Verstappen’s Temperature Troubles: The Italian GP Challenge

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is always a spectacle, with its high-speed straights and challenging corners. However, for Max Verstappen, the 2023 race was about more than simply battling his opponents on the track; it was also about dealing with a severe issue with his car.

The Unexpected Challenge

Despite leading the race and looking set for a comfortable victory, Verstappen received an “urgent” radio message from his team, Red Bull Racing, in the closing stages of the Grand Prix. The team instructed him to back off and maintain a distance from the backmarker, Pierre Gasly. This abrupt shift in strategy raised eyebrows and fueled discussion about potential issues with Verstappen’s car.

The Temperature Dilemma

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, later clarified that the concern was related to rising temperatures in Verstappen’s RB19. The team wanted to ensure that certain temperatures remained within a specific window. Marko stated,  “It was about keeping the temperatures from rising any further,” Marko explained. There was no need to push the car or take needless risks with Verstappen holding a 12-second advantage. Verstappen’s choice also stopped him from attempting a late fastest lap, which may have put even more strain on the car.

The Bigger Picture

While there was no immediate threat to Verstappen, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner stressed that the decision to slow him down was based on possible concerns if he began following other cars closely, especially in the “stinking hot” circumstances of the day. Running in other automobiles’ “dirty air” may have exacerbated the temperature issues.

Honda’s Power Unit Concerns

The race also began with concerns about the reliability of the Honda power units. Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri failed to start the race due to an issue during the formation lap. Given that Red Bull also employs Honda engines, there was some concern that Verstappen would suffer similar issues. These worries were soon disregarded, with Marko noting that Tsunoda’s problem was unique to his vehicle and not a widespread Honda issue.


The 2023 Italian Grand Prix emphasised the numerous challenges that drivers and teams experience during a race. It’s not just about speed and strategy; it’s also about dealing with unforeseen situations and making crucial decisions in real time that might be the difference between win and defeat. Verstappen and Red Bull’s ability to immediately adjust to the situation and achieve a safe finish, despite possible hazards, proves the team’s resilience and experience.

Related Posts

The Thrill of Motegi: A Glimpse into the Japanese MotoGP

The Thrill of Motegi: A Glimpse into the Japanese MotoGP

The Japanese MotoGP in Motegi is more than just a race; it’s an adrenaline-fueled show of speed and perfection. The world waits with bated breath as the…

Formula 1: Aston Martin's Leap Towards Inclusivity with Jessica Hawkins

Formula 1: Aston Martin’s Leap Towards Inclusivity with Jessica Hawkins

In a historic move for Formula One, Aston Martin has given Jessica Hawkins the wheel of its AMR21, marking a huge step towards gender equality in the…

Verstappen's Triumph and Red Bull's Ascendancy: The Suzuka Showdown

Verstappen’s Triumph and Red Bull’s Ascendancy: The Suzuka Showdown

The 2023 Formula One season has been nothing short of remarkable, with Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing dominating centre stage. The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka…

Japanese Grand Prix: A Weekend of Surprises and Dominance at Suzuka

Japanese Grand Prix: A Weekend of Surprises and Dominance at Suzuka

The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka has always been a spectacle for Formula 1 fans, and this year was no exception. The weekend was jam-packed with action…

The Shifting Tides of MotoGP: Marc Marquez’s Uncertain Future and Its Ripple Effects

As the 2024 season approaches, the MotoGP world is bustling with conjecture and anticipation. The future of eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez is at stake. The MotoGP…

Carlos Sainz's Triumph: A Win That Reshapes Formula 1's Landscape

Carlos Sainz’s Triumph: A Win That Reshapes Formula 1’s Landscape

Carlos Sainz’s recent victory at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix was nothing short of a masterstroke in a sport where milliseconds count. The triumph not only stopped…