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Helmut Marko

Marko: Verstappen 'can sleep well' after Austrian GP risk

Max Verstappen scored a maximum haul of points in Austria, aided by the fastest lap after a late pit-stop.

Helmut Marko has joked that Max Verstappen "can sleep well" after his late demand of Red Bull for Formula 1 fastest lap in the Austrian Grand Prix.

On course for a fifth straight win from nine races, Verstappen pushed his team to be allowed to pit in the closing stages in a bid to snatch fastest lap and haul a maximum 34 points.

The team allowed the request at the end of Lap 69 of 71, with Verstappen pumping in a 1:07.012 on the final tour to secure the extra point.

It now means he enjoys a 81 point advantage over Sergio Perez in the standings, with Marko in a relaxed mood post-race.

No big risk for Red Bull

"Five minutes before the end of the race, we were comfortably in the lead, but he wanted new tyres and was unstoppable," Marko explained to ORF.

"Now he can sleep well!

"We discussed it and gave permission, so there is no problem. We have a pit-crew that always does a stop in two to two-and-a-half seconds.

"The lead was big, so something extraordinary would have t have gone wrong, but we still had a good set of soft tyres, so we didn't really have to risk anything.

"[The idea] was in Max's head, and that's the way it was. We want our drivers to be happy."

The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez took third for his first podium since second in Miami, five races ago as Red Bull also cemented their place at the top of the standings, now leading Mercedes by 199 points.

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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