Max Verstappen has laughed off a warning he received from Red Bull Racing following the black and white flags at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix. Verstappen’s third straight win of the season, fifth win of the season and 40th of his F1 career , has extended his lead over teammate Sergio Perez by 53 points in the drivers’ standings.
The only blemish for Verstappen, who achieved his third F1 Grand Slam from pole position, fastest lap, all around the front and won a race, was that he was black and white flagged three times for breaking the track limits that was being done. Verstappen was gently cautioned by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase after the second black and white flag was shown. And after the third, under the black-and-white flag, Lambiase reminded drivers that they were 18 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton and “there is no risk”. Any further infringement will result in a 5 second penalty. But Verstappen had other ideas. On the 61st lap, Verstappen scored the fastest lap point. Lambiase joked over the radio, “Come on, can we go home between the white lines?” “I’ve crossed the white line three times. It happens sometimes,” Verstappen said of the incident. “It was a bit easier on some tracks, but I struggled with the hard tires to stay within the white line,” he said. “But after the last warning, I had to stay within the white line. It doesn’t really matter.” As for whether he was reprimanded by the team for ignoring Lambiase’s instructions, Verstappen said: “Well, I kept within the white line and made my lap times a bit faster. Nothing wrong with that. I haven’t done that. ,” he said. “They don’t know how much speed I have in the car. I don’t care if they say it’s the fastest lap, but I thought I could do it. Inside the white line. “I think it’s something we can laugh at Helmut was[Marko]and I laughed about it after the race and they said they were quite happy. I think.” Verstappen, who started from pole position, controlled the race from the start despite starting on new medium tyres, while all nine behind him were on used soft tyres. After a long run into Turn 1 and holding off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the opening corner, Verstappen had few problems afterwards and took another step towards a third straight victory. Reflecting on the race, Verstappen said: “It was important to keep the lead in Turn 1. It was quite tight,” he said. “But actually I had a very good start and from there I was trying to control the speed on the medium. Everyone was behind mainly on the softs and we knew we could build a big gap, especially in the last eight laps of that period. I thought, but I didn’t have much of a grip. I was slipping a lot. “The pace was still right, but I couldn’t make as much of a difference as I thought.” So I pitted again to switch to the soft tyres. To be honest, I felt good again.”