy having taken 34 points from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend and significantly closed the gap to title rival Charles Leclerc. His success will taste sweeter given the nature of a weekend that saw rain showers threaten to play havoc. "It was an optimal weekend; the optimal number of points," Marko has told ServusTV , as Red Bull celebrated their first 1-2 since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix. "The race itself was nerve-wracking for us. It didn't want to end. But I think you saw with Max that he wasn't stressed at all – it was very easy for him."

Marko celebrates as Red Bull's gamble pays off

Red Bull demonstrated sublime top-end speed at Imola, with Sergio Perez able to hold Leclerc behind him, even when the Ferrari had a DRS advantage. The team took the gamble to run upgrades on race week four, despite only having only one hour of practice before Friday afternoon's qualifying session. It was effectively a double evolution for the team, as the RB18 arrived lighter and armed with various aerodynamic tweaks. "It paid off that we had the courage to bring the upgrades despite only one practice session," Marko explained. "That's why our aero boss was up on the podium. We have that to be thankful for the fact that both upgrades worked so well."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout